The International National Trusts Organisation (INTO)

Putting the Local into Global Heritage: A User Guide

ConferencesINTO Projects May 27, 2021

In April 2021, the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) released a new study Putting the Local into Global Heritage: Balancing conservation, tourism, development, and community interests at the sites of the world’s National Trusts.

This short User Guide is designed to suggest ways that INTO members and other heritage organisations can use this new report to strengthen engagement with local communities in their home countries.

We have also published the Executive Summary as a handy separate summary document.

Suggestions for using Putting the Local into Global Heritage

Share the study

The 10-page Executive Summary is a good, short review of the full report which may be more appropriate for some groups.

  • Share the Executive Summary (including a link to the full Report) with key staff, trustees, and community stakeholders
  • After a review of the study, determine if one or more of the individual case studies would be appropriate for downloading to help guide discussions with your group
  • Use the case studies as a basis to start conversations
Download the Executive Summary

Identify areas for growth

The key lessons offer a template against which to assess your work. Discuss the following questions with your leadership team:

  • Who makes up our local communities?
  • How does our current work recognise, sustain, and/or exclude them?
  • Is connecting to local community a key part of our mission and plans? How, and what else can we do in this regards?
  • How do we partner with other allies and stakeholders to expand our reach? Do we leverage our platforms (media, advocacy) to support local communities? Is there more we can do in this area?

Contribute to the discussion

During the course of 2021, INTO will be providing additional information about ways to put the local into global heritage.

  • Look for ongoing information from INTO on this topic and contribute to the discussion
  • Check back frequently on the INTO website for more information
  • Provide the INTO staff with examples of your work in this area, so we can share it with other members of the global National Trust network
  • Let us know what else you need in terms of information, as that information can help us shape the sessions at INTO Antwerp 2022 and beyond
INTO Cambridge 2013 Plenary Panel

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The 6 Lessons

As you hone in on specific actions you wish to explore, turn to the case studies, which not only have information from the five major sites, but also include other examples from across the INTO network.

For instance, if your organisation determines that it needs to build additional trust with the local community through deep and sustained engagement (Lesson #1), you can learn not only from the work of the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the Giant’s Causeway, but you can examine the studies included in the reference guide as well exploring the work of groups in Malaysia, the United States, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and many more besides.

Further information on these will be available shortly but in the meantime, you can dive into the full case studies below.

National Trust - The Giant’s Causeway

Deep, authentic, and lasting engagement with the local community is crucial to building long-term trust

Mehrangarh Fort

Ensure that your core mission prioritises local communities

Saint Lucia National Trust - Pigeon Island

Expect and embrace the unexpected outcomes arising from local engagement

La Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera

Explore new and creative methods and partnerships to channel short-term transactions into lasting social benefits for the local community

Petra National Trust

Leverage your platform with government and industry to provide a voice for those local residents who are less powerful and among the least appreciated community stakeholders

Covid 19

Never let a serious crisis go to waste: use challenges to explore fresh approaches to longstanding problems


Putting the Local into Global Heritage examines ways to sustain local communities through strengthened connections and engagement with heritage sites.

Five sites of INTO members from around the world were used as case studies to help uncover key lessons in this work.

The report was the focus of a plenary session at INTO Online 2021 that included conversations with Tim McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation; representatives from the five case study sites; Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General of INTO; and David J Brown of Bearden Brown LLC and the report’s principal author.

That focus will continue with sessions next May at INTO Antwerp 2022.

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