Doctral Research


Explores, the numerous ways refugee communities’ value and utilise ICH, and how it benefits their lives and contributes to resilience throughout the journey of displacement. Here we explore the past and present by viewing ICH through two contrasting forms of refugee knowledge: the knowledge of the humanitarian responder, drawing on theories, methods and external experience and the refugee knowledge, based on a non-western[1]ontology and guided by oral traditions, cosmological observations and the experience acquired by dwelling in conflict driven displacement and the limbo of a protracted crisis or statelessness. The research asks how Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) can contribute to refugee resilience and ultimately more sustainable ways of living and achieving durable solutions. It argues, that the greater the engagement, investment and understanding of the ICH of refugee communities, the better the immediate and long-term outcome of achieving a sustainable way of living. It argues that viewing ICH through a humanitarian lens ignores the subtle needs that refugees require to sustain an adequate quality of life, particularly during protracted displacement, where the goal is to create effective local integration or safe and dignified return to their homeland over time. 


From logging and poaching to adventure and biocultural diversity tourism, West Sumatra

Nominated by: Exped AG


Indonesia’s tropical forests are disappearing faster than any other forests on earth. The Gamaran Protected Forest in West Sumatra hosts a myriad of wildlife, wild rivers, waterfalls and expansive cave systems. It is a potential hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts and a critical link to the local community conservation vision.  The current threats to the forest include poaching and illegal logging to supply wood for building, brick firing and illegal export.  There is a strong drive amongst the local communities to develop alternative livelihoods that nurture the forest and support their local economy, cultural values, language and ancient traditions. This project will train local poachers and illegal forest workers and their families in biocultural diversity tourism, hospitality and conservation management.  New trails and adventure activities will be developed in the forest buffer zone to attract outdoor enthusiasts to the area and bring in alternative income streams. The project will also enable reforestation and promote agro-forestry.

Supporting biocultural-tourism and small enterprise project development