3 cultural and 2 natural world heritage sites are located in the Philippines. In 1999 UNESCO designated the town of Vigan a cultural world heritage site. Vigan is one of the oldest Spanish colonial cities in the Philippines. Today it is the capital of the Province of Ilocos Sur, about 400 km north of Manila. It is a highly relevant case from a rights-based perspective. The nomination process, including the consultation process between local government officials and stakeholders, alongside comprehensive heritage-based development planning is generally perceived as exemplary. The site was recently awarded the UNESCO best practices award. State party reflections include an emphasis on participative governance, ownership and empowerment central themes in rights-based approaches. The research team will focus on the implementation process and participation of different stakeholders, exploring areas of conflicts (over concepts, positions and interests) that involve or implicate rights issues.
An anthropological approach to thesequestions aims to facilitate the expression of the local communities’ perspectives to be rendered understandable across and between social groups, locally and internationally. In practical terms, knowledge production through this study is geared towards the process of translation into policy and easily understandable frameworks and guidelines for viability and implementation in the local and global continuum of agencies. Qualitative assessments will also be undertaken with key national actors in Manila and opportunities for collaboration on national round tables will be explored with the World Heritage Advisory Bodies.
Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List (6)
Bettina Beer (team leader), Malot Ingel (researcher), Kay Malilong-Isberto (legal specialist), Sara Dürr (research assistant)
Policy briefs can be accessed and downloaded here:
The Historic Town of Vigan: Preliminary Findings from the Case Study
World Heritage in Philippine Ancestral Domains: Negotiating Rights through Indigenous Heritage