On the occasion of this year's Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the auspices of UNESCO held open online courses to celebrate the day which falls on June 11, 2022. The event was held in both Beijing and Hengyang, a city in Central China's Hunan Province, and was broadcast live online through Tencent Live, Bilibili Live, and other platforms, attracting nearly 72,000 people to watch online.
Since 2006, China has celebrated Cultural Heritage Day on the second Saturday of June. In 2017, it was renamed Cultural and Natural Heritage Day with the aim of strengthening public awareness of the importance of safeguarding cultural and natural heritage.
The online courses spotlighted such topics as "remote sensing technology for cultural heritage protection", "digital protection of Chinese traditional villages and cloud-tourism", "research and practice of digital technology for landscape and cultural heritage protection", "interaction of tourism and cultural heritage protection", and "digital protection of China's agricultural heritage sites".
The five lecturers included Prof. CHEN Fulong from HIST, Prof. LIU Peilin from the Changsha University, Prof. HAN Feng from the Tongji University, Prof. SUN Jiuxia from the SUN YAT-SEN University, and MIN Qinwen from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Focusing on the sharing of new technologies including space technology and digital means for heritage protection, the event provided a high-level academic platform for better protecting Chinese natural and cultural heritage as well as boosting its sustainable development by addressing the relationship between heritage protection and tourism industry.
The open courses delivered by well-known experts in the fields not only gave insights into the various aspects of Chinese natural and cultural heritage protection, but also helped the public better understand the universal outstanding values of World Heritage.
Open online courses mean that hundreds of thousands of people can enjoy high-level academic lectures on their mobile devices in what has come to be known as "cloud-course". Thanks to the development of digital technology, people can visit tourist attractions virtually, appreciate the scenery, and have a deep understanding on the intangible culture behind the scenery without going outdoors.
In this sense, the open cloud-courses also echoed the theme of this year's Cultural and Natural Heritage Day - "Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection by the People & for the People".
HIST is the first UNESCO Category-2 Centre dedicated to promoting, testing, and demonstrating the applications of space technologies for the conservation, management and sustainable development of globally significant natural and cultural heritage, biosphere reserves and geoparks.
Established in 2011, HIST is hosted by the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR) under CAS.
The online courses attract nearly 72, 000 people to watch online.