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Daily monitoring system of heritage sites in the Baekje Historic Areas (Republic of Korea)

In the Baekje Historic Areas, the daily monitoring of the conservation status of the heritage sites is carried out by local residents, who were trained as daily heritage inspectors by the managing authority. This monitoring system is a flexible, innovative way to promote maintenance and conservation while encouraging local involvement in heritage sites

About the Baekje Historic Areas

The serial property Baekje Historic Areas was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2015 under criteria (ii) and (iii). 

Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, this property comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475 to 660 CE. Together, these sites represent the later period of the Baekje Kingdom – one of the three earliest kingdoms on the Korean peninsula - during which time they were at the crossroads of considerable technological, religious, cultural and artistic exchanges between the ancient East Asian kingdoms in Korea, China and Japan. The archaeological sites are located in different contemporary small and mid-sized cities, such as the city of Gongju, Iksan and Buyeo-Eup. In some cases, the cities form part of the buffer zones of the archaeological sites. 

The property is managed by the Baekje World Heritage Centre. This institution, founded in 2012, serves as an integrated management institution for the Baekje Historic Areas.

Daily monitoring system of heritage sites

The Baekje Historic Areas extends over eight locations in different cities and towns. The dispersion and distance between the archaeological sites create a challenge for the monitoring of the conservation status of the heritage sites by the central managing authority. As a response to the challenges of the site, the managing authority devised a locally based monitoring system. In the Baekje Historic Areas, the daily monitoring of the conservation status of the heritage sites is carried out by local residents, who were trained as daily heritage inspectors by the managing authority. The project is run and financed by Baekje World Heritage Centre, with a running cost of approximately USD 53,000 per year.  

The monitoring system was first planned from December 2014 to December 2015. During the year, monitoring indicators, methods, and processes have been established to conserve and manage the property. Then, total six people (four women and two men), two local residents from each city, were chosen and trained as daily heritage inspectors during the first half of 2016. The training included the Outstanding Universal Value of the Baekje Historic Areas, World Heritage monitoring, monitoring indicators, stone and wood monitoring, and the use of the monitoring application. 

The monitoring system operates with a tablet PC. The inspectors use the monitoring application developed and input their data with photos and the data is saved with the geographical information using GPS. 

Since 2016, the inspectors have conducted monitoring on the Baekje Historic Areas daily. After checking the indicators, the monitoring results are sent to the local government for repair and maintenance. 

The daily monitoring system of the Baekje Historic Areas allows the Baekje World Heritage Centre to monitor the conservation of eight different archaeological sites extended over several cities. At the same time, it aims to provide employment opportunities for local community members and encourage a closer relationship between local residents and the heritage sites.

Source: Misol Do, Baekje World Heritage Centre

Contribution towards the implementation of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape

The project might contribute towards the implementation of the HUL (Historic Urban Landscape) approach by promoting the protection of urban heritage through reporting and maintenance, and increasing the awareness of surrounding communities.

Historic Urban Landscape Tools

Regulatory systems

Contribution towards Sustainable Development

If fully implemented in accordance with the described plans, the initiative could have the potential to contribute towards Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

  • Target 8.5: the project aims to promote employment and decent work for local community members.

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Target 11.4: The management framework of the Baekje Historic Areas aims to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural heritage.

Note: the described potential impacts of the projects are only indicative and based on submitted and available information. UNESCO does not endorse the specific initiatives nor ratifies their positive impact.

To learn more
    • Visit the official website of the Baekje Historic Areas.

Ms. Misol Do, Baekje World Heritage Centre


All photos by Misol Do ⓒ Baekje World Heritage Center.
Note: The cases shared in this platform address heritage protection practices in World Heritage sites and beyond. Items being showcased in this website do not entail any type of recognition or inclusion in the World Heritage list or any of its thematic programmes. The practices shared are not assessed in any way by the World Heritage Centre or presented here as model practices nor do they represent complete solutions to heritage management problems. The views expressed by experts and site managers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Heritage Centre. The practices and views shared here are included as a way to provide insights and expand the dialogue on heritage conservation with a view to further urban heritage management practice in general.