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Sino-German cultural exchange boosts sustainable development

By Liu Xuan | | Updated: 2018-10-03 16:39

Multistakeholder partnerships across fields of expertise and national boundaries need to cooperate to integrate various aspects of culture as it plays a crucial role in sustainable development, said a UNESCO official at a workshop on Heritage Conservation for Sustainable Development.

The workshop was a part of a China-Germany cultural exchange held in Berlin, Germany, during Sept 26 to 30. The event was organized by the UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office and hosted by the Institute for Heritage Management.

Jing Feng, chief of the Asia-Pacific Unit of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, said that culture plays a crucial role in sustainable development, yet integrating various aspects of culture is not an easy task. "It calls for strong multistakeholder partnerships across fields of expertise and national boundaries."

The move aims to facilitate effective exchanges and communication for policymakers, experts and practitioners from China, Germany and other countries, to engage in sharing good practices in heritage protection for sustainable development.

It has received support from the German National Commission for UNESCO, the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, German Ministry of Culture, and the German National Committee for Monument Protection.

Qiao Zhengshun, consultant of the Science and Culture Sector of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, said the workshop has provided a great platform for China to connect with the German National Commission for UNESCO and other partners.

"China has always actively participated in UNESCO's major programs and projects," he said. "In the future, we will continue to strengthen cooperation with UNESCO and the National Commission for UNESCO for other UNESCO member states."

Lutz Moller, deputy secretary-general of the German National Commission for UNESCO, said that Germany and China have all-around cooperation and can further strengthen collaboration on cultural exchanges in UNESCO's professional fields in the future.

During the five-day event, the delegation had exchanges with the Berlin Monument Protection Office on World Heritage management practices, and engaged in discussions with representatives from the Federal Commission for Cultural and Media Affairs, as well as with the UNESCO chair and students in the World Heritage Studies Programme at the Brandenburg University of Technology.

Since 2017, the UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office has been exploring the synergy of World Heritage conservation, intangible cultural heritage transmission, and fostering cultural creativity for the sustainable development of World Heritage sites via multistakeholder partnerships, such as the UNESCO - China Youth Development Foundation - Mercedes-Benz Star Fund Funds-in-Trust Project on "Conservation and Management of World Heritage Sites in China".

The concepts of "World Heritage", "intangible cultural heritage" and "diversity of cultural expressions" created by UNESCO have made an enormous contribution in raising public awareness and promoting actions in the field of culture. Their success is reflected in the 1,092 World Heritage sites, 470 forms of intangible cultural heritage, and a thriving cultural sector accounting for 6.1 percent of the global economy and generating revenue of $2.25 trillion annually and nearly 30 million jobs worldwide.

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