Madhya Pradesh, UNESCO to work together for heritage conservation, ET TravelWorld

Madhya Pradesh, UNESCO to work together for heritage conservation, ET TravelWorld

Bhopal has been acknowledged at a global level for its efforts in heritage conservation through the two-day UNESCO sub-regional conference on conservation and development of heritage. The conference resulted in the creation of a document called ‘The Bhopal Vision Statement’, aimed to focus on World Heritage conservation.

The statement, to be collated by UNESCO, underscores the crucial and active role of local communities and civil society and is expected to serve as a roadmap for future heritage conservation efforts.

Sharing further, the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board said that the conference served as a platform for exchanging innovations and best practices in heritage conservation around the world, including in South Asia.

Representatives from various South Asian countries shared their views and suggestions on topics such as the impact of climate change on heritage and the inclusion of traditional knowledge in modern practices. The conference also emphasised that sustainable development can only be achieved through strong links between people and their heritage.

The UNESCO conference concluded with a pledge to increase mutual coordination and cooperation for the conservation and development of cultural and natural heritage.

UNESCO's conference in Bhopal to push heritage, sustainable tourism

The participating representatives from various countries and Indian states will also highlight the achievements, challenges and future strategy in the field of conservation of World Heritage Sites, looking at the last and next 50 years. Starting tomorrow, the conference will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

An exhibition was also held at the venue, featuring multiple stalls reflecting the heritage and culture of Madhya Pradesh. The MP Tourism Stall highlighted its key features of the Responsible Tourism Mission, including Responsible Souvenirs, art and crafts, rural tourism, homestay schemes, project Humsafar and Safe Tourism Destinations for women.As the concept of responsible tourism is gathering steam, Madhya Pradesh has armed itself with a vision of responsibility to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Lately, the state has been gathering attention for promoting environmentally sustainable practices including homestay initiatives and locals skill development, partnering with UN Women to promote gender-responsive tourism, with Responsible Tourism Mission-Kerala to promote rural development through tourism and much more.

MPTB said that the UNESCO conference offered an opportunity to make delegates and visitors aware about the schemes that MP Tourism has introduced to promote and preserve the heritage of the state.

While expressing gratitude to the delegates, Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture and Managing Director of MP Tourism Board, Sheo Shekhar Shukla invited them to visit various tourist destinations in the state.

The delegates were also treated to a heritage walk, which provided an overview of Bhopal’s history, culture, heritage and natural beauty. The route of the walk started from Kamla Park, passed through Rajabhoj Setu, Gauhar Mahal, Indian Tea House and ended at Iqbal Maidan, Sadar Manzil.

The second day of the event featured several notable speakers, taking up discussions on the historic cities, historic urban landscapes, world heritage and cultural landscapes. The sessions were followed by a group discussion, after which the Bhopal vision statement was drafted by Junhi Han, Chief of Culture, UNESCO New Delhi and Janhwij Sharma, Additional Director General (World Heritage), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), India.

Additional Managing Director Vivek Shrotriya, officials of Tourism and Culture Department and representatives of civil society organisations were also present during the event.

  • Published On Apr 20, 2023 at 03:06 PM IST

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