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Culturelink review, no.20/November 1996 - contents - imprint - archive

Cultural Dynamics in Development Processes

Edited by Arie de Ruijter and Lieteke van Vucht Tijseen
UNESCO/Netherlands Commission for UNESCO, 1995, 285 pp., 80 FF.

Based on the papers submitted to an international conference of the same title, organized in the Netherlands in 1994, this book uncovers the 'missing link' - the cultural dimension deemed essential if we are even to hope to attain sustainable human development and reduce the widening gap between the rich and the poor, while assuring natural resources for future generations. Cultural anthropologists, social scientists, environmental and health specialists point to the failure of 'ready-made' imported development models - from the ecological disasters caused by misused pesticides to the harm resulting from the refusal to properly evaluate women's roles within family structures differing from the Western nuclear family unit. While pointing to past mistakes, the authors try to come to terms with the giant question mark posed by culture - how can we incorporate this dimension when designing programmes and projects? The papers elucidate the complexities involved in thinking through conceptual problems and also focusing on the specific interactions between culture and agriculture, health and education. All of this provides the inputs that policy-makers, researchers and students need to further their discussion in looking for alternative solutions.

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The Baltic Countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

UNESCO, Paris, 1996, 48 pp.

Within the framework of the Cultural Days at UNESCO and in the context of the fiftieth anniversary of UNESCO, the Baltic Days were held in June 1996. The publication issued on this occasion provides us with an opportunity to discover the varied and singular nature of the age-old cultures of these three countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - which have succeeded in safeguarding their artistic traditions and in perpetuating their folk art while giving it new forms.

In the publication, Estonia is presented with its landscapes, music, legends and animated films, accompanied by beautiful photographs. Latvia concentrates more on contemporary art, tapestries, sculptures, photographs, music and cinema, while Lithuania presents its folk art. Illustrations for children's books, its artists, orchestras, cinema and photographs are also part of its national culture.

'The Baltic area, as a breeding-ground for new ideas jointly developed in the field of education, a meeting-place for young people who wish to build a greater Europe, and an area of great potential for ecologists and researchers, will certainly have an opportunity of playing a major role in seeking ways of living together. The Baltic Sea has now recovered its traditional vocation and become, once again, an area for trade and communication between East and West.' (Federico Mayor)

For more information, please contact: PROCEED, UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France, tel.: 33 (1) 45 68 12 91; fax: 33 (1) 45 67 68 47.

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Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1995

UNESCO, WHC-95/CONF. 203/16, 1996, 78 pp.

Following the recommendation of the eighteenth session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Thailand in 1994, the nineteenth session was organized in Berlin, Germany, in December 1995. It resulted in a report detailing a series of revisions and reviews, and specific proposals for the improvement of the working methods of the World Heritage Committee.

The report examines cultural and natural properties and their balanced representation on the World Heritage List, analyses the implementation of the global strategy and thematic studies proposed for preparation at the 1994 session of the Committee, and reviews the proposed training strategy. Again, requests for international assistance are highlighted, as well as promotional and educational activities.

The Committee decided that its next, twentieth session will take place in Cancun, Quintana Rao in December 1996.

To obtain the publication, please contact: UNESCO, or the German Federal Foreign Office, Postfach 1148, D-53001 Bonn, Germany.

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Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1994

UNESCO, WHC-94/CONF. 003/16, 1995, 78 pp.

This publication is the result of the eighteenth session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Phuket, Thailand in December 1994. The report analyses some of the key issues in the heritage sectors and provides recommendations designed to strengthen the discipline. It also examines UNESCO's plan of world heritage conservation, highlighting the further development of the World Heritage Centre. The report was designed to monitor the state of conservation of the world heritage, both cultural and natural. Therefore, a progress report on the preparation of a global strategy for a representative World Heritage List was proposed.

The topics include properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, property inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, requests for international assistance, the World Heritage Fund and Budget, revision of the operational guidelines and promotional activities.

The meeting and the publication were organized under the auspices of UNESCO.

To obtain the publication, please contact: UNESCO, or the National Committee for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, 60/1 Phibulwattana, Rama 6 Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.

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UNESCO Relations with the International Institute for Central Asian Studies

UNESCO's Director-General has requested the Executive Board's authorization to establish formal relations with the International Institute for Central Asian Studies by concluding an agreement between the two organizations. The Institute was set up on the recommendation of the scientific team of the Silk Roads Expedition on the Steppe Route in 1991, and in response to the need expressed by scholars working in the field of Central Asian Studies.

The Institute plays a major role in the study and promotion of the cultural heritage and civilizations of Central Asia by coordinating and initiating multidisciplinary research focusing on the Central Asian Republics and their interaction with other countries, collecting and circulating documentation, assisting in training research workers, and organizing conferences and symposiums. The Agreement establishing the Institute as a network with its headquarters in Samarkand came into force in July 1995, following its definitive signature by the People's Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Since the Executive Board approved the draft agreement between UNESCO and the Institute for Central Asian Studies, they have agreed to cooperate through their respective bodies. They have also agreed upon mutual representation and consultation on all questions of common interest.

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The World Heritage Newsletter

Issue no. 11/1996 of the World Heritage Newsletter reports on UNESCO's world-wide action in international cooperation between State Parties, the relevant municipalities, the World Bank and the World Heritage Centre, aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of projects to enhance historic sites - drawing up guidelines for the development of historic cities, introducing cultural criteria into the economic analysis of those projects, conversion of disused historic buildings, and participation of local communities.

The issue also includes news from the U.K. and from the Local Authority Forum on the Management of World Heritage Sites, reports on the preparation of the Armenian nomination document for World Heritage sites, the Global Strategy adopted at the Harare meeting in October 1995, new prospects for the training strategy for Africa South of the Sahara, and the 1995 WH Convention in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The World Heritage Newsletter is available on request from: World Heritage Centre, UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France.

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Interregional Meeting of Book Promotion Networks (INTERBOOK)

Report from Paris

As a means of facilitating the exchange of information, experiences and programmes among representatives of regional networks and institutions, bringing together book and reading practitioners (particularly, but not exclusively, in developing countries), UNESCO's Book and Copyright Division, Section for Books and Reading, has organized an Interregional Meeting of Book Promotion Networks (INTERBOOK), held in Paris, 22-24 May 1996. (See also p. 13 in this issue.)

The discussion papers covered the following topics:

  • UNESCO's commitment to book development,
  • introduction of regional book development structures (APNET, APPREB, CERLALC, IPP, PAWA, etc.),
  • national book policies in the context of the publishing industry,
  • a proposed methodology for national book sector outlines,
  • models of co-publication programmes, and
  • the Florence Agreement and the standards of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Interregional Seminar on Children's Co-publication Programmes scheduled immediately after INTERBOOK and held in conjunction with the Pan-African Children's Book Fair (PACBF), Nairobi, Kenya, brought together experts from Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, who discussed models of children's co-publication programmes and the economics of children's book publishing.

For more information, please contact: Milagros del Corral, Director, Book and Copyright Division, UNESCO, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France, tel.: (33 1) 45 68 43 37; fax: (33 1) 43 06 16 73.