Huangshan Dialogue, which was organized by HIST (International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage under the auspices of UNESCO) and RADI (Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) in collaboration with the World Heritage Center and the Man and the Biosphere Program of UNESCO and the Global Geopark Network supported by UNESCO, is the first ever international event that addresses the challenges and prospects for the conservation and sustainable development of UNESCO designated places. It was hosted by Huangshan Administrative Authority during 26-30 May, 2014 at the Huangshan International Hotel, Huangshan City, China

Opening Ceremony

During the opening ceremony, Prof. Guo Huadong, Chairman of the Huangshan Dialogue and Director of HIST and RADI, stressed that the integrated applications of space- and air-borne and ground-based earth observation technologies would be essential to the study and analysis of global environmental and development challenges.


After the inaugural ceremony , the well-known IUCN world natural heritage expert, Dr. Jim Thorsell was awarded the honorary citizenship of Huangshan for his valuable contributions to the Huangshan World Heritage Site and its conservation and management.



Dr. Jim Thorsell receives Honorary Citizenship of Huangshan from Mr. Ren Zefeng

Presentations

As many as 14 keynote addresses and 24 site-specific case studies were delivered by representatives of UNESCO, HIST, RADI, IUCN, ICOMOS, the competent Chinese Ministries as well as the World Heritage sites,world biosphere reserves and global geoparks of both China and the world. All these presentations covered issues and problems linked to: policies, management, and sustainable development of UNESCO designated places and application of space technologies for their monitoring and conservation.

Participants sharing their managerial and technical experiences

Panel Discussion

The panel Discussion was hosted by the State Recruited Expert of China at HIST - Prof. Natarajan Ishwaran. Seven experts representing Jeju World Natural Heritage Site, Biosphere Reserve and Geopark(Republic of Korea), UNESCO World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program, UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, Grutas del Palacio Global Geopark (Uruguay), Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA,Cambodia) and HIST answered questions from Dialogue participants on issues and problems concerned with Space Technology Application on UNESCO-Designated and Affiliated Places.

Panelists


Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony waschaired successfully by Mr. Hong Tianhua, Executive Deputy Director of HIST. Before the ceremony, UNESCO representative Mr. Han Qunli led a detailed discussion on the drafting of "Huangshan Declaration" which lasted for more than two hours and was finally adopted unanimously with a big applause. Mr. N. Ishwaran briefed the Dialogue participants on follow-up actions.

Dialogue Output

The principal outcomes of the event were reflected in the "Huangshan Declaration" which calls for enhanced cooperation, networking and site-based projects on the use of space technologies for the conservation, management and sustainable development of UNESCO designated and affiliated properties.

"Huangshan Declaration" was distributed as information document to the members of the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO convened in Doha, Qatar from 15 to 25 June 2014. Positive comments were made by Mr. Kishore Rao, Director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and Secretary to the World Heritage Committee in his report to the Committee.

Follow-up Actions

Put together a publication synthesizing the important findings and lessons coming from all the keynotes and study presentations made at the Huangshan Dialogue to be distributed at the 6th World Parks Congress due to be convened from 12 to 20 November 2014 in Australia

Produce a publication including information, data and analyses presented at the Huangshan Dialogue but also including information from other relevant published literature or on-going research in RADI/HIST or other partners as part of the World Heritage Paper series produced by UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Promote collaboration between World Heritage sites, international biosphere reserves, global geoparks and space technology institutions (like HIST and its hosting Institute-RADI)

Collaborate with UNESCO Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences and SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment) to produce a Policy Brief on Space Technologies for Sustainable Development using case studies and examples from World Heritage sites, biosphere reserves and geoparks.

Media interest

More than 60 correspondents from around 40 media of both China and overseas reported on the Huangshan Dialogue. A preliminary survey of media outlets showed that , there were 116 news items about Huangshan Dialogue up to 02 June, including the famous CCTV, Xinhua News Agency and UNESCO Websites.

Acknowledgements

Contributions of the following partners are highly acknowledged in preparation and implementation of the Huangshan Dialogue:

Mt. Huangshan Administrative Committee

Wudalianchi Scenic Area Administration Committee

Chinese National Committee for Man and Biosphere Programme, UNESCO

Office of Global Geoparks Network supported by UNESCO