Many parts of the developed world have evolved quite sophisticated policy mechanisms for the protection, conservation and management of cultural heritage.
Typically, heritage policy has been dominated by the public sector but increasingly policy networks are extending to bring in stakeholders from the private and voluntary sector. But the policy domain of heritage is complex and in the main has tended to be driven by short term incrementalism rather than anticipatory longer term planning. Issues relating to ‘long chain’ communications between trans-national agendas such as those enacted through UNESCO conventions at one end and community development at the other remain, as do issues of resource allocation for competing heritage demands. Moreover, in developing nations there is a need for policy development relating to heritage which is appropriate and which fits with wider agendas of sustainable development.