HIST Celebrates its 10th Anniversary


The International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the Auspices of UNESCO hosted a symposium in Beijing on September 8, 2021, to commemorate its 10th anniversary. In the form of online and on site, the symposium was also part of the 2021 International Forum on Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals.

Prof. GUO Huadong, Director of HIST and Academician briefed the mission of HIST as well as the efforts of HIST to build the space archaeology into a new discipline.

Prof. Guo stated that HIST has conducted over 70 international conservation projects with more than 20 UNESCO Member States such as Cambodia, Tunisia, Italy.

HIST has also helped more than 20 developing countries in Asia and Africa to train over 200 heritage managers, technicians and researchers to improve their conservation capacities, Prof. Guo added.

He stressed that HIST has been expanding its global network with more than 30 countries and international organizations. He pointed out that the newly launched International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS), as the world's first research institution using big data to facilitate the implementation of the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will also facilitate HIST's development. HIST will strengthen the conservation of those sites with global partners in the next decade to contribute to the implementation of Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director and Representative of UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office, speaking on behalf of UNESCO, congratulated HIST on the great achievements made during the past decade. He said that HIST is one prominent example to demonstrate how space technologies can help conserve various UNESCO-designated sites and promote SDGs.  UNESCO Beijing Cluster office is willing to help pool more resources for HIST and assist HIST to spread its projects to more beneficiaries.

During the symposium, HIST also unveiled its representative achievements such as Introduction to Space Archaeology (Chinese Version), which is the first book of its kind that reviewed space information technology applications for archaeology and introduced different space information techniques used for archaeology application and put forward the concept to establish a new discipline-space archaeology.

HIST,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.