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To reflect on the potential of the Cultural Route heritage category as an instrument for cultural revitalization and community strengthening in highland regions, we analyze an interaction of actors involved in the co-construction of a hiking circuit in northern Chile that succeeded in its heritage-based design but not in its touristic implementation. Based on an in-depth analysis of the socioterritorial context and on participatory action research carried out to design the circuit, we discuss the reasons for the project's failure during the phase of community-based tourism model definition. This leads to broader conclusions on the intersections of current policies on heritage, multiculturalism, and environment, relating to the 2014 inscription of the Qhapaq ñan Andean road system on the World Heritage List. Finally, we highlight 3 lessons: (1) the need to clarify the risk of confusion between cultural revitalization and cultural tourism; (2) the Cultural Route category as a complex and heterogeneous heritage construct that is difficult to apply from global to local scales, and (3) the need to further develop Latin American regulations on heritage.
The domestication of the yak on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau probably dates back to 7300 years ago, when the rangelands were also utilized for cultivation. Over time, a complete system of herding and rangeland management developed. In recent years, however, the rangeland contract policy and nomadic settlement project have reduced the mobility of herds through the decollectivization of the rangeland. This process has destroyed the traditional nomadic lifestyle and caused difficulties, forcing the herders to adapt to new ways. This paper considers 3 issues: (1) the implementation of the contract policy and the settlement project—2 important policies that have caused the decollectivization of rangeland on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau; (2) the effects of the 2 policies on herding at 2 sites; and (3) the adaptive strategies employed by herders against the constraints of the policies. The study incorporates a literature review, fieldwork, key-person interviews, and focus group discussions. Community-based self-management of the rangeland appears to be the best strategy for herders. Policies such as group herding can help herders increase herd mobility, which is crucial for sustainably raising livestock on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau.
The Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), based at the Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State, South Africa, continues to grow in research strength and reach. While a core focus on the sustainable development of the Maloti–Drakensberg will be perennial, the ARU is leading the way in growing a robust community of practice for transdisciplinary research on southern African mountains. Combined with a vision for strong science, policy, and action, this is being achieved through exponential growth of partnerships—local, regional, and global—to tackle relevant issues, in particular wicked problems that seemingly defy achievement of the sustainable development goals. An important component in growing this community of practice is the development of our staff and students at Qwaqwa: for instance, in 2018–2019, US$ 270,000 was invested in Qwaqwa research projects; simultaneously, US$ 500,000 was actively sourced by Qwaqwa academics to supplement these internal ARU funds. The investment and effort are showing increasing return in terms of personal academic development and increased quality and quantity of research outputs. Given that the ARU is still a young research group (5 years old), this exponential growth is encouraging for both science and mountains in Africa.