`Need to train people for conserving monuments`

Culture Minister Kumari Selja pitched the need for sensitising people and training professionals for conserving monuments of importance.

Updated: Sep 28, 2012, 14:27 PM IST

New Delhi: With rapid urbanisation posing a threat to heritage properties, Culture Minister Kumari Selja on Friday pitched the need for sensitising people, building capacity at all levels and training professionals for conserving and protecting monuments of importance.

She identified professional training, capacity building, creating awareness among local population and stakeholders as some of the key factors that would bring about a change in the minds of the people.

"There is an increasing need to create enhanced sensitivity and capacity building at local, national and global levels for World Heritage and Sustainable Development," she said, inaugurating a consultative workshop on UNESCO Category-II Centre for World Heritage here.

Selja said governments, non-governmental agencies and civil society members should be roped in to maintain heritage properties.

The minister also laid stress on imparting World Heritage education to youth and local population so that they work together for this purpose.

In her speech, Selja noted that most Asian countries have accelerated introduction of new laws on heritage protection which seeks to critically and comprehensively address the many aspects of heritage conservation.

In this context, she mentioned the enactment of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites & Remains Act (AMASRA, 2010), by India for protection of the National Monuments and World Heritage Properties under the ASI.

India being a member on the World Heritage Committee, has an increasing responsibility towards implementation of the World Heritage Convention, she said, adding the country aims to take a lead and facilitate training and capacity building activities in the region.

Establishment of this Category-II Centre in India will facilitate development of competencies in training, research and partnerships, she said.

The two-day consultative workshop has participation of UNESCO officials from World Heritage Centre, Paris, members of Advisory Bodies of UNESCO such as ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN, government officials from countries of Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh.

During the two days workshop, the participants will dwell upon the key issues and concerns regarding Conservation and Management of World Heritage Sites in Asia region.

Some of the key issues identified as priority for this region that will be discussed in the workshop are implementation of management plans for world heritage sites, regional gap analysis and thematic studies on Tentative Lists for World Heritage.