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Part II Substantive Aspects, Ch.14 The Environment and Cultural Heritage

Ben Boer

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Cultural Heritage Law

Edited By: Francesco Francioni, Ana Filipa Vrdoljak

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 January 2021

Human rights — Climate change

This chapter explores the legal and policy links between the cultural heritage and the natural environment. Although there are formal separations between the two realms, there is an increasing convergence between them, manifested in the interpretation of the primary international instruments and associated guidelines and policies. In the Indigenous world, the links between culture and nature have always been more obvious and understood. Thus an increasing legal integration of the concepts of cultural heritage and natural heritage should be seen as a welcome development. It is argued that, unless an awareness of the vital dependence of humanity on its local and global environments can be re-established, the polycentric existential crises facing humanity—represented by climate change, pollution, land degradation, and biodiversity loss—have little chance of being addressed. A fundamental rethink of our understanding of the legal and policy relationships between the cultural heritage and the natural environment is required.

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