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Third Coordination Group Meeting on ‘Post COVID-19 World Heritage Site Management: Integration of Conservation, Tourism and Local Livelihood Strategies at World Heritage sites’

Thursday, 14 December 2023 at 12:00
access_time 2 min read

On 14 December 2023, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre organized the Third Coordination Group meeting on ‘Post COVID-19 World Heritage Site Management: Integration of Conservation, Tourism and Local Livelihood Strategies at World Heritage Sites’, a project funded by the government of Japan through the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust.

The Deputy Director of World Heritage welcomed Tunisia as a new partner, replacing Sudan. Management authorities from participating World Heritage sites in Cabo Verde, Viet Nam, Honduras and Tunisia provided updates on their progress and discussed the specific challenges encountered during project implementation. It was also an opportunity to plan the upcoming reporting and discuss project outcomes.

Significant progress has been achieved since the second coordination meeting:

At the Maya Site of Copan (Honduras), capacity-building efforts and stakeholder consultations led to the development of an updated Management Plan for 2024-2028, accompanied by an enhanced social media presence to improve transparency and communication.

At the Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande (Cabo Verde), the project facilitated the training of numerous entrepreneurs and community leaders, with a particular emphasis on addressing challenges in informal commerce through additional training, empowerment programs, and digital tools.

At Trang An Landscape Complex (Viet Nam), initiatives aimed to enhance post-pandemic resilience through strategic advice, a series of knowledge-sharing sessions gathering representatives from SMEs, heritage site managers and traditional craft artisans, and promotion of digital tools for local products and community networking.

At the Medina of Sousse (Tunisia), a first meeting was launched with all involved stakeholders, marking the commencement of the first phase of implementation.

Background of the project:

Through a series of pilot cases at World Heritage properties in four regions of the world, this project is aimed at proposing replicable strategies and methodologies for integrating heritage preservation, livelihood improvement and building authentic partnerships between the site management authorities and local communities at World Heritage properties. The project’s expected outcomes also include enhanced digital presence to promote sustainable and locally sourced tourism offers following the Policy Document for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention (2015).

The participating sites and countries are the following:

Objectives and Activities:

  • Identification of key local stakeholders (SMEs, cooperatives, communities);
  • New and locally valued business models for increasing livelihoods;
  • Development of digital tools;
  • Networking and partnership among regions and participating World Heritage properties;
  • Intra-regional knowledge sharing;
  • Capacity building;
  • Publication and dissemination of experience and outcomes of the project;
Building partnerships and development of networks between institutions and experts on the sub-regional and international level