Locals essential to heritage value preservation, promotion: workshop
At the event in Hoi An city of the central province of Quang Nam, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Thanh said cultural heritage often faces risks of damage by natural and human impact. Notably, adverse impact of economic development, urbanisation and unsustainable tourism development has been degrading the environment and space home to heritage sites.
Therefore, the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage values have attracted the voluntary participation of communities in Vietnam, he said, adding that despite certain socio-economic difficulties, people in Quang Nam have attached importance to the work in Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary, which earned UNESCO’s recognition 20 years ago.
Thanh noted authorities in Quang Nam have issues policies to facilitate the study, preservation and promotion of heritage values, while encouraging the engagement of socio-economic organisations and people to the efforts.
Aside from UNESCO’s support, the preservation and promotion of heritage values in the province have also been assisted by governmental and non-governmental organisations from many countries, including India, Poland, Sweden, Japan, Germany, France and the US, which has greatly helped improve public awareness of the work, he said.
Pham Ho, Director of the My Son Sanctuary’s management board, said as local people play an important role in heritage value preservation and promotion, the board has moved to raise their awareness by boosting heritage education at schools, disseminating relevant legal regulations to locals, providing residents with livelihood assistance, and supporting poverty reduction and social welfare programmes.
For his part, Michael Croft, UNESCO head of office in Vietnam, said local community is an important part of the tourism product at a world heritage site, especially a cultural one, since their daily life reflects the authenticity of that destination. Additionally, when a world heritage is opened, local residents are also affected by tourism development.
Therefore, local communities hold a very important role, he added.-VNA