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Eco-museum projects in China and Guizhou

Eco-museum projects in China

The first eco-museum in China was established in Guizhou in 1998. Since then, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Hunan, Yunnan and other ethnic minorities’ regions have been exploring the feasibilities of establishing eco-museums in their areas.

Eco-museum projects in Guizhou

The eco-museum projects in Guizhou is a joint cultural project between the Chinese government and the Norwegian Kingdom since 1997. The four eco-museums involved are Soga Qingmiao Eco-museum, Zhenshan Buyi Eco-museum, Tang'an Dong Eco-museum and Longli Han Castle Eco-museum. Each of the eco-museums represent cultural characters and uniqueness of different ethnicities in China.

The Sino-Norwegian project is the first of its kind that introduces the concept of eco-museums in China, and to explore a way to utilize the concept as a solution to China’s current situation.

Area of focus in establishment of eco-museums in Guizhou

Throughout the establishment of eco-museums in Guizhou, the main areas of focus were to integrate international concepts of eco-museums with practical situations in Guizhou, explore a way to implement the concept of eco-museums with Chinese characteristics and to insist on the organizational structure as follows: Government as leaders; experts as advisors; local communities as owners.

Three stages of development

The development of an eco-museum is conceptualized into three stages.

Preliminary stage: Set-up basic facilities and framework for community management.

Intermediate stage: Manage the eco-museum with the proposed organizational structure: Government as leaders; experts as advisors; local communities as owners.

Mature stage: Local communities will be in charge of the eco-museum and the future of their cultural heritage.

Liu Zhi Framework

For the establishment of eco-museums in Guizhou, Chinese and Norwegian experts have proposed a visionary “Liu Zhi framework”. (The framework was proposed in Liu Zhi District, Guizhou)

  1. Local community residents are the owners of their culture. They have the right to interpret and accept their culture according to their will.

  2. The definition and explanation of meaning and value of a culture can only be made clear through exploring its relationship with human beings and applying knowledge from persons living in the culture. It is essential to strengthen our understanding of the culture.

  3. The core principle of eco-museum is the involvement of the community. A culture ought to be communal. It should be managed democratically.

  4. When there is a conflict between tourism and cultural preservation, the latter must be of higher priority. Original relics should not be for sale, while the production of high-quality souvenirs based in traditional handicrafts should be promoted.

  5. Sustainable development of cultural heritage is of utmost importance. Short-term economic profits which cause harm to it should be avoided.

  6. The preservation of cultural heritage should be integrated into the community. The core areas are traditional handicrafts and tangible cultural resources.

  7. Observers of the culture have the moral responsibility to respect it and behave. They need to follow certain behavioral guidelines.

  8. There is no rigid framework for establishment of eco-museums. It can be very varied due to cultural, social or economic differences between communities.

 

 
© 2014 Dimen Dong Eco-Museum, Dimen, Guizhou, China | Last Update 20-06-2014
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