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The Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The UK National Commission for UNESCO’s case studies are a series of studies that focus on specific interactions between UNESCO’s programmes, designations and objectives and the UK

The Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site

PUBLISHED 25 JUNE 2020

This case study is part of the 2020 Nation Value of UNESCO to the UK Report.

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The Jurassic Coast is unique in the UK family of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Not only is it England’s only natural World Heritage site, it also covers 95 miles of beautiful coastline and boasts a richness unparalleled in the country of fossils and other geological features. How do you protect, conserve and present a site of this size and nature for present and future generations?

The Jurassic Coast Trust, the independent charity wholly responsible for the site, sees it as a joint endeavour. The Trust’s Learning Framework states ‘At the heart of our work is a belief that the Jurassic Coast is ultimately best looked after by the people who visit it, use it and love it. Therefore, our focus is always as much upon the people and communities of our World Heritage Site as it is upon the rocks, landscapes and fossils.’

This belief is embedded in the site’s partnership plan which outlines a clear set of responsible, inclusive and sustainable goals and objectives, particularly influenced by Articles 4, 5 and 27 of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.113 These articles encourage the site to make it their ‘duty’ to protect, preserve and present its heritage (Article 4), to ‘strengthen the appreciation and respect by the people towards the Jurassic Coast’ (Article 27), to have ‘a function in the life of the community and to integrate the protection of that heritage into comprehensive planning programmes’ (Article 5).

“What we’re really proud of, and we do this a lot, we are constantly talking about our global position in this World Heritage family because I think that’s one of the key inspirational aspects of the work that we do. That we are part of this huge global family of World Heritage Sites that celebrate these outstanding features, natural or cultural; it is a very powerful concept that these values transcend national and political boundaries. I think building these ideas into the content that we do just adds a different facet to our work. It actually lifts it and it puts it into a completely different arena from other protected landscapes like national parks or AONBs.”

Anjana Khatwa, Programme Manager, Learning at the Jurassic Coast Trust

As an umbrella organisation, the Jurassic Coast Trust works with local communities and organisations. A detailed Learning Framework and Storybook set out the Trust’s wider education strategy and guidelines for both the site and its partners to practise and communicate its core values effectively while transforming its visitors into advocates and champions.

We use all of our frameworks and our intellectual content to guide our partners in how they can best help others understand the values of the orld eritage Site,’ Khatwa tells us.

A close analysis of its audiences, and strategically tailored learning pathways that resonate emotionally and intellectually with visitors, form the bedrock of this work.’Our belief is that if you can develop content about rocks, fossils and landforms in the right way for the right audience, you can inspire a generation about the geological heritage around them,’ Khatwa states. She recalls the example of a young girl whose dream to become an engineer was reinforced by meeting Khatwa at one of the festivals where the team delivers public engagement

Like a compass, this learning framework, and partnership plan more generally, help planning, managing and linking the designation’s activities and goals effectively with UNESCO’s values and fostering long-lasting relationships with the site.

“We will use our learning framework to ensure that our work is strategic, user focused and sustainable. If we have followed these guidelines, then the future will mean a financially sustainable Jurassic Coast Trust that is supported by a network of dedicated schools and teachers, community groups, volunteers and businesses that share our vision for this extraordinary site.”

Anjana Khatwa, Programme Manager, Learning at the Jurassic Coast Trust

This case study was a part of the 2020 National Value of UNESCO to the UK Report 

ISSN 2050-8212 (Print)

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The 2020 National Value for UNESCO to the UK Report & Programme

The National Value Report seeks to capture the economic and wider intangible value of the UK network of UNESCO designations. It finds that the network is adding significant value to our economy and society and recommends how this value can be enhanced.

The National Value of UNESCO Designations to the United Kingdom Report shows how UNESCO is bringing sites, people and communities together, and creating and delivering value for the United Kingdom. It finds that the vibrant network of UNESCO sites in the UK, its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are contributing in three main areas: they contribute financial value, they make a rich and creative contribution to the UK’s environment, culture and communities and contribute to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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The 2020 National Value for UNESCO to the UK Report & Programme Case Studies

The case studies that form this series illustrate these benefits to the UK that are contributed by the vibrant Network of UK UNESCO sites as found by the National Value Report; featuring financial value, academic research, environmentalism and climate change, promotion and preservation of culture, education and more.

PUBLISHED 25 JUNE 2020

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