“World Heritage is a building block for peace and sustainable development. It is a source of identity and dignity for local communities, a wellspring of knowledge and strength to be shared. In 2012, as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, this message is more relevant than ever.”

Irina Bokova,
Director-General of UNESCO



OVERVIEW

Can you imagine your local area without heritage? What represents the past, the present, and the future? What should be preserved? What is irreplaceable? What is the role of local communities in preserving World Heritage?

In 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) gathered nations from around the world to create an international treaty to protect and conserve outstanding sites of cultural and natural heritage. Adoption of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) marked the first time that a legal instrument recognized and protected sites of universal value. Forty years later, 189 countries are parties to the convention and 962 sites are inscribed on the World Heritage list.

Both the Smithsonian Institution and UNESCO support the development of long-term sustainable conservation practices and international research on, and education about, the world’s diverse cultural and natural heritage. Toward this shared vision, the Smithsonian and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre have developed Protection, Preservation, and Prosperity: Stories of World Heritage. Through the use of the website and accompanying mobile application, educational curriculum, and poster set exhibition, the Smithsonian and UNESCO are committed to encouraging and promoting the interchange of ideas among the world’s peoples about sustainable development and the role of local communities in these efforts.

The 10 World Heritage sites featured on the website are unique and represent a wide range of natural and cultural heritage sites. Take the journey to learn more about their success stories and so much more.

HIGHLIGHTS

Divided into 10 sections, Preservation, Protection, and Prosperity: Stories of World Heritage explores the accomplishments of World Heritage sites from around the globe. Using the World Heritage Centre’s vast archives, reports, papers, and research, the wonderful accomplishments of these outstanding natural and cultural sites have been brought to light. Building upon these stories, the Smithsonian has explored and dug deep into its collections and found photographs, archival films, music, botanical specimens, and much more. These objects, resources, and specimens come from the Smithsonian’s many museums and cultural programs, each having its own story.

From the collections of the National Museum of African Art we found a cache of archival photographs taken by former Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon. Through these images we see traditions learned through apprenticeship, for example, how Dogon mask-making skills were taught and passed down from father to son. Through the work of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, we learn more about their research and work toward determining the best methods for shade-grown coffee and implementing these sustainable methods. An extraordinary ink painting shows West Lake in the 14th century. This art work is part of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery collections and displays how West Lake exemplifies the harmonious relationship between people and nature which has been an inspiration to poets, artists, and gardeners from all over China for more than a thousand years. These are just a few examples; many more collections and objects are available to explore and so many stories can unfold throughout the website.

MORE ABOUT THE PARTNERS

The United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded in 1945 to promote intellectual and moral solidarity between states. The organization developed five specific programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, communication and information. Through the implementation of these themes UNESCO wants to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue. UNESCO operates jointly with specialized departments, member states, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. The Institution was established for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge” and is dedicated to the understanding and preserving humanity’s cultural heritage, encouraging contemporary cultural creativity, unlocking the mysteries of the universe, and understanding and sustaining the planet’s biodiversity.


THANK YOU

Preservation, Protection, and Prosperity: Stories of World Heritage received additional funding from the Netherlands and gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the following individuals:

NFiT

Stephen Allee
Museum Research Specialist
Rights and Reproductions Coordinator
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Dr. Mary Jo Arnoldi
Curator, Africa
Chair, Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History

Joshua Bell
Anthropologist
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History

Barbara Bernard
National Gallery of Art

Laurie Burgess
Associate Chair
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History

Olivia Cavadal
Folklife Specialist
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

The Creative Commons
http://creativecommons.org/

Alicia Cutler
Digital Asset Manager
National Museum of American History

Department of Sustainability, Environment,
Water, Population and Communities

Government of Australia

Toby Dodds Technology Manager
Smithsonian Folkways
Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Karma Foley
Human Studies Film Archives
Smithsonian Institution

Bryna Freyer
Museum Curator (Art)
National Museum of African Art

Amy Giarmo
Photography Permissions Manager
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Rayna Green
Curator
National Museum of American History

Gregory Herringshaw
Curatorial Department
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Wendy Hurlock Baker
Rights & Reproductions Coordinator
Archives of American Art

Gary F. Hevel
Entomology
National Museum of Natural History

Dr. Peter Howard
African Heritage, Protected Areas & Wildlife Management
Nairobi, Kenya

Jean–Marie Hullot
Fotopedia
http://www.fotopedia.com/

Adrienne Kaeppler
Anthropologist, Curator of Oceanic Ethnology
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History

Sojin Kim
Curator
Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Betsy Kohut
Rights and Reproductions Coordinator
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Christine Kreamer
Deputy Director and Chief Curator
National Museum of African Art

Melissa Memory
Chief of Cultural Resources
Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks

William Merrill
Curator, Head of Ethnology
National Museum of Natural History

Stephen Morris
Chief
Office of International Affairs
National Park Service

Margot Nassau
Royalties & Licensing Manager
Smithsonian Folkways
Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Patricia L. Nietfeld
Supervisory Collections Manager
National Museum of the American Indian

Daisy Njoku
Anthropology
Collections and Archives Program
National Museum of Natural History

Bridget O’Brien
World Momunents Fund

Jennifer O’Neal
Supervisory Archivist
National Museum of the American Indian

Lisa Palmer
Vertebrate Zoology
National Museum of Natural History

Felicia Pickering
Anthropology
Collections and Archives Program
National Museum of Natural History

Jeff Place
Archivist
Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Younes Babanedjar
Kamel Ramdane
OPVM, Office of Protection and
Promotion for the M’Zab Valley

Lizanne Reger
Rights and Reproductions Coordinator
National Portrait Gallery

Robert Rice
Research scientist
Migratory Bird Center
National Zoological Park

Prof. Heinz Ruther
Principal Investigator "African Cultural
Heritage Sites and Landscapes"
Zamani Project
Division of Geomatics (APG)
University of Cape Town

Mary Savig
Archives Specialist
Archives of American Art

Heather Shannon
Photo Archivist
National Museum of the American Indian

Atesh Sonneborn
Associate Director
Smithsonian Folkways
Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage

Richard Sorensen
Registrar’s office
Smithsonian Museum of American Art

Amy Staples
Supervisory Archivist
National Museum of African Art

Gilbert Suazo
Lt. Governor
Taos Pueblo

Asuko Tai
Project Coordinator
World Heritage Project Secretariat
NHK Enterprises, Inc.

Jamie Whitacre
Botany
National Museum of Natural History

Ted Wilson
Registrar – Collection Management Services
National Postal Museum

Pam Wintle
Senior Film Archivist
Human Studies Film Archives

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