22 HERITAGE SUSTAINABILITY: 0.65/1 (2014)
The result of Peru of 0.65/1 reflects a good level of priority given to the protection, preservation and promotion of heritage sustainability by public authorities. At the same time this result reflects the need for a renewed, modern vision, which goes beyond isolated actions and progresses towards a management of heritage sustainability closely linked to national development. Many efforts are devoted to public registration and inscriptions. However, gaps in the protection, safeguarding and management of heritage especially in capacity building and community involvement still remain and also improvements are needed in the transmission and mobilization of support.
In Peru, the government has worked continuously for the protection and promotion of cultural heritage and especially in the last nine decades for the archaeological heritage (since the National Archaeological Trust was created in 1929, and even before). National pride generated by magnificent buildings developed by the Inca and pre-Inca ancestors, and the obvious economic link with the tourist industry, are probably two of the main reasons that have prompted the state to work with greater emphasis in this field.
Peru has a score of 0.90/1 for registrations and inscriptions, indicating that the efforts made by the government to date have resulted in national and international records and inscriptions of Peruvian heritage sites and tangible and intangible heritage goods. Also important is the increasing registration of archaeological sites and record collection of movable property. Currently there are 20,000 registered archaeological sites, however much remains on the agenda since it is estimated that 150 thousand archaeological sites exist in Peru. On the other hand, although Peru has an outstanding number of heritage sites registered nationwide, of which 12 sites registered on the World Heritage List of UNESCO and 6 properties on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, no online database of stolen cultural good is in place. This is of particularly importance as when we make a cross analysis with indicators of the governance dimension, illustrating that Peru has not yet ratified the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995).
Peru has a score of 0.52/1, for the protection, safeguarding and management of heritage sites. The Ministry of Culture of Peru (2010) is responsible for the guidelines and the management of cultural heritage with a priority focus on its protection and conservation. The mayor part of the budget allocated to the Ministry of Culture goes to the management and protection of cultural heritage. The most important archaeological sites in the country count with specific management offices (executing units). These offices have public budgets independent from the Ministry of Culture, intended to value the archaeological site. The Ministry of Culture of Peru maintains a very active and permanent policy declaration regarding national tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The declarations are developed as investigation files and account for the safeguarding and protection of clearly stated, but it is also important to design policies and strategies to follow post-declarations. In addition, regulatory instruments related to archaeological research have been, or are currently being developed such as issuing certificates of no archaeological remains, a draft of a new law for cultural heritage and document protection for cultural landscapes.
With regard to illicit trafficking in cultural property, the Peruvian government issued an average of 1,500 certificates and verified objects in control modules that exist across the country. However, although specialized conferences have been given to police officers, Peru doesn’t count with specialized police or customs personnel dedicated to the protection of the great national cultural heritage. A major development is the newly created GIS Archaeology - SIGDA, a geoportal that meets the demand of information regarding Prehispanic Archaeological Monuments and for issuing certificates regarding the Absence of Archaeological Remains.
Regarding knowledge and capacity building, it should be noted that there is the need to develop a coordinated strategy between the State, considering its role in managing the cultural heritage, and universities who design training programs. There is no national training centre specialized that meets the urgent needs and characteristics of the protection, safeguarding and management of heritage site on a professional level. Such national centre would enable officials and professionals to update their knowledge, have the opportunity to participate in forums and debates regarding new tools and rules of governance.
Regarding the participation of communities in the management of cultural heritage it should be noted that this participation is much more dynamic in regards to intangible heritage, considering that it’s the communities themselves which request the declaration as their national intangible heritage cultural events. Moreover, a gap remains between the intentions of an active participation of the community in heritage management and the mechanisms in place to enable such actions to take place. Management Committees exist at the most emblematic sites, which are also, those listed on the World Heritage List. In these committees, the communities take part in the decisions that are taken to improve the site. Finally workshops with communities have been created to preserve their traditional practices, but this is not yet an institutionalized policy.
Finally, Peru has a score of 0.57/1 for transmission and mobilization of support. This result can be explained by the fact that the public policy related to cultural heritage has had its emphasis on heritage conservation and more scientific aspects (research), more than communicating, interpreting and disseminating heritage to the Peruvian society in general. While this has been changing in the past 10 years, there is still a long way ahead. One of the priority tasks is to inform the general public of the listed World Heritage sites in Peru, information that most people are unaware of. While there is adequate signage in each of the listed sites, this is not enough to ensure that most of Peruvian citizens know what sites and goods are national and world heritage and the importance of these awards. Program design and activities should be created to disseminate cultural heritage among professionals, students, teachers and other public. In relation to the support given to the management of cultural heritage it should be mentioned that the participation of private companies, non-profit organizations, foundations and organized civil society, is possible thanks to the great interest of the aforementioned actors. These agreements signed with local governments, regional or private entities, establish responsibilities towards conservation, study, enhancement and management in general of heritage sites. However, tour operators are still working to a lesser extent.