HIST (International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage) will co-organize with the World Heritage Centre, MAB Secretariat and Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences of UNESCO "Huangshan Dialogue on UNESCO Designated Places and Sustainable Development --Application of Space Technologies for World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves and Potential Category of Geoparks" in Huangshan City, Anhui, China on 26-30 May, 2014.
UNESCO through its intergovernmental World Heritage Committee (WHC) and the International Coordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program has been recognizing World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves for nearly four decades. Currently there are 981 World Heritage sites and 621 biosphere reserves in more than 160 countries covering billions of hectares of land, water and oceans. Moreover, these areas are homes to millions of people. Geoparks, a new category of international designation conferred by the Global Geopark Network (GGN) also has close relations with UNESCO and now number 92 sites in more than 25 countries.
In the 1970s and 1980s sites were recognized predominantly for the protection of cultural and natural heritage. However, since the Earth Summit in 1992 in Brazil, World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves are obliged to contribute towards national, provincial and local sustainable development goals and objectives. The geo-spatial planning dimensions of the identification, nomination, conservation and management of these internationally designated places demand continuous guidance and support from science and technology. Planners, communities, businesses and other stakeholders whose lives are integral to the futures of these places seek new technologies and tools that would enable them to visualize and realize sustainable futures that not only conserve natural and cultural heritage but also drive ecologically sound socio-economic expansion and growth to benefit people.
HIST is the first category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO wholly dedicated to applications of space technologies for the conservation, management and sustainable development of natural and cultural heritage in UNESCO Member States. HIST and its host institution RADI in Beijing, in collaboration with UNESCO World Heritage Centre, MAB Program and the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences are convening this Dialogue at Huangshan City, Anhui Province, China, where the famous mixed world heritage site of Huangshan is located, to learn from the past and enhance the future role of science and technology in geo-spatial planning for the identification, nomination, conservation, monitoring, management and sustainable development of these places and the regions in which they are embedded.
Goal of the Dialogue
The Goal of the Dialogue is to “create a forum for experts and practitioners to share experience and lessons in the conservation and management of world heritage sites, world biosphere reserves and global geoparks, and to improve knowledge of practical achievements of the use of space technologies for the benefit of UNESCO designated places. ”
Objective of the Dialogue
The Objectives of the Dialogue are to:
- enhance communications among intergovernmental organs of UNESCO and their advisory bodies and local policy makers and practitioners to share experience and lessons learnt;
- review and learn from the past and on-going international, regional and national efforts to assist less developed Member States of UNESCO to apply space technologies;
- identify constraints and opportunities for launching an international program under the auspices of UNESCO and its partners for providing support and services for the application of space technologies to address needs of less developed Member States;
- recommend priority actions, including projects that HIST/RADI in China could design, develop and implement in cooperation with UNESCO and its partners for promoting best practices in the applications of space technologies;
- evaluate the relevance of the Dialogue and suggest steps for its continuation as an annual or a biennial forum in the future.
For more information about the programm of the Dialogue, please consult the attached brochures or the following webpage: http://huangshandialogue.csp.escience.cn/dct/page/65580