Culture and Sustainable Development in Brazil

© UNESCO/Nelson Muchagata
Historical village in Brazil

The great challenge that the country faces is the pressure that development exercises on Brazilian traditional structures, whether they be urban sites of cultural value, archaeological sites, indigenous settlements, or traditional populations, with their unique knowledge and practices.

Conservation of Heritage Sites:

Investments have been made in urban sites of cultural value to preserve them as heritage sites but even if we take into account the efforts made by partnerships with the Ministry of Culture and IPHAN, it has not yet achieved a management strategy to expedite such areas and ensure their sustainability.

In contrast to that, significan historical urban sites, some of which have been registered as World Heritage sites, call for an urgent managerial strategy not only capable of handling the issue of conservation but most of all, including them on the Brazilian Development agenda and thus avoiding their becoming even more endangered than they are at present.

Cultural Industry:

Increased consumption, innovation and entertainment nourish the cultural industry in Brazil. However, in keeping with global trends, this sector is liable to become very concentrated. Once again we find, on one hand, an opportunity to reinforce the more dynamic sectors of the cultural industry - audiovisual, music, and design – while on the other hand, there are severe limitations to distribution, access and to the qualified labour force in sectors with greater technological requirements. 

  • Access to Culture

Cultural Management Systems:

Great efforts have been made towards planning and setting up managerial systems – for culture, museums, heritage sites – integrating the three spheres of government, the private sector and the community at large. Furthermore, human resources are being replenished through the hiring of new staff, mainly at the federal government level. That, however, does not reflect the national reality, where cultural management – especially in municipalities – remains poor and subject to oscillations.

There is an urgent need to understand the dimension of the ongoing changes running up against the weakness or even non-existent cultural indicators on access, demand and consumption of culture capable of providing inputs for policy formulation. Thus, partnerships have been established to develop studies to identify to what extent culture and the economy are bound up with one another.

There is a need to build new heritage management systems and tools which, specifically for Brazil, is directly related to urban housing and living conditions.

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