Plaza Grande, Quito (Ecuador) - Located in the heart of the historic district, the public space offers both tourists and locals a place to mingle, share ideas, and discover a sense of community © Christophe Rivet

 Plaza Grande, Quito (Ecuador) - Located in the heart of the historic district, the public space offers both tourists and locals a place to mingle, share ideas, and discover a sense of community © Christophe Rivet

Conservation is about people

The past, the present and the future are made by people. The way our ancestors viewed the world has shaped us. The way we view the world shapes the future. This is why the sustainable conservation of places focuses on the people who live in and interact with them. This includes their values, their social and economic needs, and their aspiration. Conservation is about people.

What does it mean?

Listening to what communities need and value gives us the tools to understand why a place is special to support its conservation. We aim to understand the people's needs to begin understanding the place.

 
Kujataa Greenland World Heritage Site, Greenland (Denmark) - Ongoing sheep farming is essential to maintain the traditional Norse and Greenlandic landscape and the local economy          © Christophe Rivet

Kujataa Greenland World Heritage Site, Greenland (Denmark) - Ongoing sheep farming is essential to maintain the traditional Norse and Greenlandic landscape and the local economy          © Christophe Rivet

Conservation is about place

Places are where people live. Sometimes, they shape them to meet their needs. Other times, people are shaped by what they experience in a place. Places may have clear boundaries or may be a concept with fluid and shifting borders. They may be shared between various groups or they may be meaningful for a single community. The conservation of places takes root in the understanding of that relationship between people and that place in all its complexity. Conservation is about the connection to place.

What does it mean?

Aligning the needs of a community with the value of a place will encourage people to use that place. A successful conservation project is one where people use a place and give it life. We aim to develop the best options to conserve the values for the future and support the community's needs today.

 
 
 
Acadian peninsula, New Brunswick (Canada) - Locals express their cultural identity with pride © Christophe Rivet

Acadian peninsula, New Brunswick (Canada) - Locals express their cultural identity with pride © Christophe Rivet

 
 

Conservation is cultural

Culture drives the relationship between people and between them and places. The type of choices that people make about a place is anchored in the cultural values they hold dear. They may be spiritual, functional, or social but together form the basis for deciding what makes sense and what does not in conserving a place. Conservation is a cultural behaviour.

What does it mean?

Understanding the cultural context is essential to effective conservation measures. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach and stronger buy-in from the community, means greater success for your project. We aim to respect and reflect that cultural diversity in the work we do.

 
 
Landscape of Grand Pré World Heritage Site, Nova Scotia (Canada) - The Acadian, New England Planter, and later generations of farmers built the dykes taking advantage of local environmental conditions © Christophe Rivet

Landscape of Grand Pré World Heritage Site, Nova Scotia (Canada) - The Acadian, New England Planter, and later generations of farmers built the dykes taking advantage of local environmental conditions © Christophe Rivet

 

One with nature

People are part of their environment. Nature sustains, defines, alters, and challenges people. People will adapt, respect, fear, cherish, be one with nature. This is why the sustainable conservation of places understands the intrinsic necessity to conserve the environment as part of the actions needed to conserve heritage. The conservation of places is holistic.

What does it mean?

Understanding the relationship between the environment, the culture, and the communities offers a stronger foundation for both the conservation of cultural heritage and the development of sustainable communities. A healthy environment, a healthy cultural heritage, are essential ingredients of a healthy community. We aim to develop strategies that conserve both natural and cultural heritage, together.