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Mount Fuji’s Listing as a Cultural World Heritage Site: Challenges of Fragmented Governance
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5709-0217
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Heritage management is often fragmented, and Japan is no exception with considerable horizontal fragmentation between municipal, prefectural and central government agencies. For example, the Ministry of Environment (MoE) is the legally-designated administrator of national parks but their institutional objectives are often inconsistent with those of other state agencies, such as the MAFF (a significant landowner) and MEXT (responsible for cultural heritage). This poses serious challenges for management of large mixed type heritage where objects are not easily classified as natural or cultural. Mount Fuji, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 2013, consists of a serial nomination of sites within Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park that overlaps with the administrative territory of 15 municipalities and two prefectures. This complex combination of multiple stakeholders can have the unintended side-effect of pitting government agencies against each other, and against private stakeholders such as mountain huts who maintain certain trails. The nomination process was challenged by the legislation and established procedures that struggle to accommodate natural landscapes functioning as cultural objects of worship and art. The fragmented management style was typified by subordination to business interests and avoidance of disrupting the status quo. One solution was to focus on sites that were already listed under national law. Site maintenance is typically split between several departments and institutions that are subjected to regular rotation of human resources. 13 However, the UNESCO listing process opened a window for greater cooperation. After tentative listing in 2007, a cross-cutting committee was formed in 2009 to standardize place names, and remove unnecessary or inferior trail signs. The simplified system of colour-coded, multi-lingual signs along 4 main trails symbolizes how the ‘carrot’ of UNESCO inscription provided an incentive to galvanize diverse stakeholders into collaborative action, but it is difficult to envisage how the momentum can maintain cross-cutting partnerships now that inscription has been achieved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Fish and Wildlife Management Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-218180OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-218180DiVA: diva2:1159930
Conference
hopefulNESS 2017: The 13th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference
Note

QC 20171206

Available from: 2017-11-24 Created: 2017-11-24 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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