Principle 5 - Sustainability

The interpretive plan for a cultural heritage site must be sensitive to its natural and cultural environment, with social, financial, and environmental sustainability among its central goals.

5.1  The development and implementation of interpretation and presentation programmes should be an integral part of the overall planning, budgeting, and management process of cultural heritage sites.


5.2  The potential effect of interpretive infrastructure and visitor numbers on the cultural value, physical characteristics, integrity, and natural environment of the site must be fully considered in heritage impact assessment studies.


5.3  Interpretation and presentation should serve a wide range of educational and cultural objectives. The success of an interpretive programme should not be judged solely on the basis of visitor attendance figures or revenue.


5.4  Interpretation and presentation should be an integral part of the conservation process, enhancing the public’s awareness of specific conservation problems encountered at the site and explaining the efforts being taken to protect the site’s physical integrity.


5.5  Any technical or technological elements selected to become a permanent part of a site’s interpretive infrastructure should be designed and constructed in a manner that will ensure effective and regular maintenance.


5.6   Interpretive activities should aim to provide equitable and sustainable economic, social, and cultural benefits to the host community at all levels, through education, training, and the creation of economic opportunities. To that end, the training and employment of site interpreters from the host community should be encouraged.