Advancing Holistic Heritage Management

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Statement with Regard to the Death of George Floyd and Heritage Interpretation

Declaración acerca de la muerte de George Floyd y la interpretación de patrimonio

22 June 2020


The PUP Global Heritage Consortium is dedicated to holistic approaches to conserving natural and cultural heritage. The conservation of heritage inevitably involves interpreting the meaning that a group, community, or whole society collectively assigns to places and events, as well as to the artifacts and monuments of culture. This process very often implies engaging with volatile frontlines and battlegrounds of meaning-making. At PUP, we understand the contentious nature of interpreting natural and cultural heritage. All too often, heritage has been a tool of oppression, marginalizing or erasing some histories and narratives while elevating others. We understand this to be the reason that heritage has become so central to the events that have erupted in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. As quickly as confederate monuments have been torn down, debates have erupted about how best to interpret—what narrative to give—this moment of protest and social change.

At PUP, we stand for an inclusive process of heritage interpretation that contributes to greater equality, justice, and the flourishing of all life on earth. PUP is committed to taking action to address systemic racism.

See also an essay by PUP Director Jon Kohl entitled, "Holistic Heritage Management:  What Does Does George Floyd's Death Site Teach Us about the Nature of Heritage and Its Role in Society?"

El PUP Global Heritage Consortium se dedica a enfoques holísticos para conservar el patrimonio natural y cultural. La conservación del patrimonio inevitablemente implica interpretar el significado que un grupo, comunidad o sociedad entera asigna colectivamente a lugares y eventos, así como a los artefactos y monumentos de la cultura. Este proceso a menudo implica comprometerse con conflictos volátiles y campos de batalla de creación de significado. En PUP, entendemos la naturaleza contenciosa de la interpretación del patrimonio natural y cultural. Con demasiada frecuencia, el patrimonio ha sido una herramienta de opresión, marginando o borrando algunas historias y narrativas mientras elevaba otras. Entendemos que esta es la razón por la que la herencia se ha vuelto tan central en los eventos que han estallado después del asesinato de George Floyd. Tan rápido como se derribaron los monumentos confederados, surgieron debates sobre la mejor manera de interpretar, qué narración dar, este momento de protesta y cambio social.

En PUP, defendemos un proceso inclusivo de interpretación del patrimonio que contribuye a una mayor igualdad, justicia y el florecimiento de toda la vida en la tierra. PUP se compromete a tomar medidas para abordar el racismo sistémico.

También ver un ensayo por el director de PUP Jon Kohl, "Gestión holística del patrimonio: ¿Qué nos enseña el lugar donde murió George Floyd sobre el patrimonio y su papel en la sociedad?"


In a complex world of profound uncertainty and constant change we dare face many daunting challenges including climate change, population pressure, wasteful consumption, mass migrations, and unplanned growth. We embrace the possibility of fostering resilient and adaptive institutions and communities dedicated to sustaining our natural and cultural heritage for future generations. 


To build a diverse global network of colleagues which integrates wisdom from many fields in a holistic form of planning and management to sustain our natural and cultural heritage. We partner with individuals and organizations in public use planning, heritage interpretation training, dispute resolution and shared research to support sustainable heritage sites. 

Our Shared Vision

To accomplish our Mission, we envision:

• A new global consensus to use holistic planning approaches among heritage conservationists, planners, managers, organizations, communities, and policymakers, who promote policy and practice in heritage management. This paradigm shift will transform traditional expert-based approaches into resilient site-based planning, implementation and heritage management, leading to sustainable biodiversity and cultural heritage. PUP action-research on innovative models, training, publications, and field guides tools and techniques will continue to transform the heritage management field.

• A set of demonstration projects worldwide in natural and cultural heritage areas which accelerate awareness of the effective use of holistic, locally managed planning and implementation approaches, where communities conserve and enjoy their biodiversity and cultural heritage. These innovative demonstrations will transform heritage sites into cornerstones of sustainable and resilient communities inspiring local leaders as well as global practitioners to launch their own similar initiatives worldwide.

• A Global Heritage Learning Community where professionals from many disciplines will share innovations and lessons learned from fiel experiences and academic research online and in person. This transdisciplinary learning community will validate, store, disseminate edge-thinking and practical breakthroughs, and encourage their use around the world. This effort will complement the formal policy functions of the world’s three principal heritage organizations: UNESCO, IUCN, and ICOMOS.

• A rapid expansion of PUP Consortium memberships and partnerships to become a self-sustaining network of people across the planet who collaborate and care for our natural and cultural heritage. Our passion for heritage, diverse experience and professional expertise focused on information sharing, training in holistic planning and management, and facilitation of prototype initiatives. These efforts will change of how people cherish cultural and natural heritage sites by revealing the vital importance of biodiversity and cultural sites in our daily lives.

Engaging in a worthy task…To pursue our Mission and to realize our Shared Vision we need your experience, expertise, and passion to conserve natural and cultural heritage. We can’t do it alone in a world still oriented to utilitarian and purely technical ways of using natural and cultural resources.

• This task is bigger than we can do alone, so we must collaborate effectively.
• This task is the challenge of a lifetime, so we must enlist new members and partners.
• This task is an historic necessity, so we must share our resolve to inspire global change

Vision of the Tipping Point We Seek

The Consortium will work with small and large, public and private, non-profit and for-profit organizations and individuals interested in heritage to change the field’s management story. We especially hold as our principal measure of success that the three principal heritage organizations formally declare a transition to a new emerging paradigm or story (the tipping point), one hopefully that resembles the Consortium’s view of Holistic Planning. To get there we will ally with them and others to offer and continuously improve performance-building programs in the new paradigm. On the ground, we introduce an expanded Integral notion of implementation which most sites will adopt to avoid their plans ending on shelves unimplemented.

PUP Global Heritage Consortium is a tax-deductible 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

© PUP Global Heritage Consortium 2021

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