An international conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention ended Thursday in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto with a commitment to strengthen international cooperation to preserve World Heritage sites with local communities.
The meeting, held at Kyoto International Conference Center, was organized by the Japanese government along with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Centre to discuss the significance of World Heritage to humanity and the future of the Convention, reflecting on the founding spirit of the Convention, as well as its achievement and evolution over the past decades.
The 400 participants included cultural and natural heritage experts, representatives of governments from 60 countries, as well as municipal authorities, local communities and civil society.
The three-day conference explored the theme of the role of local communities for sustainable development, focusing also on how to continue ensuring the credibility of the World Heritage Convention in the face of increasing pressures on cultural heritage from rapid urbanization, mass tourism, climate change and conflicts.
On the final day of the conference, the written commitment titled "Kyoto Vision" was adopted by the meeting to strengthen the Convention as a tool for international cooperation, sustainable development and peace over the long-term.
The Kyoto Vision also stressed the need to consider especially community involvement in the preservation of cultural heritage, youth engagement and heritage education with a view to ensuring the sustainable development of cultural heritage worldwide.