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UNESCO World Heritage Centre Convenes Workshop on Transboundary Cooperation in Asia and Sets Stage for a Large-Scale Project on Heritage for Peace

Thursday, 6 July 2023
access_time 2 min read
Western Tien-Shan, Upstream of Tereklisay (01/06/2005) © Yesipov A.V. | Yesipov A.V.

A highly anticipated inception workshop titled "Heritage for Peace: Enhancing Transboundary and Regional Cooperation for Natural and Mixed World Heritage Sites in Asia" was successfully held on 6 July 2023, in an online format. This experts’ workshop marked a crucial step towards promoting transboundary conservation efforts and unlocking the immense potential of Asia's natural and mixed heritage.

The workshop commenced with a series of insightful presentations and discussions, highlighting the significance of transboundary and transnational cooperation in preserving and safeguarding heritage sites. Among the 1,157 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, 43 sites span multiple countries, and only five are located in Asia, emphasising the need for collaborative efforts in conservation.

Recognizing the untapped potential within the Asian region, the project "Heritage for Peace: Enhancing Transboundary and Regional Cooperation for Natural and Mixed World Heritage Sites in Asia" has been planned by UNESCO with support from the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust. The initiative aims to enhance transboundary and regional cooperation by addressing existing conservation and management challenges while also identifying and mapping knowledge gaps and priorities for potential transboundary sites.

During the inception workshop, several key objectives were outlined, including reflecting on lessons learned from previous nomination efforts, understanding the state of conservation for transboundary heritage, and discussing potential areas, sites, and opportunities for the upcoming project. Participants engaged in lively discussions, sharing valuable insights and experiences related to transboundary cooperation.

The workshop's programme featured esteemed speakers from various backgrounds, including representatives from UNESCO, the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea, international consultants, biodiversity specialists, and representatives of supra-national organisations working on large-scale sites, migratory pathways, and exceptional natural sites. They presented case studies, lessons learned, and ongoing efforts, shedding light on the importance of collaboration and the challenges faced in managing transboundary properties.

The event concluded with an interactive session dedicated to strengthening transboundary cooperation in Asia, during which participants highlighted key opportunities, knowledge gaps, conservation challenges, and actionable steps to reinforce transboundary World Heritage in Asia.

With the inputs and insights gained during this inception workshop, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre will continue developing the "Heritage for Peace" project, which will play a pivotal role in promoting sustainable development, resilience, and peace through the conservation of Asia's exceptional natural and mixed transboundary heritage.

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