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Side Event Concerning Preserving the UNESCO Designated Places from Space Held during 41th Session of

Date:2017-08-07

The 41th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was held at Krakow, Poland from 2 to 12 July 2017. At this session, two China's sites: Qinghai Hoh Xil located in the north-western extremity of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and Kulangsu, a tiny island off the coast of Xiamen in southeast of China, have been added to the World Heritage list, bringing to 52 the total number of Chinese sites on the List. 
During the session, the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST), in partnership with ESA Copernicus Program, Heidelberg University, co-hosted a side event concerning "Preserving the UNESCO Designated Places from Space”. 
Ms. Mechtild Rossler, Director of the Division for Heritage and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, attended the event, where she spoke highly of the unique role of space technologies in the protection and monitoring of World Heritage. She also gave full affirmation to the HIST leading efforts for monitoring East Rennell Island, a site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
HONG Tianhua, Deputy Director and Secretary-General of HIST, introduced international projects and events of HIST for the world heritage protection over the past years and proposed proposals for future cooperation. Dr. Hendrik R.Stark from ESA introduced the characteristics of Sentinel satellites and cooperation with the international community. Dr. Nils Wolf from the University of Heidelberg introduced the cases of space technology applied to the monitoring and protection of the World Heritage List.
The World Heritage Committee (WHC) meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention elected by their General Assembly. WHC is responsible for the implementation of the Convention, and has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. It also decides on the inscription of properties onto or removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger. 
HIST, as a category-II centre under the auspices of UNESCO, was proposed to UNESCO by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in May 2007. The proposal was approved by the 35th General Conference of UNESCO in October 2009, and ratified by the State Council of China in April 2011. On 24 July, 2011, the launching ceremony of HIST was held in Beijing. This is the first UNESCO centre applying space technologies to the monitoring and conservation of world natural and cultural heritage sites. The centre is hosted by RADI.

Ms. Mechtild Rossler, Director of the Division for Heritage and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, attended the side event.

HONG Tianhua introduced international projects and events of HIST for the world heritage protection.

Exchanging opinions among the participants.