The 3rd Huangshan Dialogue on UNESCO Sites and Sustainable Development held in Huangshan
The 3rd Huangshan Dialogue on UNESCO Sites and Sustainable Development, organized by HIST, and hosted by Mt. Huangshan Administrative Committee, took place successfully on 31 October – 3 November 2018 at Tunxi District, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, China. Dr. Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Prof. Xu Zhihong, Chairman of Chinese National Committee for UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program(MAB), Mr. Yang Chao, Director-General of Department of Natural Reserve Management under State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Mr. Liu Yang, Deputy Director-General of the Department of World Cultural Heritage under the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, and Mr. Liu Xiaohua, Executive Deputy Mayor of Huangshan City attended the opening ceremony and gave speeches.
Dr. Flavia Schlegel, Prof. Xu Zhihong, Mr. Yang Chao and Mr. Liu Yang all recognized that Huangshan Dialogue, as a platform for communication among UNESCO designated sites, had brought positive influences on promotion of collaborations and information exchange to countless domestic as well as international heritage sites managers, scholars and others in relevant fields. Besides, Mr. Liu Yang also indicated that State Administration of Cultural Heritage would continue to collaborate with HIST and other scientific institution at home or abroad to improve the conservation and management abilities of World Cultural Heritage sites in China by applying modern technologies. Mr. Liu Xiaohua promised that Mt. Huangshan Administrative Committee would abide by the World Heritage Convention, fulfill the Huangshan Recommendation, and accelerate the pace of turning Huangshan city into a fine model for heritage sites and travel destinations.
In addition to representatives from UNESCO, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), this Dialogue also attracted more than 50 international experts, scholars, and managers from about 20 nations including the US, Tunisia, Thailand, France, Korea, Indonesia, Italy, Canada, Malaysia, the UK, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Germany, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Cameroon. Domestically, over 130 representatives from state departments, local governments, scientific institutions, universities, World Heritage sites, World Biosphere Reserves, Global Geoparks, and relevant offices attended the Dialogue.
After the opening ceremony, Ms. Schlegel, Mr. Zhang Dehui, Division Director of Department of Natural Reserve Management under State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Mr. Wang Ding, Secretary-General of Chinese National Committee MAB, Mr. Wu Wenda, Executive Director of Mt. Huangshan Administrative Committee, and Prof. Wang Xinyuan, Deputy Director of HIST, made key-note presentations. Ms. Schlegel gave a brief introduction on the current status of UNESCO designated sites, and their connection with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Mr. Zhang and Mr. Wang both analyzed development, challenges, opportunities and corresponding strategies of UNESCO designated sites in China; Mr. Wu shared the management experience of Huangshan, a three-crown UNESCO designated site (World Heritage site, Global Geopark and World Biosphere Reserve). Finally, Prof. Wang evaluated and expanded the understanding of indicators for SDG 11-4, and introduced a report on international collaboration of applying space technologies on heritage sites.
The theme of the 3rd Huangshan Dialogue is “UNESCO Sites Facilitating Sustainable Development”. There were 5 sessions during the 3-day conference: Monitoring Methodologies and Technologies Beneficial for the Sustainability of UNESCO Sites, Disaster Risk Assessment and Mitigation for UNESCO Sites, Multi-stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Development of UNESCO Sites, Sustainable Tourism of UNESCO Sites, and Cooperation and Common Development among UNESCO Sites along the One Belt and One Road. Speakers and participants actively shared their experiences and information during conference, exploring method to support the SDGs through working on UNESCO designated sites and ultimately achieve the expected outcomes for 2018-2021 proposed by the UNESCO Natural Sciences.
Before the closure of this Dialogue, the Organizing Committee announced a significant deliverable –– Huangshan Consensus, which emphasizes the huge potential of space technology on air-space integration serving UNESCO SDGs. It also calls upon nations along the One Belt and One Road to launch cooperation on application of space technologies for sustainable development of heritage sites, enhance information and cultural exchanges, actively promote the sustainable development mode of Huangshan, and eventually turn UNESCO designated sites into models of UN sustainable development project.
The other important result of the 3rd Huangshan Dialogue is the Letter of Intent Cooperation on UNESCO Designated Sites along the One Belt and One Road. Policy makers and site managers of UNESCO sites from Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Tunisia, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Tanzania signed the Letter and endorsed establishment of a multilateral platform for communication on sustainable development of UNESCO designated sites.
Dr. Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, giving a speech
Prof. Xu Zhihong, Chairman of Man and Biosphere(MAB) Chinese National Committee and Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, giving a speech
Mr. Yang Chao, Director-General of Department of Natural Reserve Management under State Forestry and Grassland Administration, giving a speech
Mr. Liu Yang, Deputy Division Director of Department of World Cultural Heritage, State Administration of Cultural Heritage, giving a speech
Mr. Liu Xiaohua, Executive Deputy Mayor of Huangshan City, giving a speech
Mr. Hong Tianhua, Executive Deputy Director &Secretary General of HIST, hosts the opening ceremony