Culture and Development in Brazil

The great challenge that the country faces is the pressure that development exerts 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.

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.

Creative Economy

Culture sector now accounts for 6.1% of the global economy. They generate annual revenues of US$ 2,250 billion and nearly 30 million jobs worldwide, employing more people aged 15 to 29 than any other sector.

The cultural and creative industries have become essential for inclusive economic growth, reducing inequalities and collaborating to sustainable development. They are among the fastest-growing sectors in the world.

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 Secretariat of Culture and IPHAN, it has not yet achieved a management strategy to expedite such areas and ensure their sustainability.

In contrast to that, significant 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 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.

World Report on Cultural Policies

The Global Report "Re|shaping Cultural Policies" is a series that has been designed to monitor the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). The Report provides evidence of how this implementation process contributes to the Sustainable Development. Its purpose is to inform cultural policy making and advance creativity for development.

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.

In today’s interconnected world, the power of culture to transform societies is evident. Its diverse manifestations – from our cherished historical monuments and museums to traditional practices and contemporary art forms – enrich our everyday lives in countless ways.

Both heritage and creativity lay the foundations for vibrant, innovative and prosperous knowledge societies. Culture constitutes a source of identity and cohesion for communities disrupted by bewildering change and economic instability. Creativity contributes to building open, inclusive and pluralistic societies.

Only a human-centred approach to development based on mutual respect and open dialogue among cultures can lead to sustainable, inclusive and equitable results. Yet until recently, culture has been missing from the development equation.

UNESCO advocates for culture and development while engaging with the international community to set clear policies and legal frameworks. The Organization works on the ground to support governments and local stakeholders to safeguard heritage, strengthen creative industries and encourage the diversity of cultural expression to ensure that culture takes its rightful place in development strategies and processes.

Cultural Tourism and Urban Development

Cultural Tourism has the power to unite individuals and communities. It is also a resource to attract people to get involved to preserve and value cultures and civilizations.

Tourism is a rapidly growing economic sector, both within the country or region and around the world. Cultural tourism accounts for 40 % of world tourism revenues. These have a direct positive impact on generating decent work and economic growth.

Cultural heritage that is carefully managed attracts tourism investment in a sustainable way, involving local communities without damaging heritage areas. Tourism can have positive and lasting effects on our cultural and natural heritage, on creativity and cultural diversity, as well as on the environment and balance of societies.

Dialogue among cultures and development, may be reached, if decision-makers and actors in tourism and culture, the societies hosting tourists and the tourists themselves, develop respectively, policies and attitudes resulting from an understanding of the complex relations between tourism and culture, in the light of the conventions, declaration and texts of the United Nations adopted in the fields of culture and sustainable development.

Thus, cultural tourism has an important role to play:

  • facilitating dialogue among cultures;
  • building peace;
  • making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
  • strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage to bring it within reach of all;
  • making cultures and civilizations better known;
  • improving daily living conditions and reducing poverty.

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UNESCO Cultural Conventions

UNESCO Cultural Conventions provide a unique global platform for international cooperation and establish a holistic cultural governance system based on human rights and shared values. These international treaties endeavour to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage, including ancient archaeological sites, intangible and underwater heritage, museum collections, oral traditions and other forms of heritage, and to support creativity, innovation and the emergence of dynamic cultural sectors.

2005 - The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
2003 - The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
2001 - The Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage
1972 - The Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
1952, 1971 - The Universal Copyright Convention and Neighbouring Rights
1970 - The Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property
1954 - The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

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