News & events > Workshop: Nature-Culture Linkages Asia-Pacific 2018
21 Sep 2018 - 01 Oct 2018

Workshop: Nature-Culture Linkages Asia-Pacific 2018

The UNESCO Chair on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation, at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, has announced its forthcoming Capacity Building Workshop on "Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation in Asia and the Pacific: Disasters and Resilience". Organised in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, IUCN, ICCROM and ICOMOS, the workshop will take place at the University of Tsukuba between 21 September and 1 October 2018. The purpose of the Capacity Building Workshops on Nature-Culture Linkages in Asia and the Pacific (CBWNCL) is to contribute to the World Heritage Capacity Building Programme led by ICCROM and IUCN, in consultation with ICOMOS and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, in developing new approaches towards integrated conservation of cultural and natural heritage. These workshops, started in 2016, explore nature-culture linkages with a focus on theory and practice in Asia and the Pacific Region. The visit to Japanese heritage sites forms a core component of the programme where participants conduct practical work. Participants will be able to understand issues and explore approaches being adopted in the field.

Theme: Disasters and Resilience

Increasing disasters, both natural and man-made, are severely impacting the well-being of human communities as well as landscapes around the globe. As a result, many international organizations and governments are making efforts to combat these threats by developing programs to reinforce disaster risk preparedness, management and mitigation, and to build resilience in vulnerable territories such as small islands states, coastal regions, desert areas and under-developed human settlements. Natural and cultural heritage are not exempted from this increased vulnerability, and strategies are being put in practice for protecting them in isolation by practitioners of the two sectors. The UNESCO Chair on Nature-Culture Linkages at Tsukuba University and its ongoing programme intend to create a space for the exchange between natural heritage and cultural heritage sectors. In this workshop, the interest lies in exploring the nature-culture linkages that could be developed in the context of disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and the possibilities of developing comprehensive approaches that consider the cultural values that could contribute to the conservation of natural areas as well as the natural values that can support the protection of cultural heritage. By sharing experiences and case studies, observing the Japanese experience in the field and exchanging knowledge among practitioners from Asia and the Pacific, the workshop expects to raise awareness, and reflect on a region that is increasingly vulnerable to disasters, but also, strong in resilience and recovery experience.


  • To strengthen theoretical knowledge on disasters and resilience and its relevance in connecting conservation practices between natural and cultural heritage professionals.
  • To visit and exchange experiences with local managers and residents in areas/sites in Japan that have been affected by disasters and learn how cultural and natural heritage have been protected, conserved or recovered with different approaches, initiatives and governance systems.
  • To reflect on nature-culture linkages, natural values and cultural values in vulnerable landscapes in general, and in participants’ own sites/case studies in particular.
  • To establish networks among heritage practitioners in the region.


The workshop is an intensive programme combining theory and practice, through lectures, presentations and roundtables in Tsukuba at the University Campus, and a field trip to the Tohoku region: the Sanriku Reconstruction National Park, Matsushima, place of scenic beauty, and Hiraizumi - Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land -, World Heritage property since 2011, where participants will get in contact with local managers and local communities. Lecturers include international and Japanese professionals and academics in the field of heritage conservation (nature and culture sectors). The working language of the capacity-building workshop is English.


The workshop is open to a maximum number of 15 professionals from Asia and the Pacific region involved in the management of cultural or natural heritage sites vulnerable to natural and human-made disasters. Mid-career heritage practitioners with minimum of 5 years of experience from both natural and cultural heritage sectors currently engaged in managing/working in vulnerable cultural heritage sites, and natural heritage sites with cultural values and vice versa, are eligible to apply.

Registration and conditions

Registration for the capacity-building workshop is open until 7 May 2018. A selection process will be conducted thereafter, in accordance with the selection criteria outlined in the call. No fee is charged for tuition. Organisers will cover the cost of accommodation and living expenses in Japan. A limited number of scholarships to cover international travel costs is also available for selected participants. For additional information and registration, please visit