The 2021 edition of the People-Nature-Culture course (PNC21) brought together 21 participants to discuss effective heritage management and the key role played by people, rights-holders and stakeholders in the management of heritage places.

Linking People-Nature-Culture at the heart of managing heritage
PNC21 Participants

The 2021 edition of the course on Promoting People-Centred Approaches to the Conservation of Nature and Culture – also called the People-Nature-Culture or PNC course – concluded last month after an intense 10 weeks of bi-weekly three-hour sessions that ran from 16 August to 21 October 2021.

It brought together 21 participants from 18 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, who came from site management teams, protected areas, public institutions and administration, NGOs, religious communities and regional organizations.

The course was organized in cooperation with an international team of 36 resource people from the natural and cultural sectors working in all regions of the world and with diverse professional experiences and specializations in the fields of heritage, management and conservation. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, this was the first edition to be delivered fully online.

Linking People-Nature-Culture at the heart of managing heritage image
PNC21 Course

The PNC21 provided participants with the knowledge, skills and awareness necessary for working with diverse rights-holders and stakeholders to improve the management and conservation of heritage places, and at the same time to give heritage a dynamic and mutually beneficial role in society today and long into the future.

Participants explored how to work with values in managing their heritage places and explored the heritage place approach, looking at the interdependencies and interrelations between nature and culture and the importance of considering the context of heritage places and their wider setting.

They analyzed their respective heritage places, looking at governance arrangements and the role of people and communities, as well as the effectiveness of management and conservation efforts in place, using the tools of the upcoming Enhancing Our Heritage Toolkit 2.0 (EoH 2.0).

 "Without people you don't have the soul of the [heritage] place" Participant PNC Course 2021

The course offered participants the chance to explore a diverse range of case studies and several upcoming resources, such as the manual for Managing World Heritage, the EoH 2.0 and the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage Context. Additionally, some of the participants to the course will be working with the team of the PANORAMA Nature-Culture Thematic Community to prepare case studies for publishing on the platform in early 2022.

Herculaneum as shared course case study

Shared case studies play a vital role in capacity building activities, and they become living labs for participants and resource people to discuss and exchange views on governance, management and conservation challenges and opportunities. This year, the PNC21 course used the case of Herculaneum and its wider setting, including the modern town of Ercolano and the Vesuvian area. To support this effort, the World Heritage Leadership programme cooperated with the Archaeological Park of Herculaneum, the Herculaneum Conservation Project and local partners to prepare video resources that were used throughout the course to exemplify concepts and as a base for group analysis and discussions.

A partnership for People-Nature-Culture capacity building activities

The PNC courses are jointly organized by the ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership programme, the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea and the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment in cooperation with ICOMOS and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea and the Korean National University of Cultural Heritage generously funded the implementation of the PNC21 course and other capacity building activities focused on People-Nature-Culture. This partnership will culminate with a People-Nature-Culture Forum to be held in person in the second half of 2022 in the Republic of Korea.