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"International Seminar on Strengthening South-South Cooperation of Sustainable Tourism and Conservation for World Cultural Heritage"was held in Hongcun Village

   On May 23-24, 2014, the first "International Seminar on Strengthening South-South Cooperation of Sustainable Tourism and Conservation for World Cultural Heritage" was jointly held by UNESCO World Heritage Center and Zhongkun Group in Hongcun Village. Mr. Abhimanyu Singh - Director of UNESCO Beijing Office, Mr. Xu Bo - Special Advisor of UNESCO Strategic Affairs Assistant Director-General, Mr Peter DeBrine at UNESCO World Heritage Center, Mr Zhou Tianwei - Deputy Mayor of Huangshan, Ms. Valerie Terranova - Secretary-General of Chirac Foundation, Mr. Wei Xiaoan, Director of WTCF Committee of Experts, Chairman Huang Nubo and over 30 experts in the fields of world heritage conversation and sustainable tourism from more than 10 countries in the world attended the seminar.
   Cultural heritage conservation and sustainable tourism are the big challenges facing the international society during the process of world heritage conservation and tourism development the nowadays. In 2010, the 34th World Heritage Committee held in Brazil clearly stated that UNESCO World Heritage Center shall mobilize all contracting states and various stakeholders to carry out a new and more inclusive international partnership program aimed at protecting heritage and developing sustainable tourism.
   China currently ranks 2nd in the world when it comes to cultural heritage sites, behind only Italy, with 45 world heritage sites on UNESCO"s list which has a total of 981 world cultural heritage sites around the world. China is also the world"s most popular destination for tourists with a total of domestic visitors3.3 billion, outbound visitors 98 million and foreign visitors 129 million in 2013. However, rapid development of tourism promotes the integrated development of economy and society as well as enhances the citizens” intellectual quality and leisure level, and at the same time it brings up new and higher requirements on cultural heritage conservation and management in China.
   Hongcun Village, under the protection and management of Zhongkun Group which is the only one private enterprise in China focusing on cultural heritage management, was enshrined as a world cultural heritage by World Heritage Committee on November 30, 2000. On June 28, 2013, Chairman Huang Nubo and Irina Bokova served as the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) signed the "UNESCO& Zhongkun Group Sustainable Tourism Strategic Partner Agreement" at Paris - the headquarters of UNESCO, and according to the agreement, Zhongkun Group will provide $1million to UNESCO used for supporting a five-year world cultural heritage conservation and sustainable tourism project.
   The seminar, as an important part of strategic cooperation agreement between UNESCO and Zhongkun Group, on three special subjects including promoting, propagandizing and spreading world heritage and boosting the development of tourism, increasing social and economic benefits with capacity building methods and strategies of sustainable tourism planning and management, increasing the opportunities for sustainable development and creating network as well as participation mechanism for interested parties, and promoting South-South cooperation, made a full communication on international practice in terms of heritage conservation and sustainable tourism so as to make a beneficial exploration on capacity building enhancement and successful experience sharing and south-south cooperation in related fields for developing countries including China and African countries.
   Besides, on the morning of May 24, representative present at the meeting also held a unveiling ceremony of "UNESCO & Zhongkun Group Training Platform for World Heritage Conservation and Sustainable Tourism Capacity Building South-South Cooperation" at Lebi Garden of Hongcun Village and the establishment of the platform makes Hongcun Village which is the renowned world cultural heritage site become the a window of 981 world cultural heritages selected by UNESCO in China as well as an important platform for South-South cooperation in heritage conservation and sustainable tourism, especially on successful experience sharing and capacity building and skill training among China and developing countries
   This is also the first established South-South cooperation platform in its member countries by UNESCO for the purpose of world cultural heritage and sustainable developing ability of tourism. An UNESCO official said the establishment of the platform will create an entity for world cultural heritage conservation and sustainable tourism which helps the developing countries to share intellectual supports and explore new ideas and new methods so as to better face the international challenges about world cultural heritage conservation and sustainable tourism. The official also said, the openness of the platform will contribute to the active participation of various circles who care heritage conservation and sustainable tourism in China and accordingly build a heritage conservation and sustainable tourism cooperation platform involving China and developing countries with the deep participation of personnel working on China"s heritage conservation, tourism practitioners, related enterprises, educational circles and local governments. On the other hand, it will let the world see the more active participation of China"s various circles in the fields of world culture, science, education and environmental protection as well as the new roles constantly played by China in world cultural fields
   The members of the seminar together visited Hongcun Village, watched the large-scale live cultural performance Hongcun Village•Aju and expressed their sincere praises on achievements of historic buildings in Hongcun Village and harmonious living status of  villagers during the break of fully arranged meeting affairs.

 

Relevant media reports:
Xinhua Net
The first Seminar on Strengthening World Heritage Conservation was Held in Hongcun Village, Anhui.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/local/2014-05/23/c_1110838360.htm

CRI Online
The first Seminar on Strengthening World Heritage Conservation was Held and Set up a South-south Cooperation Platform.
http://gb.cri.cn/43871/2014/05/28/5631s4557631.htm

China Radio International - English News (including audio)
Sustainable Tourism and Conservation for World Cultural Heritage
http://english.cri.cn/11354/2014/05/28/2743s828848.htm

Huangshan Daily
"Hongcun Village Mode" solved the the world problem
http://www.hsdaily.cn/html/2014-05/27/content_1_6.htm
  
Huangshan Morning News
This Is a Good Opportunity for Cooperation Combining with Concept and Practice.
http://www.cnepaper.com/hsck/html/2014-05/26/content_1_1.htm

Hexun Net
Zhongkun Group Boosted the Cultural Heritage and Tourist Industries together with UNESCO.
http://news.hexun.com/2014-05-28/165221726.html

Anhui Net
"International Seminar on Strengthening South-South Cooperation of Sustainable Tourism and Conservation for World Cultural Heritage" was held in Yi County.
http://www.anhui.cc/news/20140526/1155009.shtml