An international conference discussing policies which incorporate sustainable development in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention took place in the northern province of Ninh Binh on January 22.

The three-day conference brought together representatives from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, the World Heritage Commission, and domestic and foreign experts working in the field.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien said Vietnam’s world cultural and natural heritage have become increasingly popular to international visitors, helping foster the country’s tourism development and services as well as the economic growth of provinces with heritage sites.

Vietnam’s efforts to preserve and uphold the value of its heritage have received strong support from UNESCO and other prominent foreign organisations and individuals, Lien noted.

Participants discussed the various aspects of sustainable development in-depth, including comprehensive economic development, environmental sustainability, peace and security, climate change, human rights, and general equality, among others.

They stressed that the member nations must take any measures necessary not to devastate natural resources and boost initiatives to ensure the quality of the environment.

It is also necessary to minimise the negative impacts on the environment as nations carry out projects in energy, transportation, infrastructure construction, and waste management at the world heritage areas and surrounding zones, they added.

According to Giovanni Boccardi from UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, the involvement of sustainable development in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention will bring the convention closer to UNESCO’s targets of sustainability and equality, ultimately contributing to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

A draft on the inclusion of sustainable development in the implementation process of the World Heritage Convention was designed by international experts at a meeting in Cottbus, Germany in October of last year in accordance with the outcomes of the previous World Heritage Commission.-VNA