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Honduras initiates the development of a new management plan for the Maya Site of Copán

jeudi 25 mai 2023 à 17:56
access_time Lecture 0 min.
© Yonel Puga

The Maya Site of Copán is an important archaeological site inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1980.

With the support of UNESCO, Honduras has begun a collaborative process to develop an updated management plan for the Maya Site of Copan, an important archaeological site inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1980.

This process started between May 17 and 19, 2023, through a workshop targeting technical personnel from the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, the entity responsible for managing the site, and other institutions involved in the management, conservation, and research of the archaeological park.

Approximately 30 people have participated in this workshop, both in person and virtually, led by Mr. Mathieu Dormaels, an ICOMOS expert in World Heritage. Key topics related to cultural heritage management have been addressed, including aspects of accessibility, maintenance, and risk management. This process will continue with a second workshop aimed at local community stakeholders, focusing on aspects related to community participation in the management of this significant cultural site.

This activity takes place within the framework of the multinational project “Post-COVID-19 Management of World Heritage Sites: Integration of conservation, tourism, and local livelihood strategies at World Heritage Sites." The project is financed by Japanese cooperation and implemented by UNESCO at four World Heritage sites located in different regions of the world.

The unprecedented crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic had significant repercussions on World Heritage sites worldwide, including severe socio-economic consequences and a disruption of the role that cultural heritage plays in the lives of communities. This project aims to learn from the lessons acquired during the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting processes of social and economic recovery that include measures to support local communities, safeguard livelihoods, and strengthen sustainable tourism. This is part of a transition towards a more versatile and resilient management of World Heritage.

Ultimately, the goal is to generate new management models that enhance the impact of World Heritage on community development, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

The Maya Site of Copán is internationally recognized as one of the most important archaeological sites of the Maya civilization. It once served as a political, civil, and religious center with significant influence in the region. Currently, its importance lies in its immense cultural and scientific value, as it allows the understanding of different phases of cultural development during the classical period of the Maya civilization.