What can I do?

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Anything to Everything

If you have a heritage in your community or your possession here are some actions you can take towards its protection. 

Usually, there is a reliance on government entities to cater to cultural heritage. However, during difficult times the need for heritage protection comes second. 

Cultural Heritage forms the identity of a person and community. Spaces, monuments and customs establish the memories and character of individuals and groups. Sharing your heritage ties the community closer and forms connections with others. Even if the proprietor is a state, the responsibility for its protection is with everyone sharing its values. 

Identify Type

Use the tools provided by ICOMOS and UNESCO to help identity:

Type: tangible, intangible or documentary

Values: Why is it significant? History, age, touristic, aesthetic etc. 

Authenticity ( assessing its uniqueness and origin)


Impact: the number of people sharing its values

  • National
  • Regional
  • International

I want to learn more:

“Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties” document is evaluating if a heritage site for inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This document contains the most relevant information that will help you better understand the type of heritage you plan to protect. 

The body of work of Aloïs Riegl consists of the fundamentals in understanding the values of cultural heritage.

Dr Jukka Jokilehto, “Considerations on authenticity and integrity in world heritage contexts” helps grasp the notions of authenticity and integrity.

What are its needs

Risk and Threat assessment

What is the risk the heritage item is facing? Harsh weather conditions, temperature, conflict, terrorism etc. 

Conservation assessment

To preserve heritage for the following generations conservation ought to be a priority. Calling for a conservation assessment, conservation plan and execution by a professional. 

Conservation does not only include maintenance of the physical attributes of heritage but values continuity. If, for example, a heritage site is part of a vast landscape, then the space around it must remain untouched.

Conservation vs Preservation

Conservation stands for keeping heritage to its original properties. Whereas preservation usually precludes to alterations with materials (original or otherwise) to retain heritage object in a specific state. 

Concerning physical intervention, it is generally not always recommended as it can alter the heritage integrity or even cause irreversible damage. Professional should handle any conservation attempts.

I want to learn more:

English Heritage’s publication “Conservation principles policies and guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment” is a handy guide to this topic.


  1. Identify the values of the heritage item you wish to protect.
  2. Find out which are the people interested in your heritage and what are their motivations.
  3. After accessing the needs, you need to set up a plan for its’ protection (conservation, regular maintenance, conflict resolution).
  4. Planning and Management.
    Create a concise plan of action for the present and future.
    Strategy for financial sustainability.
    Identify the person or people responsible that will execute the management plan.
    The local authorities, setting up a legal entity or even assign the responsibility with a  rotation within the members of a community.
    Conservation and maintenance plan.
     Strategies for promotion and communication.
  5. Intervention

        After compiling your plan here is time to put it in action!

I want to learn more:

ICOMOS  International Council on Monuments and Sites

 Salalah guidelines for the management of public archaeological sites – 2017 

 ICOMOS-IFLA principles concerning rural landscapes as heritage – 2017  

Communicate and Celebrate

Make sure to keep your heritage alive in your memory and community. Organize local events.

Implement educational programs so children can learn about their heritage.

Create workshops related to the values and conservation of the site to both promote and build skills in the community.

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