Natural and Cultural Heritage

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  • Title: Natural and Cultural Heritage: Framing Meanings and Practices
  • Author(s): Kurmo Konsa
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: On Sustainability
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social, and Cultural Context
  • Keywords: Heritage, Natural Heritage, Cultural Heritage, Environmental Conservation, Heritage Preservation
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2325-1115 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-114X (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Konsa, Kurmo. 2016. "Natural and Cultural Heritage: Framing Meanings and Practices." The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social, and Cultural Context 12 (4): 9-18. doi:10.18848/2325-1115/CGP/v12i04/9-18.
  • Extent: 18 pages


In this article, I characterise the definitions of nature and culture by providing examples from nature conservation and conservation of cultural heritage. I also propose how to overcome the distinction of two definitions by using the concept of common heritage. Overcoming the dilemma of nature and culture, at least in heritage management, does not mean developing more clever and ungrounded theoretical constructions but instead creating a practical combination of the two management systems that have been separate so far. Intertwined nature and culture have, therefore, created a whole new environment in which we need to cope as equal participants. Instead of one-sided relationships, either human activity harming nature or nature’s negative effects on humans (natural disasters, zoonotic diseases), we have to cope with a complicated dialogue that presumes both understanding and listening. The relationship between humans and nature, and its reflections and treatments in culture, has differed throughout history and culture. Nature, humans, and culture are constantly changing and developing, and these processes of change are happening concurrently, conditioning and creating each other.