Management and Valorization of Cultural Heritage in the Framework of Environmental Ethics

Management and Valorization of Cultural Heritage in the Framework of Environmental Ethics

António dos Santos Queirós (Lisbon University, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6936-7.ch005
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Fundamental conceptual terms, such as ‘culture' and ‘heritage,' are far from being neutral scientific objects. They are academic constructions which need to be understood as they emerge across their historic contexts. The general definition of paradigm comprises a “disciplinary matrix,” a constellation of beliefs, values, and techniques shared by a community. The presence of some anomalies is not enough to abandon the previous paradigm. This only happens when, you can observe multiple unexplained or unexpected events, and when a rival paradigm emerges. The Environmental Philosophy allowed the construction of a new ontology as a critique of anthropocentrism, a new epistemology as a critique of ethnocentrism, and a new ethical theory, with a universal value and practical content applicable to all the social fields. This chapter discusses the relevance of environmental philosophy in changing the social viewing of heritage and the correlation between heritage education, and heritage, and the new paradigm of tourism, environmental tourism.
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Introduction: Debating The Concept Of Heritage

In the framework of phenomenological conceptualization of tourism are predominant linear or two-dimensional definitions. To familiarize the reader with another type of definition, which we call circular or multidimensional in their relational dialectic, we depart from the concept of heritage of Figure 1 drawn up by engineer Vasco Costa, at the time Chief Executive Officer of DGEMN_ Direção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais (General Direction of Buildings and National Monuments) de Portugal.

Figure 1.

Concept of heritage

Source: Adapted by Author

Visually put the accent on the idea, for us obviously, that this system, articulated as a set of databases interoperable is constituted as the key piece for any action and qualitative intervention in safeguarding and enhancement of heritage, in compliance with the internationally accepted concepts and normative.

We believe that the achievement of a global society, in economic terms and in lifestyle, will lead to the improvement of cultural diversity. (Costa, 2008)


Heritage, From The Resource To The Product

The concept of tourism heritage as a cultural industry has led to search for local resources - biological and geological, livestock and forestry, etc., monuments and as their basic material. In fact, the first are used and processed by other industries, and in many cases require its conservation. And as for the second, its consumption is shared between residents and travelers.

What constitutes a tourism resource is a humanized “cultural landscape”, in urban space or rural space. Reading and interpretation of the cultural landscape is the basis for the creation of the tourism product and its first metamorphosis of value.

It’s the ecology of the landscape (material heritage) and its metaphysics (immaterial heritage), which constitute the essence of tourism resource, but only when their interpretation and reading gives it a new increase in cultural and economic value.

The landscape is not an open book, intelligible empirically. The transformation into a tourism product goes through its readability, which gives it a used value; it’s a metamorphosis that generates economy value, and it’s also a process of cultural literacy, mediated by the construction of a language for tourist communication; the result of this process changes the shape and the essence of traditional concepts of resources and tourism products, and the relationship between the Chains of Value of tourism economy and the economy of heritage.

What are the skills to transform a potential touristic resource into a product of cultural tourism or tourism of nature or tourism in rural space?

The Natural History, served by the Earth Sciences, Geology and Geomorphology in particular, reveals the diversity of geological heritage and its natural monuments.

Life sciences, especially biology and botany, teach us the size and value of biodiversity, and also the value of new biotopes created by the humanization of the landscape.

Social History in its archaeological and artistic valences, and ethnography, allow us to take advantage of the built heritage, works of art and literature, as well as ethnographic objects.

Sciences of Heritage and Museology build the organic structures of the cultural tourism, Museums and Monuments. Cathedrals and churches, chapels and sanctuaries, are too organic structures of the cultural tourism, a branch of tourism of nature, religious tourism. Sciences of Architecture of Landscape and Agrarian Sciences transform wilderness in cultural landscapes, they preserve cultural landscape and wilderness creating Natural Parks and Reserves and their Centres of Interpretation, which are the organic structures of the tourism of nature. And we think that SPAs are also organic structures of the tourism of nature, a branch of tourism of nature, health tourism. Agrarian Sciences and Sciences of Heritage (architecture, art history, ethnography, restauration…) adapt farms and village residences, rural hotels, to accept tourists and are the organic structures of tourism in rural space.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Tourism Route: An organized set of circuits to discover and enjoy all heritages, with a specific identity, based on ecology of metaphysic landscapes, accessible to all audiences but with different products according their segments, organized to serve the development of tourism activity and its chains of value.

Leopold: Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) AU70: The in-text citation "Leopold (1887–1948)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. : American forester, conservationist, environmentalist and professor. In his book A Sand County Almanac (1949) AU71: The in-text citation "County Almanac (1949)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , he explains the concept of community and moral duties encompassed all natural beings.

Paradigm: The general definition of paradigm comprises “a disciplinary matrix,” a constellation of beliefs, values and techniques shared by a community.

Landscape Ecology: A natural landscape humanized by the man’s work. In my own definition it represents a structural and systemic view that encompasses the large natural landscape, characterized, and differentiated not only by the various fields of science (environmental sciences and exact sciences), but also because it was created with the help of man in his daily effort as a farmer, a shepherd and a landscape architect. This new vision of the landscape, multi and interdisciplinary, which is at the same time an instrument operating its hermeneutics and a category in the field of environmental philosophy.

Metaphysics of Landscape: However the knowledge of the landscape humanization, from the perspective of the philosophy of nature and the environmental philosophy, would be incomplete without the use of another category of elements, which myself define as: The representation of the domain of the “spirituality”, and “soul” of things, the categories of aesthetic emotions and feelings, “beauty” and “beautiful”, the “sublime”, “wonderful” and “mysterious”, “monumental”, “epic” and “tragic.” All these categories can be linked with wilderness but also with the human labour in the land. Includes the negative categories: the disgusting, the ugly, the repulsive, the abhorrent, etc.

Chains of Value of Tourism Economy: Accommodation (hotels and similar), restaurants, merchandising, guides, animation, transport, travel agencies.

Tourism Circuit: A road integrating all heritage products, short-lived (which should not exceed one day/night), accessible to all audiences but segmented in an autonomous and distinctive identity, organized in the context of discovery and enjoyment of the landscape ecology (in the sense of interdisciplinary contribution to read landscape) and the metaphysics of landscape (immaterial heritage, imaginary erudite and popular), and using the communication/emotional principle of “montage of attractions”, created to sustain and develop chains of value of tourism activity.

Jonas: Hans Jonas (1903 – 1993): a German Jew who immigrated to Canada and then to the USA. Wrote The Imperative of Responsibility. In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age , where he formulates a new categorical imperative for human action, to configure human conduct within the limits that safeguard the continuity of life and their diversity.

A Specific Tourism Speech: In terms of written and multimedia language disclosure, the concepts of selective observation and meaningful description of the cultural landscape, using different sciences and cultural expressions, involve the construction of a specific tourism speech, distinct of the scientific discourse. The most common mistakes in this matter are the transcription of academic texts or the trivialization of information. It must emphasize here that tourism writing is a specific art, very complex, because must associate and make accessible scientific and philosophical contents and communicational concepts, at the same time rigorous and accessible and that needs to be validated by the various segments of their audiences. Its reference boundary can be what, in every historical period and cultural context, represents the general level of education and culture of the middle class. This means that the tourism narrative raises the knowledge of large masses of travelers and enlarge the information of elites, which, as a rule, have a scholarly knowledge but only in a single scientific domain.

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