Marine Cultural Heritage in Northern Mozambique
The impacts arising from the project can be considered under the following headings, which are not listed in order of priority: 1. Environment – a key part of the justification for the project are natural- and human-induced threats to the environment. The project will impact environmental awareness and protection by demonstrating the changing nature of the marine zone over millennia and understanding the contemporary environmental processes acting on sites of maritime cultural heritage. These issues will inform the community engagement strand of activities and a co-produced series of guidelines and recommendations will be developed that will argue for greater environmental protection with a view to sustaining livelihoods and maritime traditions; and managing development in a sensitive and responsible way. The case for greater environmental protection will be made available to heritage centres locally and will be delivered to policy-makers nationally. 2. Sustainability – this impact is twofold; in order to develop maritime cultural heritage in a way which will benefit the community and nationally the sites of cultural significance must be made sustainable. The work on contextualising, identifying and documenting these sites will aid assessment of threats to their preservation and therefore future management requirements and objectives. This will be translated into the guidelines and recommendations mentioned above and will form part of the case for greater protection. Secondly, sustainability in terms of community benefits derived from maritime cultural heritage. A successful impact would foster a sense of ownership and pride in maritime cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. Work with the community will address both aspects, and finding a place for their voices within local heritage centres will contribute to a sense of respect for maritime traditions, stories, knowledge and experience. Building goodwill towards sites and traditions will impact on decisions made with regard to shaping future community and national responses to development proposals that fail to address poor outcomes for cultural assets. 3. Education – this impact will deliver on a number of scales: on a local level community initiatives will provide materials for schools to participate and collect maritime lore, underlining the importance and validity of memory, inter-generational knowledge and cultural traditions to children. Requesting that they participate in an art project will prompt them to reflect on the stories they have heard and interpret these in a vivid and individual way. Community education for older age groups will also be facilitated via workshops on maritime cultural heritage, its significance and their perspectives. These events will be a chance to reflect on the place of tradition and develop more nuanced perspectives on its value and transmission. Equally the outputs planned for the local heritage centres will be a long-term legacy for education. Finally any insights arising from the research which are suitable for publication will be made available to users and practitioners on Mozambique and internationally. 4. Economy – a key function of the workshops in the short term and wider outputs over the longer term will be to foster ideas around economic opportunities. These will be primarily aimed at strengthening community groups, businesses and individuals who are interested in translating maritime cultural heritage sites, artefacts and landscapes/seascapes into economic generators. Mozambique Island and region has a variety of businesses offering accommodation, excursions and services to visitors and tourists; as well as community groups who could use the theme of maritime heritage to develop new experiences and products. The project will develop a framework to share experiences and discuss opportunities, which will have long-term benefits to the locality and provide a further platform for sustainability and resilience.