Understanding culture

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Culture is the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs. Culture takes diverse forms across time and space. This diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of theidentities of the groups and societies making up humankind. As a source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations.

Source: UNESCO – "Tourism, Culture and SustainableDevelopment." 2005, p. 17.


1. The mobilization of culture (and the closely related concept of heritage), for tourism and development.
2. The problems and opportunities relating to using cultural tourism as a focus and mechanism for economic development.
3. The potential and the realities of cultural tourism as a form of inter-culturaldialogue and exchange.
4. The role of cultural tourism in the agendas of environmental protection and biodiversity.

Source: UNESCO – "Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development." 2005, p. 16.


Tourism is centred on the fundamental principles of exchange between peoples and is both an expression and experience of culture. Tourism is cultural, andits practices and structures are very much an extension of the normative cultural framing from which it emerges.

Source: UNESCO – "Tourism, Culture and Sustainable Development." 2005, p. 08.

As a policy manager in the Ministry of Culture, it could be worthwhile to come up with ideas that can help the ministry in the mobilization of culture (and the closely related concept of heritage),for sustainable development (economic, social and environmental). Furthermore, considering the necessity for economic growth in the development process of Cameroon, emphasis should first be laid on the mobilisation culture for economic development in Cameroon (income, employment, poverty alleviation, amenities, infrastructure, foreign currency, international trade, catering and travel services,cultural tourism…).

- Cultural tourism?
- PhD in culture and sustainable development using the methods learned from the EPM Programme?

The search for different cultural experiences lies at the root of much international tourism.


Four key changes relating to the tourism and cultural heritage:
1. the understanding of culture as aconcept and its fundamental importance for the construction of social identity has both broadened and deepened considerably.
a. The definition of cultural heritage now also relates not only to material expressions such as sites and objects, but also to intangible expressions such as language and oral tradition, social practices, rituals, festive and performative events.
b. Culture isseen much more to refer to ‘ways of life’ and everyday practice as well as being manifest in buildings, sites and monuments.
c. The diversity of culture(s) is recognised to be fundamental to, and in line with, the principles of sustainable development and thus something which needs to be both “recognised and affirmed for future generations”.
2. We better understand the closeinter-relationships between culture and natural environments and in protecting each we are helping to enable both to protect and re-create their resources.
a. Cultural diversity relates strongly to the concept of biodiversity in that it shapes the landscapes in which genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecological diversity occur and interact.
b. There is a link between the social, economic...
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