Involving local communities in conservation of cultural heritage

11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Within the framework of its World Heritage programme, UNESCO New Delhi conducted a series of workshops for local communities, in Hyderabad (India) on 25- 26 November 2019, from diverse backgrounds to raise awareness and to advocate the human dimension in dealing with cultural heritage sites.

Of the two workshops that were held, the first one was on Understanding Conservation of Cultural Heritage, organized jointly with Aga Khan Trust for Culture India and the Department of Municipal Administration and Urban Development of Hyderabad

The second that was held on 26 November, focused on Engaging Local Communities: Towards Inclusive and Community Participatory Heritage Management and was organized in co-operation with the civil society organizations such as the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and supported by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Cooperation.

Both the workshops highlighted the essence of the World Heritage Convention which is people-centric heritage conservation and management, advocating the role that can be played by both cultural heritage and local communities in the society. 

Sharing her views, Ms. Junhi Han, Chief of Culture Sector, UNESCO New Delhi said, “In the light of growing demand of developing resilient, creative and greener cities, the local community’s inclusion and their pivotal role in the upkeep of the cultural heritage is even more critical.”        

The workshops were conducted as part of the UNESCO/Republic of Korea FIT hosted in the World Heritage Centre, implemented by UNESCO New Delhi.

India is a cultural inspiration for the world due to the presence of varied tangible and intangible World Heritage assets. Hyderabad especially stands out as a pioneer with experience in managing both tangible and intangible heritage i.e. given its planned approach for conservation, restoration and preservation of its heritage structures, and its recent inclusion into the Creative Cities Network for Gastronomy respectively.