Student Publications

Author: Mark Esposito
Title: The World Heritage and Cultural Landscapes

Cultural Tourism
Country :

Available for Download: Yes

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Every year, like it has happened for the past ten years since the introduction of the
cultural landscape categories, thirty cultural landscapes have been inscribed on the World
Heritage List. These cover designed landscapes such as the gardens of Villa dEste (Italy),
relict landscapes such as Blaenavon (United Kingdom), human landscapes such as Uluru-
Kata Tjuta (Australia) and Tongariro (New Zealand)1, and continuing landscapes which
cover the greatest number of inscribed landscapes, especially those involved with
agriculture, viticulture, forestry, pastoralism and their associated settlements.

The main global reference for the whole concept of Heritage and World Heritage is only
duly representative of the massive workflow that UNESCO2 and the diverse secretariats
working constantly for the preservation of Heritage is doing.
It would be hard to figure out a world without the enormous contributions that UNESCO
is bringing to the realty of preservation, restoration and conservation of our planets
legacies, through the reinforcements of those procedures and guidelines which lead to
inscription every year.

It is well recognized that many previously inscribed sites are also cultural landscapes.
The primary management responsibility is to conserve and protect the "outstanding
universal values" for which the landscape was inscribed. Management involves all the
processes of preparing a plan or guiding document, implementing the actions lay out in
the plan, tackle the unforeseen events, monitoring the impact of management on
conserving the values and reviewing the original management actions so as to better
conserve the values.

Conservation means all the processes of looking after a place so as to retain its cultural
significance3 which is embodied in the place itself, its fabric, setting, use, associations,
meanings, records, related places and objects.
Values are expressed in those things from the past and from nature that we want to
conserve and protect. Values are generic, or specific. They can relate to a very peculiar
ethnicity or simply have under graded into a much more global and universal entity, but no
mater which specific set of ideas we want to apply, values are the traditional core of
conservation4� values attached to an object, building, place or landscape because it holds
meaning for a social group due to its age, beauty, craftsmanship or association with
significant persons or events, or otherwise contribute to processes of cultural affiliation.

1 World Heritage, N. 36 publication of the UNESCO, Paris 2004, San Marcos Ediciones.
2 UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization)
3 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO
in 1972.
4 See above reference


Any place will have a range of values � these may be assessed against criteria in order to
determine whether the values are important enough for the place to be listed for heritage
protection. For World Heritage listing, values must be considered to be of ,,outstanding
Universal value in accordance with the six cultural and four natural heritage criteria of
the World Heritage Convention.

Introductory considerations

The key management objective is to sustain these landscapes while allowing both
continuing use to local communities who are dependent on them for a livelihood, and
natural ecosystems to continue to develop.
In other terms of comprehension, the subtle balance of sustainability and conservation,
are often projected onto a much more delicate management of the resources and a
"superpartes" organization, such as UNESCO, plays this vital role of monitoring the
process and assess the necessities in place, in order to become effective when required.

In order to take this conversation to a much more suitable level, we want to phrase some
questions and assign to each of them, a steeping stone role, towards the better cohesion of
concepts and practices, which this paper is aimed to.

What are the limits of acceptable change in these landscapes? And how can that change
be managed5?

A widely understood management planning process with popular support is the starting
point. A management plan should detail the outstanding universal values as well as other
values in the inscribed landscape and the policies chosen to conserve these values. The
plan should also contain a framework for defining management priorities, developing
management actions, implementation and monitoring of their impact.

All policies must relate to the statement of significance for the heritage values exhibited
in the designated cultural landscape. These values will also have been reinforced in the
management vision and site objectives.
By using a values-based management rather than an issues-based management approach,
we also commit our research to a much more complying vision of the wholesome, which
is beneficial to the definition of cultural landscape and its implication with the Heritage
List. The policies need to address the components of the landscape which have
outstanding universal value such as:

5 "Tell me about World Heritage", Paris 2002, Unesco Publishing.


� natural structure � the dramatically visual landscape whose beauty is the tourist

� the relationship between the ongoing culture of the local people and the landscape

� viable and sustainable use of the resources � for another 2000 years.

All policies revolve around assessing vulnerability in the context of limits of acceptable
change. In other words, we could ask this question to enlighten a viable path of

How much of the twenty-first century should be permitted to intrude in these landscapes
of outstanding universal significance before their values are compromised and changed
in meaning6?

The values are derived from interaction of peoples with nature in a specific place or

Can this interaction remain authentic while using modern techniques7?

For World Heritage cultural landscapes it is the integrity of the landscape that is
paramount � that is, the extent to which the layered historical evidence, meanings and
relationships between elements remains intact and can be interpreted or deciphered in the
landscape. As the expert meeting on Desert Landscapes and Oasis Systems in the Arab
Region (UNESCO report from Egypt, September 2001) confirmed, it is the integrity of
the relationship of culture with nature that matters, not the integrity of nature or culture

However, some issues stand out as particularly important in managing cultural landscapes
and require specific policies for retention of heritage values. The following eight issues
recur in the management of many World Heritage landscapes, though they vary in detail
and application depending on the category of cultural landscape and the social and
economic environment of the place and they have been a precious tools of speculative
studies and researches, that has enabled UNESCO to approach with a great sense of
conformity and uniformity the significant sites, the embedded cultures and the much
more strategic thinking of conservation, interpreted as a preventive tool for the future
generations and for the heritage of anthropological values, which instill in every days
life, the principle of humanity.

6 See reference above
7 See reference above


1. Lack of awareness of and general education about World Heritage values in
cultural landscapes and their relationship to society.8

This can be addressed through mass media promotion, visitor centers at the properties
with exhibitions and displays or guided tours, brochures and booklets, films and videos.

Popular community support for the conservation of the heritage values of a place often
translates into political support when the values are threatened, for example by pressure
for development or lack of resources for maintenance. The use of the World Heritage
logo as an awareness- raising device and marketing brand is also to be encouraged in
promoting the inscribed cultural landscapes. Beside this, awareness is a precious
instrument of educational empowerment and identity recognition and pride, for the local
population who find in the "inherited value" a sustainable realm of prosperity and
cultural symbiosis. In many examples, it has been such a major motivator for the
preservation of values and cultural scenarios, which had been threatened by the
globalization process.

2. Need for site-specific training for those working in World Heritage cultural
landscapes to ensure that all the values of a place are managed Sensitively.

A range of skills is needed for managing cultural landscapes. Some generic management
and planning skills are required in all areas of site management, such as organizational
and financial skills. Specialist skills will be required depending on the natural, cultural
and social features of the cultural landscape. For some cultural landscapes, maintaining
local cultural knowledge will be paramount.
This has represented a quite hard challenge for those specialists who have remotely tried
to investigate the area and propose sustainable models of responsible management,
throughout the recruitment of key-figures and personalities, who could have helped the
expertise requirements hunt.

However, traditional social settings and cultures that have been dissolved cannot be
successfully recreated, only similar systems can be developed anew.
The challenge then is to create new and alternative structures that allow revitalization
rather than conserving traditions in museums or turning the landscape into a fossilized
outdoor museum.

Revitalization of local knowledge may occur when older knowledge is rediscovered and
still existing forms of local knowledge are re-evaluated. This was highlighted in the
restoration program for the Kasubi Tombs in Uganda, in sustainable development
policies for the Swedish archipelago fishing industry, and in indigenous knowledge of
fire in vegetation management at Uluru in central Australia.

8 The 8 criteria are supported and extracted by the following document: UNESCO, 1998, Proclamation of
Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


3. Using farming and forestry policies to define what changes can be permitted
in the landscape while still maintaining their outstanding universal values,
and what techniques can be used to ensure this.

Many cultural landscapes are the result of productive use of the land, and support farming
The products of current technologies � quick-growing forest plantations, new crops with
a variety of visual effects as well as biodiversity impacts, new materials and forms such
as plastic sheeting and wind farms � will have an impact on our cultural landscapes.
Given that cultural landscapes in the past have reflected the cultures of different periods
(and local adaptations to prevailing techniques), we should permit change to continue in
the category of evolving cultural landscapes.
Following up this conceptualization, we would like to ask ourselves a question.

But what are the limits of acceptable change in land-use and agricultural production in
such landscapes?

The answer and challenge is to manage more efficient, intensive production that increases
the prosperity of the farming communities so that the cultural heritage values in the
landscape are not lost. If the material evidence of successive layers of landscape use
remains intact, we need to decide what degree of interference or stitching in of new uses
is permissible.
This is a major global issue in cultural landscape maintenance and the answer depends
largely on local conditions, where some trial and error may be acceptable so long as the
patterns in the landscape which exhibit outstanding universal values are not compromised.
Yet it is the human interaction with the landscapes which must remain intact over time.
For different types of landscape � vineyards, farmland, forests � there is a role for
specific landscape type guidelines to ensure that new built elements do not detract from
the significant components and features in the landscape, for local trusts for conserving
landscape components, and for a range of legal planning or permit arrangements in
conserving landscapes with continuing agriculture and forestry.

One of the most challenging tasks is to manage the visual values of the continuing
There are many techniques now for assessing the ability of a landscape to accommodate
or absorb new developments. The English Heritage Historic Landscape Project details
some of these methodologies, which were underpinned by the principle that change when
properly planned will usually be more acceptable than fossilization and will be
sustainable. This means that the interaction with the landscape is controlled and planned
rather than just happening by default, incremental change or overwhelming forces.
On top of these consideration then, the whole idea of "Human Geography"9 has been
implemented in many educational endeavors and it has represented to new leading-edge
technique for a better implication of the use of the land, as a result of human engineering,

9 "The Importance of Sacred Natural Sites for Biodiversity Conservation", China, 2002 UNESCO


and consequently as a result of a cultural element which is implicit (or intrinsic) to the
landscape which is produced.
In other words, the landscape originated by forestry and agriculture is the result of an
attentive match between culture and skills, and between skills and nature.

4. Managing tourism to ensure continuing visitor access and appreciation of the

World Heritage tourism has brought employment to millions, often in remote parts of the
world: it has provided inspiration, recreation, enjoyment and rest to countless visitors.
But it has also destroyed and polluted unique, fragile and pristine environments,
threatened local cultures, and devalued the heritage characteristics that make a site both
of outstanding universal value and a desirable tourist destination. Tourism also offers a
major avenue for public appreciation of the values of World Heritage cultural landscapes.

In the twenty-first century, the tourist market places increasing importance on enjoying
authentic experiences authentic settings, objects and stories, and if possible a guide or
storyteller who lives in the setting and owns the objects and stories. Therefore using local
people to interpret their heritage is likely to lead to high visitor satisfaction and increasing
numbers of visitors.

A good example of the above mentioned scene is the constant reports and presentations
that occur and embody the theme of Tourism and Bio-diversity impact. It has become,
with particular focus within the past 10 years, a very common table of discussion,
whereas the importance of tourism as a leading economic factor, collide with the poor
sustainability of the way tourism is handled.

Tourism10 is a value-adding activity to the economic activities that have given rise to the
distinctive cultural landscape. This is especially the case with rural landscapes and
associative cultural landscapes. The huge increase in tourist numbers over the last decade
visiting Cinque Terre by train and on foot is an indicator of this, while the increased
numbers at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park are the result of intense marketing coupled
with provision of access and facilities outside but immediately adjacent to the park.

Tourism as a new industry can have a low impact on the cultural landscape yet assist in
the transition to a more complex and diversified economic base for some communities,
especially those more remote from metropolitan cities.

Relationships between the environment and the economy and standards have to be further
explored � testing issues such as reinvestment of benefits into local communities,

10 Extract from the final report of ,,Tourism, Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development", July 2004,
Barcelona, Spain


promotion of authentic local products, strategic alliances in provision of transport and

Tourism should be regarded as a positive influence on management of cultural landscapes
and, if managed correctly, will build support for the conservation of cultural and natural
heritage and provide income to assist those living in or managing the landscape.
As a proof of this, WTO (World Tourism Organization) and the Secretariat of UN for
Bio-diversity, work in tight alliance for the better cooperation between the financial urges
and the environmental necessities that our planet is daily needed for.

5. Finding the resources to ensure economic viability of operations to maintain
the values of the cultural landscape, including `User Pays' concepts and other
external income.

Generating income in ways that do not conflict with heritage conservation and are
culturally sensitive is a management challenge. It is difficult to generalize because
management authority frameworks differ so much across the world and all have different
rules concerning collection and expenditure of income.

For designed landscapes such as gardens or for archaeological sites, where the managing
authority controls or owns the property, income can be derived from entry charges,
concessions, leases and licenses. In larger continuing landscapes, the managing authority
has planning controls only, the property is owned by many farmers or other landholders
who collect the direct charges, and the managing authority is funded by taxes levied on
the landholders. This authority may also involve farmers and landholders in the
management, not only through subsidies but also through policies which will help them
make a profit from sustainable management.

There is an increasing literature on heritage economics, detailing a range of techniques
that could be considered in cultural landscape protection11:

a. Sustainable development to support the site, as with tourism or continued farming.

b. Directing the income from site operation to site management.

c. Site sustainability through value adding to agricultural and tourism products.

d. Labels guaranteeing the quality and origin of farm products.

11 Cultural Tourism and sustainable development project, UNESCO, October 2003


e. Public funding through agricultural subsidies for political or economic purposes (such
as keeping people resident in the countryside, supporting exports, etc.) or through other
sources of funding for rural activities such as housing repairs, one-off capital funding for
infrastructure, training in new skills, oral history and recording, or unemployment
benefits, which can be directed towards maintenance of heritage features in the cultural

f. Private funding for programs, such as establishing non-profit conservation trusts;
encouraging fund-raising partnerships with for-profit concerns; tax breaks for charitable
contributions; establishing special protected- area funds on the basis of contributions
from the energy sector; private sector investment in sustainable micro-scale enterprises,
especially in buffer zones, to ensure more equitable distribution of the benefits arising
from such uses. Sponsorship of activities or site repairs is another major high-profile
income generator.

6. Developing landscape conservation treatments and new techniques for
managing essential components in the designated landscape.

Given that the primary aim of management, as we want to prove in this research, is to
retain the outstanding cultural values in the landscape. All conservation treatments must
respect the existing fabric and maintain authenticity in materials, design, workmanship
and setting so as to prolong the integrity of the cultural landscape and allow it to be
interpreted. Care should be taken in introducing any new elements.

Treatment actions range from cyclical maintenance to varying degrees of consolidation,
restoration, continuing traditional ways of living or even adaptive re-use.
The appropriateness of treatments will also vary depending on the type and scale of the
cultural landscape:

in designed landscapes there may be reconstruction of missing elements as at Lednice
(Czech Republic) or Potsdam (Germany), rehabilitation and restoration following damage
as at Hampton Court Palace gardens (UK) and reconstruction via replanting as at
Versailles (France) following the destructive storms of 199812.
In other sites such as the alpine landscapes of the European transfrontier national parks,
species that had disappeared, such as wolves, are being reintroduced.

Management of Hadrians Wall illustrates the need for cooperation between a large
numbers of diverse partners in the management of a linear cultural landscape � farmers,
tourists, archaeologists.

12 Culture and Agriculture : Orientation Texts on the 1995 Theme. UNESCO, Paris, 1995, 68p.


Insertion of new cattle sheds into the landscape was a trade-off to ensure greater
protection of the primary resource, the archaeological heritage.
Protection also requires effective communication when so many players are involved.

7. Coping with impacts caused by processes and events or developments
external to the site affecting or threatening the integrity of the designated
cultural landscape.

Threats to the integrity of World Heritage cultural landscapes may come from within or
They can be natural events such as weather phenomena, or human-induced such as war or
disease, or they can derive from the impact of management processes, such as from new
developments in the landscape, provision of utility services, adaptation of historic
structures for new uses, activities in the buffer zone with downstream effects, visitor
pressures and associated infrastructure, or simply sheer ignorance of the consequences of
Sometimes the best heritage management outcome may arise from external processes
such as through participation in the "Environmental Impact Assessment "process which
leads to a new arrangement and acceptance by all stakeholders in that process.

Strategies for improving the risk-preparedness of World Heritage cultural properties
consider reducing the impact of natural disasters, armed conflict, industrial pollution and
other hazards of human origin.
These strategies can also be applied to cultural landscapes. There is a developing
literature on both emergency preparedness and disaster management and long-term
cumulative threats such as salinity impact on heritage sites.

8. Supporting communities which maintain heritage values within the cultural
landscape especially where the associative values of the landscape reside with
those communities.

There is a large literature on community participation in planning and protected area
management. But within cultural landscapes there are some very specific challenges:

� working with farming communities resident in the inscribed property to ensure
continuing sustainability of the production and way of life

� maintaining associative values in the landscape despite pressures such as youth
migration and new technologies and involving indigenous peoples who are the
traditional custodians of the cultural values which are expressed in the landscape


� engaging in ,,social engineering to assist with maintenance of traditional activities
(such as provision of housing for guest workers; allowing tourists to view traditional
festivals) while respecting local community wishes (such as no photography of rituals).
World Heritage associative cultural landscapes have special needs for strategies and
actions to maintain the traditional associations which give that place its outstanding
universal values. Identification of these associative values by a local community or
special group occurs during the nomination process and they are confirmed by inscription.

In order to conserve these associative values there is a need to pass on rituals and
traditional knowledge to the ,,right people culturally, that is, those who have been
initiated or are next-of-kin.

Maintenance of culturally viable or strong communities with these associative values is
subject to similar pressures and problems throughout the world youth attracted to cities
and new ways of life and being unwilling to undergo initiation and training in required
rituals and obligations. Alternatively, young people may remain on site with no economic
livelihood and fall prey to modern social problems, such as drugs and alcohol.
This is relevant to some World Heritage cultural landscapes such as Uluru, Tongariro, the
Philippines rice terraces, or Sukur (Nigeria) 13 . As well as opportunities to pass on
traditional skills and knowledge, which are often dependent on being present in the
landscape when seasonal changes and resources are available, managers of cultural
landscapes have to assist in maintaining the health and well-being of those residents in
the landscape. This is illustrated in the case of the community now resident at Uluru.

Cultural associations must be maintained to keep the associative values alive as detailed
in the original cultural landscape listing.
For example, if no young people are working or living traditionally, as revealed by
monitoring reports, then is the associative cultural landscape put on the World Heritage
in Danger list or reclassified as a relict landscape?
This issue must be addressed by World Heritage cultural landscape property managers.

13 DACYL, J.W., WESTIN, C., Management of Cultural pluralism in Europe. A Progress report submitted
to the 5th Ordinary Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee of the World Decade for Cultural
Development 21-25 April, 1997,



These eight issues recur in landscape development and change, in identifying threatened
but valued landscapes, in determining acceptable levels of intervention, and in managing
old landscapes and making new ones. They occur worldwide as recent phenomena and
must be addressed by World Heritage cultural landscape managers.

The message from all this is that managers must know what values are found in their
cultural landscapes and make sure that their management protects and enhances these
values. But values are dynamic and evolve and change. Knowledge about the values must
be updated, and therefore management strategies must be able to change to protect the
outstanding universal values of World Heritage properties.


Landscapes have a range of values that communities recognize as important and want to
conserve. Cultural and natural values are the qualities which make a place or landscape
important. We tend to separate these qualities into natural and cultural, including historic
and indigenous, but heritage managers are increasingly finding that the categories overlap
to such an extent those responsible management demands that these values be catered for

The World Heritage Convention recognizes the outstanding universal value of some
cultural and natural heritage not only to each nation but to humanity as a whole. Its
Operational Guidelines14 have ten criteria and tests for authenticity and integrity to be
used in assessing whether a place has outstanding universal value. The Convention also
requires periodic reporting on the condition of the values and whether they have changed.
The following case study illustrates the updating of cultural values as a result of further
and ongoing research into aspects of the archaeology and history of the Tasmanian
Wilderness (Australia), a property inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1982 and
expanded in 1989 in recognition of its outstanding World Heritage values. Features of
outstanding significance include extensively glaciated landscapes; undisturbed habitats of
plants and animals that are rare, endangered and/or endemic and represent a rich variety
of evolutionary processes; magnificent natural scenery and an impressive assembly of
Aboriginal sites that include cave art.



Case study � Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area15

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) covers approximately 20%
of Tasmania, 1.38 million ha in the south-west of the island. It includes Tasmanias four
largest national parks, a range of other reserves and some of the best wilderness areas in
south-eastern Australia.

During the 1989 World Heritage nomination process, the World Heritage Committee did
not agree to some Aboriginal values being considered as World Heritage.
Only those identified in the 1982 nomination are recognized. When the area was
denominated in 1989, ICOMOS advised that further work was required to determine the
status of the area. This work was specified in the 1992 and 1999 management plans for
the TWWHA.

This body of work has produced a greatly increased number of places with cultural values.
These total 746 Aboriginal sites (307 new sites) and approximately 400 European historic
sites. It has also allowed a richer, deeper and more intensive interpretation of the layered
evidence in the landscape to be considered. No dramatic new discoveries have been made
so as to alter the description of cultural heritage in the 1989 nomination, but the new
information allows for consideration of new interpretations in accordance with the new
World Heritage categories for cultural landscapes and modified cultural criteria. There
are sites identified in the TWWHA which would add weight to the existing values
identified as being of outstanding universal value. These sites meet World Heritage
cultural criteria (iii), (v) and (vi) but represent a fuller appreciation of the values rather
than just being related to aspects of archaeological significance of a culture
that has disappeared.

Human occupation for 36,000 years is however denied by the naming of the place as
wilderness. More particularly, since rising sea levels separated Tasmania from the
mainland about 12,000 years ago, Tasmanian Aboriginal culture has survived one of the
longest-known periods of geographic and cultural isolation affecting a society.
Archaeological surveys since 1982 have revealed occupation sites along the coastlines, at
the mouths of the retreating glaciers in the Central Highlands, and along pathways linking
plain and mountains.

15 The attached case study has been entirely extracted from: Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area,
Volume III, appendices B-G and References, January 1994, published by the "Department of Environment
and Land Management" of Tasmania, Australia.


The TWWHA contains cultural landscapes and some of these contain outstanding
universal values worthy of World Heritage listing.

1. For Aborigines the whole area is a cultural landscape and this belief could be sustained
in a case for it as an associative cultural landscape in accordance with World Heritage
category 39 (iii). The beauty of its ,,superlative natural phenomena also contributes to
this categorization.

2. Within the TWWHA there are areas that could be categorized as relict cultural
landscapes in accordance with World Heritage category 39 (ii), and these relate
especially to European land-use practices which have now ceased. The uniquely
Tasmanian interaction of humans to the natural resource resulted in these distinctive

(a) the pining landscapes of the Gordon-Macquarie Harbor � Raglan Range which
illustrate the range of techniques used in this resource exploitation from the convict era of
the early 1800s to the 1940s;

(b) the hunting and snaring landscapes of montane grasslands on the Central Plateau,
although it could be argued that they also illustrate both transference of European
ecological knowledge and European adaptation to Aboriginal seasonal exploitation of
native fauna through the reintroduction of traditional Aboriginal burning practices to the
north-western mountain grasslands.

3. Fire has been the agent maintaining a complex distribution of disclimax vegetation,
which can be considered as a continuing landscape category for large areas within the
TWWHA, especially the buttongrass plains/sedge land which comprise 53% of the
vegetation in the TWWHA (Jackson, 1999, p. 3). Fire not only produces a successional
mosaic but causes extinction of communities and this level of displacement appears to
demand a time span of human-induced fire sufficiently long enough to affect soil fertility.
The palaeontological record in Tasmania shows a twofold increase in open vegetation
relative to closed forest during the last glacial cycle. Eucalypt forest increased relative to
rainforest, and charcoal increased relative to woody vegetation, and these changes
occurred through a variety of climates (Jackson, 1999, p. 1). However, the most recent
studies indicate that the noticeable increase in fire activity about 40,000 years ago, when
there was no major climate change, is considered most likely to indicate Aboriginal
burning. This accelerated existing trends rather than creating a wholesale landscape
change, but it is difficult to separate the effects of climate and human-induced burning
subsequently until the European era (Kershaw et al., 2002, p. 3).

At the time of European settlement there were extensive buttongrass plains throughout
south-western Tasmania. Ecologically, it is unlikely that such extensive plains would
have persisted for more than about 250 to 1,000 years without human-mediated fires.
Aborigines were seasonally active burning patches of land in the early 1800s and


creating open country across which Europeans moved swiftly in the 1820s in the
midlands. However, there is considerable anecdotal evidence for major changes in the
fire regime of south-western Tasmania since the removal of the Aborigines in the 1830s
resulting in major wide-ranging, landscape-scale fires in the 1890s and 1930s.

Aborigines probably used low-intensity fires mainly in spring and autumn to flush out
game when hunting and to create access tracks. The aim was to create a large number of
small, recently burnt areas surrounded by thicker vegetation (Marsden-Smedley, 1998, pp.
15�19). The slow rate of vegetation change in south-west Tasmania meant that the
distribution of the majority of the current vegetation and soil types (especially peat
formation) shows the result of long-term Aboriginal land-use practices.
The co-existence of extensive areas of button grass moorland in close proximity to highly
fire-sensitive rainforest and alpine heaths also supports the proposal that the Aborigines
burnt the former when the wet forest communities, especially those containing coniferous
species such as King Billy, Huon and pencil pines, were too wet to burn. Given the time
period required for successional processes and soil formation, these communities must
have co-existed for thousands of years. Therefore, the current distribution of vegetation
and soils in this region should not be described as natural and a better description would
be a cultural landscape (Marsden- Smedley, 1998, p. 25).

A more detailed examination of the antiquity and characteristics of seasonal migration of
hunter-gatherer societies in alpine regions throughout the world is required before the
case for the TWWHA is absolutely confirmed. In comparative studies, like should be
compared with like. The fire-effects studies have already compared similar ecosystems in
New Zealand, Chatham Islands and Patagonia. However, further research is required into
some aspects to allow a comprehensive construction of the case. For example, further
studies into seasonal movement for resource exploitation between coastal areas, valleys
and sub-alpine areas is required to fill out the pattern emerging from recent studies.

For areas of similar ecosystem-based landscapes like the buttongrass moorlands and the
montane grasslands, scientific evidence now points to the need for a different park-
burning regime to both maintain the cultural landscape and to maintain its biodiversity.
Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service Aboriginal trainees are being employed to assist in
this new work and this in turn represents a restoration of cultural practice in accordance
with the 1995 management plan. The impact of the new burning regime needs to be
monitored regularly to check that it is achieving the desired conservation objectives.

Cultural values are also increasingly being interpreted to the public at visitor centers,
historic convict sites and former logging sites. Tourist numbers rose from 453,000 in
1995 to 500,600 in 1999 (Lennon et al., 2001, p. 79). Local people, the Grining family,
who were displaced when the timber industry ceased, now operate one of the major
tourist boat services up the Franklin River � the only way access is permitted.



Effective management of outstanding universal values in World Heritage properties
requires a continual management process that reassesses the values of the place/landscape
and then adjusts on-site management to conserve these new or updated values. As the
second round of periodic reporting for World Heritage properties is about to occur, the
case of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area illustrates a very good example
of effective values-based management.

In terms of the general conclusions that this paper is aiming at satisfying, we can consider
Cultural Landscape as an important and constitutional part of World Heritage.
This latter is a very valuable instrument of observation, retention and pro-active
conservation of the heritage of our past, as institutional to the formation of continuity in
the future years to come and for the future generations.
The challenge is on a daily basis, but the results that have been achieved by the
foundation of World Heritage List are amazing, encouraging and full of positive signs for
a better education on who we are, where we come from and where we will go.



JACKSON, W. D. 1999. The Tasmanian legacy of man and fire. Papers and Proceedings
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