"...Cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature” and it is “one of the roots of development understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence". (Art 1 and 3, Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, UNESCO, 2001) ... Do you want to know more the 2001 Universal UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity? Click here!
SUS.DIV sees cultural diversity as a new form of capital, embodied in both material (monuments, historical sites) and immaterial cultural assets (languages, traditions and lifestyles). Cultural diversity is accumulated through generations and provides services for economic growth and human welfare. The environment we inherited and that we will transmit to future generations is a combination of nature and culture. To achieve sustainable development is thus to ensure that we transmit to future generations a quantity and quality of "diversity heritage" that does not compromise their possibility to meet their own needs. SUS.DIV takcles four major challenges of current times.
THE CHALLENGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. Increasing attention on sustainable development imposes on current generations to transmit our ‘diversity heritage’ to future generations. In this scenario, new instruments are needed to value market and non-market benefits of diversity and to include considerations of cultural diversity in policy-making.
THE TRANSITION TOWARDS THE KNOWLEDGE-BASED SOCIETY. In a society based on knowledge, the richness of European ‘diversity heritage’ represents a key asset. The benefits directly linked to it need to be tapped and require also constructive understanding and deeper investigation.
THE PROCESS OF GLOBALISATION. Globalisation increases confrontation amongst different economic activities, lifestyles, and other forms of cultural expressions. As globalisation induces new dynamics in the diversity of our cultures, there are signs that our ‘diversity heritage’ is endangered. An integrated approach to policies that are traditionally treated separately (e.g. trade, cultural and migration policies) is needed.
THE PROCESS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND ENLARGEMENT. Both phenomena bring diversity into action: cultures enter into close relations and raise new questions. Issues such as centralised vs. decentralised decision-making and the building up of trust require understanding of the relationships between cultural, economic, social and political changes.
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