International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
Promoting People-Centred Approaches to…

Promoting People-Centred Approaches to Conservation

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Course Announcement


Promoting people -cented logos


Venue: Rome and other locations in Italy


  • IUCN
  • Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment

In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, ICOMOS and  UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Promoting people centred approaches


Call for Participants

We are seeking 20 participants to take part in an international course on Promoting People-Centred Approaches: Engaging Communities in the Conservation of Nature and Culture. The course is open to:

  • heritage practitioners from the cultural and natural heritage sectors, with a particular emphasis on those linked to World Heritage sites;
  • other individuals involved in the conservation and management of cultural and natural heritage (e.g. policy-makers and other representatives of institutions, non-governmental organizations, charities, local associations, community groups etc.).

Participants should be able to demonstrate their involvement in ongoing activities on engaging communities within the context of management activities at a cultural heritage site with natural values, or vice versa.

This course will also be used as an opportunity to create a forum for participants to share their experiences from both the cultural and natural heritage sectors, learning from each other and others who are actively involved with communities and heritage. The course will consist of lectures, interactive sessions on sharing experiences, site visits and practical exercises based on examples in the field.

The working language of the course will be English.



The Course in Context: The World Heritage Leadership Programme­

This course, now in its third edition, was initially developed by ICCROM and implemented together with IUCN. It has now been integrated into the new World Heritage Leadership programme which emerged as a response to the growing concerns over the divide between nature and culture. One of the defining characteristics of the World Heritage Convention is that the protection and management of both natural and cultural values of Outstanding Universal Value should fall under one international instrument.

The World Heritage Leadership Programme is delivered by IUCN and ICCROM in collaboration with ICOMOS and WHC and other organizations and is being developed with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Environment and other partners. This programme will focus on promoting links between nature-culture-communities in the management of heritage sites and securing heritage a more dynamic role in wider sustainable development. This specific PCA course will aim to provide participants with knowledge, skills and awareness necessary for engaging communities in managing heritage and, in particular, integrating them in all aspects of World Heritage processes.


Course Background


The PCA course aims at contributing towards the new paradigm shift ‘from the care of heritage to that of pursuing the wellbeing of both heritage (natural and cultural) and society as a whole’. Its goal is to strengthen practitioners’ understanding of people and communities as a core component of heritage management, thus ensuring that natural and cultural heritage has a dynamic and mutually beneficial role in society today and long into the future.

A key component within people-centred approaches is the engagement of communities in the conservation and management of natural and cultural heritage. Engaging communities in all processes of World Heritage has been emphasized by the World Heritage Committee by recognizing the engagement of ‘communities’ among its five strategic directions. This also strengthens the article 5 of the Convention which has explicit reference to the recommendation that State Parties should adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a ‘function in the life of the community’. In addition, the adoption of the policy on Sustainable Development by the General Assembly of State Parties to the World Heritage Convention underlines that the engagement of concerned communities is mandatory to achieve sustainable development.

While debate on this issue has been taking place for some time, engaging communities is still a real challenge at many heritage places. However, there is increasing awareness that a people-centred approach brings recognized benefits to heritage, to those working in the heritage sector and to communities. While there is no simple recipe, there are many examples that can be explored to understand the range of possible approaches and to inspire adaption of approaches elsewhere. Indeed, this course aims to bring practitioners together to share their experiences and learn from others, so as to move practice in the field forward. Taking a people-centred approach is not simply a suggestion for fostering or increasing participation within a management system; it is about addressing a core component of heritage management – the people who are connected to heritage – and ensuring that it is an integral element of conserving that heritage. Heritage should be seen as having the potential to play an active role in communities and to bring benefits to people, thereby demonstrating that heritage is meaningful to society and gaining society’s support for its ongoing use and protection. Engaging communities is about strengthening their ability to participate meaningfully in the process of making conservation and management decisions for themselves and their heritage. Although genuine community engagement in heritage remains a huge challenge, many heritage places offer important experiences and lessons for others. Publications and other tools available also contribute to sharing approaches and guidance.


Travel, Accommodation and Living Expenses

Participants will be responsible for their round-trip travel costs to and from Italy and their living costs (accommodation will be provided).  Candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, employers and funding agencies. In cases of proven financial need, and depending on the availability of funding at the time of the course, a number of partial scholarships may be granted to cover travel and living expenses.



Please fill the ICCROM application form  and send it together with the documents listed below to the following e-mail:

  • A full professional curriculum vitae (in English and maximum 3 pages);
  • A description of a heritage-related community engagement project you are currently involved in or a project that you are planning where you will be working with communities (max. one page).


Application deadline

Applications should reach ICCROM by 28 July 2017 to ensure inclusion in our selection process.