Nature, Culture and Natural Heritage
This chapter argues the notion of natural heritage, as developed in relation to the World Heritage Convention, the questions that have been raised regarding the idea of nature, and the supposed contrast between nature and culture. It argues that empirical investigation shows that the conceptual contrast which leads us to distinguish between the natural and the humanly influenced part of the world is not universal but, rather, idiosyncratic to certain peoples, such as those of European culture. The chapter outlines the interdependence of particular cultures of nature, as they have developed among certain indigenous peoples, and the conservation of natural environments as natural heritage areas. It concludes with a sketch of the consequences that these considerations have for natural heritage conservation, and for the understanding of the relation between natural and cultural heritage.