Management of cultural and environmental heritage to enhance local participation

Francoise Tondre, Directorate of Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage, Council of Europe

Françoise Tondre is responsible of the Council of Europe Cultural Routes’ programme. She joined the Council of Europe in 1973 working in the Division for Higher Education and Research on management of scientific and technical cooperation networks, and being responsible of an Interregional university cooperation programme. From 1987 to 2005, she joined the Directorate for Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage where she was in charge of the network of European Centres on risk management within the framework of the Council of Europe’s Major Hazards Agreement. She was also responsible of the European Warning system.

She is lecturing in different higher education institutions in risk management and sustainable development. Her professional interests in the above fields are at the intersection of public institutions and civil society: cultural policies, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue.

PRESENTATION TITLE: "Cultural routes: an asset for sustainable tourism”

The core mission of the Council of Europe is to advance respect for human rights, the practice of democracy and the rule of law. Culture is an essential component and a key factor for the effective delivery of this mission.

Of all the different forms of tourism, cultural tourism enjoys the highest growth expectations. However, it is essential to concentrate efforts on promoting the development of quality tourism. To this end, a balance between promoting cultural tourism and cultural heritage must be found. In cultural tourism, quality can present many advantages not easily quantifiable in economic terms, such as increasing of public awareness to cultural diversity. But it can also enlarge tourism impact on local infrastructure and diversify the range of services.

This paper focuses on the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes as an innovative practice, which can inform further reflection and action in sustainable tourism. The programme promotes intercultural and inter-religious dialogue through a better understanding of European history, safeguards and enhances the cultural and natural heritage as a means of improving the quality of life and a source of social, economic and cultural developments and finally to give pride of place to cultural tourism with a view to sustainable development.


Aditya Eggert, Robert Bosch Foundation, German National Academic Foundation,
Fellow of the Postgraduate Programme in International Affairs

At the beginning of 2008, Aditya Eggert worked as a consultant with Mission Culturelle de Bandiagara, Bandiagara, Mali, developing cultural heritage sensitization programs for primary schools and promoting sustainable tourism. She was also a consultant to Yemeni National Commission for UNESCO and The Nepal Trust, Nepal, where she gave recommendations on the preservation of World Heritage Site Zabid and designed a concept for integrating intangible heritage into tourism, Humla, respectively. She is currently working on a research project, “Promotion of cultural heritage through tourism,” at the Robert Bosch Foundation, German National Academic Foundation.

PRESENTATION TITLE: “Building cultural bridges: the role of tourism in intangible heritage preservation”

Intangible heritage is crucial for the cultural identity of communities around the world. At the same time, it is an important medium for creating intercultural exchange and understanding between nations. If properly managed, tourism can contribute to the preservation of intangible heritage and promote respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.


Ben Sherman, President, Western American Indian Chamber, Official, World Tourism Organization Business Council

Ben Sherman is a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Nation from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the United States. He was instrumental in developing and launching the first national Native American tourism organization in the United States.

Sherman is the president of the Western American Indian Chamber and heads its Native Tourism Alliance initiative.

Sherman has conducted numerous conferences, lectures, presentations and training sessions on the subject of cultural tourism development for indigenous tribal nations.

Sherman has been a strong advocate for the development of tribal tourism programs that feature authentic expressions of native cultures. He lectures widely on a number of topics related to Native American cultures, histories, art, economic development, land conservation, tourism and tribal values.

Authentic Native tourism programs taught and promoted by Sherman focus on tribal origins, history, cultures, treaties, traditional values, lands, art, foods, music, dance, literature, current tribal affairs and contemporary Indian life.

PRESENTATION TITLE: “Universal tourism values from a native perspective”

Native people are legendary in their trusting and generous welcoming of visitors from afar. Native people carry a deep respect and abiding love for our Mother, the earth, and all the living things that create the sacred circle of life. Each Lakota prayer ends with the expression Mitakuye Oyasin, meaning we are all related. Native values of generosity, respect and spirituality shape guiding principles for a brand of hospitality and sustainability that offers universal appeal.