From environmental guides to heritage stewards


Involving communities to take care of Italian natural and cultural heritage is the objective of ‘Heritage Stewardship’, a new national strategy presented during a workshop at the assembly of AIGAE, the Italian Guides Association.
Coming from a memorandum of understanding between AIGAE and CURSA (UniversityConsortium for the Socio-Economic Research and the Environment), it is the objective of this new strategy entitled ‘Heritage Stewardship’ (‘Custodi del Patrimonio’- in Italian) to include the heritage interpretation in the training of the environmental guides with the aim of improving this profession in valorising the huge Italian cultural and natural heritage.

On March 12, in the charming though gloomy setting of the Majella National Park (Abruzzo, Central Italy), the workshop aimed to illustrate the multiple aspects of heritage interpretation, and how these can be used by the environmental guides to professionally improve their work. The themes presented investigated the history and the emotional suggestions of heritage interpretation, its basic communication techniques (such as TORE model, the creative writing etc.) and the use of ‘storytelling’ as a tool for improving the interpreter’s performance. Case studies based in Italy were explored, where heritage interpretation has been used formanaging natural parks, historical gardens and villas.

The workshop audience was very interested in the event and demonstrated to appreciate both these ‘small windows’ on the heritage interpretation facets, and the presentation of the ‘Heritage Stewardship’ strategy. This success of the workshop suggests that the time is ripe to design a specific training path dedicated to the professional world of environmental guides, as it was noted in an evaluation questionnaire distributed at the end of the workshop, participants wish to become better stewards of their cultural and natural heritage.

The event in Majella National Park was the first step of such a good future collaboration amongst AIGAE, CURSA and all the Italian protected areas that wish to promote the professional growing of heritage interpretation.

Angela Tavone works in the field of environmental education and interpretation as a member of CURSA team ‘Rete DNA’ (Network for the Italian National Didactics for Environment) through specific training projects mostly carried out in Italian natural parks. If you wish, you can contact Angela here: angelatavone@hotmail.com

To cite this article:
Tavone, A. (2016) ‘From environmental guides to heritage stewards’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2016, 14

Available online:
https://www.interpret-europe.net/fileadmin/Documents/publications/Newsletters/ie-newsletter_2016-1_spring.pdf

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