Earthen heritage is one of the oldest and universal forms of heritage but its conservation poses many challenges. Establishing international collaborations could provide an efficient, sustainable mechanism to increase knowledge exchange, aiding the development of earthen heritage conservation strategies around the world. However, perceived differences in how Eastern and Western countries value earthen heritage and develop conservation strategies can pose challenges for establishing collaborations. To understand these perceived differences and whether they hinder collaborations, this paper compares British and Chinese heritage conservation policy and practice and then reports the results from an innovative workshop examining the approaches of 13 Chinese and 13 UK based heritage experts and researchers towards earthen heritage conservation. Workshop participants undertook bilingual discussions and completed a co-created questionnaire available in English and Mandarin. Both groups identified historic value as the most important value and maintenance of authenticity and integrity, need for scientific research and site scale conservation as vital considerations for conservation strategies. This study found that to understand the potential for collaboration, individual perspectives need consideration as well as policies and practices. This innovative bilingual, discussion-based approach has potential to aid collaborations for diverse international issues from wildlife conservation to cross-boundary pollution and climate change.
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