BEIJING, Nov. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — China Focus released a new feature about preserving our past for our future. The feature is contributed by Shahbaz Khan, Director of the UNESCO Beijing Office and representing China, DPRK, Japan, Mongolia and the ROK.
The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, commonly known as the World Heritage Convention, is one of the world’s most important global protection instruments. Since its adoption on November 16, 1972, the 1,154 natural and cultural World Heritage sites registered in 167 countries are a testament to the universal recognition and achievement of this pioneering legal framework.
China ratified the World Heritage Convention in 1985 and has shown a strong commitment to implementing the Convention ever since. China has added 56 sites to the World Heritage List, including 38 cultural, 14 natural and four mixed sites. Under the influence of the convention, China has developed a strict legal system and operational guidelines for cultural, natural and mixed heritage sites, along with a team of more than 50,000 site managers in local heritage protection administrations. Young people in China are more aware and committed to preserving cultural heritage. Annual University Student Forum on World Heritage and Conservation Proposal Competition hosted by the UNESCO Chair of Sustainable Tourism in UNESCO Designated Sites at Sun Yat-sen University since 2011, bringing together over 100 colleges and universities from across China to participate. Thousands of students actively participate. Year. With the inauguration of China’s Cultural and Natural Heritage Day as a nationwide cultural festival in 2006, and the emergence of a number of television programs and variety shows about world heritage sites in China in recent years, visibility and popularity has increased.
In recent decades, China has also increasingly emerged as a leading figure in facilitating international dialogue and cooperation on cultural heritage protection and sustainable development. The country has made commendable efforts to assist other developing countries in improving implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
There are many examples of this support. Since 1989, China has provided technical assistance to Cambodia to restore Angkor monuments. After a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal’s world heritage site of Kathmandu Valley in April 2015, China pledged 94 million yuan to begin a five-year Basantapur Tower restoration project. Since 2017, China has co-organized four International Silk Road Creativity and Heritage Youth Forums with UNESCO, bringing together more than 100 countries along the Silk Road to contribute to dialogue on heritage protection and development. Bringing young women and men together. China has strengthened cooperation with Africa on world heritage since 2018 through long-term capacity building and joint projects to strengthen monitoring and management systems of African world heritage sites. In addition, China has been a member of the World Heritage Committee four times and hosted the World Heritage Committee meeting twice – in 2004 in Suzhou and in 2021 in Fuzhou.
As the world’s largest developing country and a major economy, China is at the forefront of addressing issues of cultural heritage preservation that are consistent with socio-economic development. It is encouraging to note that China’s five-year plans already address the role of culture and heritage as pillars in achieving quality development, and that an important cultural component has been included in the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2021-2025. Framework for Cooperation (UNSDCF). to China, which will serve as a broad framework for United Nations-China cooperation in the years to come. These reflections are in line with the spirit of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Sustainable Development Goal 11.4, which aims to “intensify efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage”. , indicating that culture and heritage are embraced as both ends and means of sustainable development.
For more than 15 years, the UNESCO Beijing Office has worked closely with Chinese border ministries and territorial administrations to improve China’s capacity to manage World Heritage sites, promote exchange forums and explore heritage-oriented approaches to key development issues. Close cooperation with administrations, educational institutions and local communities. such as poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. In the face of new challenges and opportunities, we need to broaden the definition of cultural heritage, place cultural heritage in a broader context and involve more stakeholders. We must look at cultural heritage not only from the point of view of conservation but also from the point of view of development.
2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. This historic year marks a turning point for conservation. Urban expansion and infrastructure development are putting unprecedented pressure on traditional monuments and the historical urban landscape. Global climate change is also progressing at an unsustainable pace, the effects of which are rapidly spreading beyond the environment, causing irreversible impacts on nature and biodiversity and increasing risks for vulnerable communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of the cultural heritage ecosystem to sudden crises, as evidenced by the closure of 89 percent of world heritage sites. Now we have to explore and communicate new horizons in monument preservation. To meet these challenges, the international community needs to pool its knowledge in intercultural dialogue, engage in intensive research and practice, and find effective policies that respond to national conditions and heritage sites. Specifications and achieving a balance between heritage preservation and community development. ,
World heritage preservation is not about the past; It’s about the future. As the World Heritage Convention enters its next 50 years of service, UNESCO invites international society, including China, to reflect on how heritage can be preserved not only for heritage’s sake but also for its resilience. Let’s be a better resource. , humanity and innovation. In this process, UNESCO stands ready to join forces with China to build capacity for the next generation, seize new trends and changes, and expand knowledge.
Contact: Bai Shi
E-mail: [email protected]
SOURCE CHINA FOCUS