HIST and ICOMOS host International Webinar on Space Technologies for Cultural Heritage Conservation


On 30 March 2023, the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the Auspices of UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) jointly hosted an international Webinar on Space Technologies for Cultural Heritage Conservation to promote their application for the monitoring, evaluation, management and sustainable development of cultural heritage sites.

“It has been a pleasure for me to open this webinar which is the first tangible event in the cooperation between ICOMOS and HIST under the MOU signed last November, and which we hope will be long and fruitful”, said Marie-Laure Lavenir, ICOMOS Director General, who chaired the webinar.

Dr. Guojin He, Professor and Head of Data Processing Department of HIST introduced the demands, technological development and data sharing of Earth observation in the era of big data; challenges and opportunities for Earth observation information services; and analysed how Earth observation data can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Fulong Chen, Professor and Deputy Director of HIST, introduced the concept and significance of cultural heritage, the principle and application of remote sensing in archaeology, preventive monitoring and sustainable development of heritage places with case studies and called for more efforts in promoting interdisciplinary studies and multilateral cooperation for cultural heritage conservation.   

Dr. Lei Luo, Associate Professor and Head of First Research Department of HIST, introduced the principle of active and passive aerospace remote sensing technology, including multi-/hyperspectral, synthetic aperture radar, and LiDAR techniques for prospecting archaeological sites and landscapes using typical case studies from around the world.

Dr Gai Jorayev, Researcher and President of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Aerospace Heritage, reported on the heritage of Earth Observation and Space Exploration and introduced the newly established ICOMOS International Scientific Committee and different types of aerospace heritage.

This first collaborative activity between HIST and ICOMOS attracted over 80 participants from 14 countries and regions. It contributed to raising awareness among site managers, technicians, heritage professionals, decision-makers on the importance of space technologies for the conservation of cultural heritage in its various forms and provided capacity-building for site managers who wish to add space technologies to their list of available tools.


ICOMOS and HIST speakers at the webinar

The International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the auspices of UNESCO is an international organization established in 2011 by UNESCO as a Category 2 Centre in Beijing, China, and hosted by Aerospace Information Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is devoted to developing and utilizing space technologies for the identification, conservation, monitoring and management of UNESCO-designated sites to support UNESCO and its Member States in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a non-governmental, not for profit international organisation, committed to furthering the conservation, protection, use and enhancement of the world’s cultural heritage. With over 11,000 members, 100+ National Committees, 30 International Scientific Committees and several Working Groups, ICOMOS has built a solid philosophical, doctrinal and managerial framework for the sustainable conservation of heritage around the world. As an official Advisory Body to the World Heritage Committee for the implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, ICOMOS evaluates nominations and advises on the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.