Balphakram National Park is part of the Garo Hills Conservation Area in India
Balphakram National Park is part of the Garo Hills Conservation Area in India Image: James Gabil Momin Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0

Centre for Global Heritage and Development interviews anthropologist on translating heritage values

A bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage site can start a complex dialogue. One where many interests and ambitions meet and new understandings must be reached. Both material and immaterial heritage must be made understandable to all who join the conversation. Can anthropology help make sense of it all for people who work in different contexts?

The Centre for Global Heritage and Development interviewed anthropologist and assistant professor Erik de Maaker on translating heritage values. During India’s bid to have the Garo Hills Conservation Area listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, he was asked to share his knowledge.

Erik de Maaker: “Many people on all levels, from local villagers to national administrators acknowledge the outstanding natural and cultural values of the area. But the road to obtain a UNESCO World Heritage status has proven to be difficult. Even with so many people in favour, it remains difficult to implement the required levels of protection and management needed for the status. Mining the rich coal veins is a very lucrative business that some people are very reluctant to give up on.”

Read the full interview on the Centre for Global Heritage and Development website.

The Centre for Global Heritage and Development is a partner of the European Heritage Tribune. For more information and news, see the partner page.

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