The UNESCO Sub-Regional conference concludes

The UNESCO Sub-Regional Conference is a medium for innovation and best practices in heritage conservation around the world, including the South Asian region. Bhopal has earned recognition at the global level with the conference. The document prepared from the brainstorming held in this was called ‘The Bhopal Vision Statement’. This will give a new dimension to World Heritage conservation. The Statement emphasises the role and active participation of local communities and civil society in World Heritage conservation. Along with this, important views and suggestions of representatives of South Asian countries have been included on important topics like the impact of climate change on heritage, the inclusion of traditional knowledge in modern practices etc. In this, sustainable and long-lasting development has been described as possible only through strong relations between people and heritage. The two-day sub-regional conference concluded with a pledge to increase mutual coordination and cooperation for the conservation and development of cultural and natural heritage.

Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture and Managing Director MP Tourism Board Shri Sheo Shekhar Shukla expressed gratitude to the delegates who came to Bhopal to attend the conference and invited them to visit various tourist destinations of the state. Representatives from South Asian countries and different states thanked MP Tourism and Culture for the hospitality and successful event. Additional Managing Director Shri Vivek Shrotriya along with officials of the Tourism and Culture Department, students of various educational institutions and representatives of civil society organisations were present.

Brainstorming on heritage and culture conservation in a thematic session

During the conference, representatives of countries and organisations deliberated on the impact of climate change on heritage, development through new technology and cultural conservation in the thematic sessions. In the session on the theme ‘World Heritage and Cultural Landscape’, Shri Sanjeev Shankar and Shri December Khongsdam from Meghalaya gave a presentation on ‘Living Root Bridge Cultural Landscape Community and Science-Based Approach for Nurturing Sustainability’, Shri O.P. Mishra and Dr Vishakha Kawathekar on ‘The Relic Landscapes in India’s World Heritage Sites: The Journey from Sustainability to Responsibility’ and Shri Jhanwij Sharma on ‘Project Mausam Maritime Cultural Landscape’. Director General, Central Cultural Fund of Sri Lanka, Prof. Gamini Ranasinghe and Bhutan’s Department of Culture and Dzongkha Development Executive Architect Shri Karma Tenzin had a brainstorming session on the topics of the presentation.

Presentations were given in the session on “Historic Cities and Story Carbon Landscape”, Shri Nishant Upadhyay, Dr Rand Eppich and Sushri Junhi Han on “UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape Pilot Project on Gwalior and Orchha”, Shri Ashish Trambadia on “Historic City Ahmedabad the City of Heritage and Sustainable Growth’ and Khwaja Tausif Ahmed on ‘Achieving Sustainable Development through Urban Regeneration Project in Lahore by Aga Khan Historic City Programme’.

The last session was held on the theme ‘World Heritage and Climate Change and Intangible Cultural Heritage’. In the session, Dr Vishakha Kawathekar made a presentation on ‘Water Resource Management of Ancient India and its Applicability for Preparedness of Climate Change’ and Shri Munish Pandit made a presentation on ‘Climate Change and its Impact on Cultural Heritage’.


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