People-Centred Approaches to the Conservation of Culture and Nature (PCA16) course opens in Tirana, Albania

PCA CourseAlbania’s Ministry of Culture welcomed 20 participants from seven southeast Europe countries who are meeting for the first time to discuss how communities are contributing to heritage – and how they can benefit from it. This marked the opening session of the second People-Centred Approaches course organized by ICCROM.

This short course is primarily aimed at heritage practitioners, providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools to work more effectively with stakeholder communities. Engaging communities in conservation and management processes is intended to strengthen their ability to participate meaningfully in the process of making decisions for themselves and their heritage.

Following the success of last year’s PCA15 course, this regional edition is being hosted by Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Natural and Cultural Heritage of Ohrid Region World Heritage Property and its potential transboundary extension is being used for case study visits in order to stimulate discussion and ground debate in the reality of participatory heritage management. In addition, each participant has brought their own case study to the course so that information, experiences and challenges faced can be shared by colleagues across the region.

The mixed natural and cultural heritage of the Ohrid Region is particularly appropriate for advancing people-centred approaches. Issues regarding the conservation and management of both the cultural and natural aspects of the area demonstrate a paradigm shift towards a more holistic approach which emphasizes the wellbeing of a place and its people. For this reason, PCA participants have been selected from both the natural and cultural heritage sectors.  They will be working together for ten days, delivering results of their work in a public presentation on 12 October 2016.

Partners in the implementation of this course are: ICCROM, IUCN, ICOMOS, UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Member States represented: Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Bulgaria