10 steps to help protect the natural and cultural significance of places
Australian Heritage Commission, 2000
Principles for heritage conservation
These are the basic principles for natural and cultural heritage conservation.
- Conservation is based on respecting all heritage values of the place without unwarranted emphasis on any one aspect at the expense of others.
- Conservation of a place should include provision for its security, maintenance and future.
- Conservation should involve the least possible physical intervention: do as much as necessary and as little as possible.
- Conservation of a place should make use of all disciplines and experience that can contribute to the study and safeguarding of a place.
- Conservation requires accurate recording about decisions and changes to the place.
- Where threats or potential threats of serious or irreversible damage exist, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent degradation (the precautionary principle).
In guidelines currently being developed for Indigenous heritage, three additional principles apply to the conservation of Indigenous heritage places:
- Indigenous people are the primary sources of information about the significance of their places.
- Culturally sensitive information about indigenous heritage areas and objects should be protected from unnecessary disclosure.
- Indigenous traditional owners and custodians have rights and obligations toward their cultural heritage places which must be recognised in their full involvement in the management of their cultural heritage.
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