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Democratizing Conservation

Richard A. Engelhardt


Richard A. Engelhardt was the UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific from 1994 to 2008, based in Bangkok, where he headed UNESCO’s culture sector programs for the Asia-Pacific region. He was educated in history, archaeology, and anthropology of the Asia-Pacific region at Yale and Harvard universities. Following his graduation, he joined the United Nations where, for 30 years, he directed heritage conservation and culture development projects throughout the Asia and the Indo-Pacific region on behalf of UNESCO. In this capacity, Engelhardt has pioneered many regional initiatives in the fields of culture, heritage and creativity, including the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Awards. As the Head of the UNESCO Office in Cambodia, Engelhardt launched and directed the international safeguarding campaign for Angkor during the 1990s. In recognition of his services in the preservation of the Angkor monuments, H.M. King Norodom Sihanouk awarded Engelhardt the prestigious title of Commandeur de l'Ordre Royal du Cambodge. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Heather A. Peters

Heather A. Peters is a research anthropologist, specializing in China, with a special focus on the ethnic diversity of Yunnan Province. She obtained her Ph.D. from Yale University. From 1997 to 2015, she served as a Senior Consultant in the Culture Unit of UNESCO Bangkok. She develops, oversees, and coordinates cultural projects covering issues ranging from the protection and development of World Heritage sites to the prevention of trafficking and unsafe migration of young ethnic minority women and men from Yunnan, China to Thailand, as well as the creation of culturally and linguistically appropriate HIV/AIDS, trafficking and drug prevention materials. Specifically, she has worked on projects aimed at integrating preservation and development of World Heritage sites in the Old Town of Lijiang in Yunnan province and the Hani Rice Terraces in Honghe, Yunnan, seeking to harmonize the perceived conflict between preservation and economic development (especially tourism). Recently, she has focused on the importance of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) to communities today, the rights of indigenous peoples and communities at World Heritage sites, and the role of culture in development. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Montira Horayangura Unakul

Montira Horayangura Unakul received her AB in Economics and East Asian Studies from Harvard University and MArch-MCP from the University of California, Berkeley and was trained in heritage conservation at ICCROM. She was awarded a Yenching Fellowship to Peking University, the Raymond L Prize in Community Design and meritorious commendations for service to various institutions in Thailand. She has worked with UNESCO since 2001, where she has conceptualized and managed projects in World Heritage, built heritage conservation, museums, cultural tourism, community-based heritage management, heritage education, intercultural dialogue, and peace education. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Siamese Heritage Trust, the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, and the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts. She lectures and publishes extensively on cultural heritage issues. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Human-Centered Built Environment Heritage Preservation : Theory and Evidence-Based Practice

Routledge, 2019

Book chapter


... Democratizing Conservation Challenges to Changing the Paradigm of Cultural Heritage Management Richard A. Engelhardt, Heather A. Peters, and Montira Horayangura Unakul1 Heritage management, both cultural and natural, was conceived...