Power of Culture in Development

Topics: World Heritage Site, Cultural heritage, Millennium Development Goals Pages: 19 (4113 words) Published: June 4, 2012
CultureDevelopment for

The power of

Culture, in all its dimensions, is a fundamental component of sustainable development. As a sector of activity, through tangible and intangible heritage, creative industries and various forms of artistic expressions, culture is a powerful contributor to economic development, social stability and environmental protection. As a repository of knowledge, meanings and values that permeate all aspects of our lives, culture also defines the way human beings live and interact both at local and global scales.

C ulture is
A source of identity, innovation, and creativity. A set of distinctive spiritual and material, intellectual and emotional features of a society or a social group.

A complex web of meanings,relationships, beliefs, and values that frames people’s relationship to the world.


through the process of cultivation and improvement of the individual,

especially by means of education.

An evolving dynamic force
expressive forms.

relevant to all societies, local or global. world-views and

Influenced by and in turn influences

Located in a time and a place. While culture in the abstract is a set of mental constructs, it is rooted in a place at a moment in history and is always local.

A renewable resource

if it is carefully nurtured for it to grow and flower.

When neglected, it is easily lost or destroyed.

© Quennie Chua / Dreamstime

Aspects of Culture Crucial to Development

Traditional livelihoods related to cultural forms and local practices whose skills and knowledge may be passed on from generation to generation Distinctive cultural forms and artistic expressions including buildings and architecture, literature, art, dance, music, crafts, storytelling, and films. Global ethics that celebrate cultural pluralism and dialogue while promoting human rights, equality for all individuals and groups including gender equality, and democracy.

© National Culture and Arts Department of Malaysia

Social practices including language, religion, education, family practices, decision-making systems, and institutional processes. Practices and processes of inhabitation rooted in local knowledge, accumulated over time, including practices, knowledge and technology of farming, nutrition, health, childbirth, building materials, natural resource use, and environmental management.

© Dominique Tilkin Gallois

Culture is precisely the medium through which individuals express their ability to fulfil themselves and is therefore an integral part of development. Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue UNESCO,2009


© UNESCO / Francis Tack

Dissemination of knowledge
that fosters creativity, innovation, and the intellectual development of individuals and groups while discarding harmful practices contrary to global ethics.

Nurturing and safeguarding of the distinctive cultural forms as well as the processes of their production.


Cultural Approaches to Global Challenges

Globalization, with its ever-increasing
social and economic interdependencies, provides opportunities for development, while also presenting enormous challenges to local communities, livelihoods, and identities.

Culture, in all its multiple forms, is essential to address these global challenges, through its role in economic growth, in human development, as a storehouse of environmental knowledge, and as a symbolic force to bring stability and meaning to communities everywhere. Principles of inclusiveness and global ethics enable even the most marginalized individuals

© UNESCO / German Solinis

Global challenges such as conflicts
and wars, endemic poverty, the financial crisis, rapid urbanization, and environmental degradation have rendered people all the more vulnerable to change and to the impacts of natural disasters, and have led to the progressive loss of local cultures.

© D.R.


© UNESCO / Kishore Rao...
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