Second learning and exchange workshop on ‘Sustainable Development Perspective in Project Design and Participatory Project Development’

Wednesday, 3 April 2024 at 11:00
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On 3 April 2024, the UNESCO World Heritage Secretariat organised a second Learning & Exchange workshop in the framework of the project entitled ‘Post COVID-19 World Heritage Site Management: Integration of Conservation, Tourism and Local Livelihood Strategies at World Heritage Sites’, funded by the government of Japan through the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust.

The workshop started with greetings from the Deputy Director of World Heritage. Gathering representatives of the participating UNESCO World Heritage sites, countries and colleagues, it aimed to foster a collaborative environment to integrate fresh perspectives into the activities and approaches of each project.  It is hoped that this will nurture a learning and exchanging environment and encourage inspired reflections and discussions.

The meeting consisted of two presentations. The first is about how to integrate Sustainable Development perspectives in Heritage-related project design and the second discusses approaches for Participatory Project Development, narrating the on-going creation of ‘Photovoices’ participatory exhibitions and the development of signature World Heritage products with local communities in the Town of Luang Prabang, Lao People's Democratic Republic. The participants were invited to delve deeper into the topics, within or beyond the current activities.

As the majority of the participating UNESCO World Heritage sites are slowly approaching the end of the field activities, this workshop represents a step towards promoting the integration of conservation, tourism, and local livelihood strategies at World Heritage sites, aligning with the shared goal of preserving our cultural and natural heritage for generations to come.

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 a greater integration of heritage preservation with livelihood improvement and building authentic partnerships between the site management authorities and local communities at UNESCO World Heritage sites. The project’s expected outcomes will also include enhanced digital presence to promote sustainable and locally sourced experience 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:

      • Building partnerships and development of networks between institutions and experts on the sub-regional and international level through co-working and knowledge sharing in heritage, livelihoods and local communities’ empowerment;
      • Greater involvement of key local stakeholders (SMEs, cooperatives, communities);
      • New and locally valued business models for increasing livelihoods by decreasing over-reliance on international tourism;
      • Development of digital tools;
      • Capacity building;
      • Publication and dissemination of experience and outcomes of the project;