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In the fall of 2009 the Flemish Government decided to support the World Heritage Cities Programme and in particular the implementation of the new UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape should this be adopted at the 36th General Conference of UNESCO in November 2011. In consultation with the donor, Africa was chosen to test-run a series of three workshops on the Swahili Coast, targeting the World Heritage-designated cities of Ilha (Mozambique), Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Lamu (Kenya) to introduce the HUL approach to local governments and communities. Under the Flemish FiT project implementation the following activities will be coordinated:
- Technical assistance and training for local governments of World Heritage cities on urban conservation in general, and the HUL approach in particular;
- Facilitate scientific research into the development of a robust toolkit for urban conservation;
- Promotion and awareness raising of the 1972 World Heritage Convention as a vehicle for sustainable urban development;
- Management of the World Heritage Cities Programme at WHC.
With capacity building and scientific research as main components of the Flemish FiT project, a cooperation has been established with two universities that have both signed MoU's with WHC, being Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) and the University of Minnesota, USA. These universities will team up with local universities and research institutes on the Swahili Coast in the implementation of follow-up activities in the second half of 2011.