Heritage values-based approach and sustainable management:

Lessons from the Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site, South Africa

Joint seminar IFAS-Research / Wits University
29 June 2017

13:15 – Origins North Bdg. Lecture Room (1st fl)


Mélanie Duval (CNRS, EDYTEM, RARI)

This communication proposes a renewal of the analysis of the vulnerabilities of rock art sites, until now essentially focused on visual entries and the understanding of the mechanisms leading to the alteration of the graphical representations. We put here the hypothesis that the vulnerability varies depending on the characteristics of the rock art sites each stakeholder wishes to protect. This approach leads us to analyze the interconnection between the material and immaterial registers, linked to a range of social uses and the complexity of the heritage values attributed.
Based on the research done in the Drakensberg area (South Africa), the aim here is to compare the kinds of vulnerability perceived by the various stake- holders involved in the study, use and management of rock art sites. The analysis of these forms of vulnerability will be addressed through an analysis of the management plans and reports, and field observations. In fine, the question of their hierarchization will be discussed, in connection with the current reflections on the heritage discourses and the register of the heritage authority.


Mélanie Duval is a permanent researcher based in the Laboratory EDYTEM (CNRS/University of Savoie Mont Blanc/Ministry of Culture) and affiliated to the Rock Art Research Institute (GAES, University of the Witwatersrand). As a human and social geographer, she is specialized in Stakeholders’ analysis, heritage resource management and territorial dynamics. She is working on rock art heritage process, preservation and tourism issues, both in France (Chauvet Cave-Ardeche gorges area) and in South Africa (Maloti-Drakensberg region). A part of her research has been supported by IFAS-Research.