The Dark Sides of Environmental Sustainable Development in Intangible Heritage Safeguarding by Lucas Lixinski


This paper examines the potentials and pitfalls of the requirement of sustainable development as part of the definition of intangible cultural heritage in the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICHC). It argues that the requirement of sustainability can have the effect of excluding communities from the management of their own heritage, which stands in tension with the spirit of the ICHC, meant to be more community-centric with respect to cultural heritage. In this respect, sustainability, as a requirement meant to help safeguard heritage for future generations, may in fact contribute to its disappearance if it is not fully integrated with the views of communities.