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UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Releases Message on International Day for Monuments and Sites
Date: 18.04.2017 From: UNESCO World Heritage Centre
The 2017 International Day for Monuments and Sites is dedicated to the theme “Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism”, chosen in relation to the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. In designating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the United Nations General Assembly noted “the importance of international tourism in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world”.
On the occasion of the International Day for Monuments and Sites this year, the World Heritage Centre wishes to join ICOMOS in encouraging local communities and individuals to consider the importance of cultural heritage to their lives, identities and communities, and to promote awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it.
Cultural tourism presently accounts for close to 40 per cent of world tourism revenues. Cultural heritage sites in general, and those inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in particular, generate substantial revenues and employment from tourism. When undertaken responsibly, tourism is a positive force for sustainable development, conservation and environmental protection - but if unplanned, tourism can be socially, culturally and economically disruptive, and have a devastating effect on fragile environments.
To help further people’s awareness and understanding of our heritage we are adopting Open Access for much of our content. This work continues UNESCO’s collaboration with the Wikimedia community to improve World Heritage content on Wikipedia across many languages, now as part of the Connected Open Heritage project.
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