Nonhuman Animal Behavioral Phenomena Are Central to the Emerging Concept of Intangible Natural Heritage

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Abstract

Intangible natural heritage is a concept that has been addressed in several publications and that offers a new and expanded view onto world heritage conservation. However, the difference from intangible cultural heritage has not been clearly defined. One distinction in the categories of world heritage that are established in international conventions appears where “the intangible” is not created by humans but by a nonhuman animal. Living organisms sustain human life materially and provide inspiration to humans, both in their material form and by displaying behaviors, or via observable, yet not tangible, dynamic phenomena and processes. This includes migration patterns, aggregations, vocalizations or the formation of symbiotic and mutualistic inter-species relationships. Given the non-material character of these elements, their transmission by nonhuman living beings, and their importance to human culture, it is proposed that such phenomena are considered as intangible natural heritage sensu stricto in the discourse of world heritage.

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