UNESCO, Africa and China agree on projects to safeguard World Heritage in Africa

Heritage Stewardship

UNESCO, Africa and China agree on projects to safeguard World Heritage in Africa
14 June 2019
The UNESCO-Africa-China Forum on World Heritage Capacity Building and Cooperation, held at UNESCO Headquarters from 3 – 4 June 2019, concluded with Recommendations and an Action Plan for joint projects supporting long-term capacity building for the safeguarding of African World Heritage properties. It was attended by ministers, decision-makers, World Heritage site managers, academics and experts from Africa and China as well as the Vice-President of the African Development Bank, among others.

The Recommendations call for greater cooperation between African and Chinese universities in the field of heritage, developing joint research on conservation, and promoting skills exchanges in thematic areas linked to sustainable development, urbanization, and traditional management systems of World Heritage sites in Africa and China. Sustainable development, through a balanced approach to conservation and benefits to local communities at World Heritage sites, was also stressed.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Mr Ernesto Ottone R., said that “safeguarding cultural and natural heritage in both Africa and China will require the mutual sharing of experiences on traditional management systems, site planning, conservation, community engagement, and infrastructure development.”…

Ninety-five African sites from 35 States Parties are inscribed on the World Heritage List, fewer than 9% of all the inscribed properties. Yet, African sites account for one third of the List of World Heritage in Danger. China alone has 53 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, none on the List of World Heritage in Danger. African and Chinese properties are sanctuaries for most of the world’s biodiversity.

More information about the Forum is available here.