People-Centred Approaches to Conservation reaches beyond the cultural heritage sector to engage the natural heritage sector as well. Recent work on nature-culture interlinkages undertaken by ICCROM, IUCN and others has provided an opportunity to promote the programme on people and heritage in its broadest possible spectrum.

ICCROM’s People and Heritage Programme is focused on building capacities among practitioners from both natural and cultural heritage sectors through a series of courses, both tested and new. By pooling a range of experiences from participants and resource persons, ICCROM aims to better understand future challenges and opportunities.

The programme will address the following needs:

  • Respect for diversity, improvement of relationships between heritage and people, recognition of the living dimensions of heritage
  • Recognize the influence of heritage on people’s lives, its improvement of life quality and focus on past and present, enhancing the value of cultural products
  • Rethink heritage holistically without dividing typologies (i.e. movable/immovable, tangible/intangible, cultural/natural)
  • Recognize the custodianship of people and their traditional knowledge systems in the long-term care of heritage
  • Respect people’s voices in the conservation and management of heritage
  • Consider the impact of globalization on living environments, including historic urban centres and cultural landscapes, and the links between heritage and the sustainable development of society.

The long-term goals of the People and Heritage Programme are to:

  • Promote recognition of people as connected to their heritage, ensuring they are an integral element in the conservation and management of heritage
  • Strengthen understanding of the Living Heritage concept and promote a Living Heritage Approach wherever appropriate
  • Raise awareness on the need to engage communities, and the reciprocal benefits for both communities and heritage
  • Strengthen links between organizations interested in People-Centred Approaches
  • Promote other activities where communities play a key role, such as Sound and Image Collections Conservation (SOIMA).


  • Develop and refine teaching materials and research on People-Centred Approaches to Conservation (ongoing)
  • Course on People-Centred Approaches to Conservation of Nature and Culture (see programme on World Heritage) to be implemented regionally
  • New course on promoting heritage and sustainable development
  • Involvement in SOIMA course.