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Cultural Resources as Sustainability Enablers: Towards a Community-Based Cultural Heritage Resources Management (COBACHREM) Model

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Keitumetse, Susan O.
Journal: Sustainability
Volume: 6
Page(s): 70-85
Date: 2014
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9267
Sector: Social Organization
Subject(s): sustainability
community participation
Abstract: "People inhabit and change environments using socio-cultural and psycho-social behaviors and processes. People use their socio-cultural understanding of phenomena to interact with the environment. People are carriers of cultural heritage. These characteristics make cultural values ubiquitous in all people-accessed and people-inhabited geographic spaces of the world, making people readily available assets through which environmental sustainability can be implemented. Yet, people’s conservation development is rarely planned using cultural resources. It is against this background that a Community-Based Cultural Heritage Resources Management (COBACHREM) model is initiated as a new approach that outlines the symbiosis between cultural heritage, environment and various stakeholders, with a view to create awareness about neglected conservation indicators inherent in cultural resources and better placed to complement already existing natural resources conservation indicators. The model constitutes a two-phased process with four (04) levels of operation, namely: level I (production); level II (reproduction); level III (consumption) that distinguish specific components of cultural heritage resources to be monitored at level IV for sustainability using identified cultural conservation indicators. Monitored indicators, which are limitless, constitute work in progress of the model and will be constantly reviewed, renewed and updated through time. Examples of monitoring provided in this article are the development of cultural competency-based training curriculum that will assist communities to transform cultural information into certifiable intellectual (educational) and culture-economic (tourism) assets. Another monitoring example is the mainstreaming of community cultural qualities into already existing environmental conservation frameworks such as eco-certification to infuse new layers of conservation indicators that enrich resource sustainability. The technical COBACHREM model acknowledges existing academic frameworks of communal identity formation (e.g., indigenity and autochthony) and is designed to add value onto these."

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