Heritage becomes driver for sustainability in ICOMOS and Global Heritage Fund’s new partnership

The recently signed MuO aims to show how heritage can become a driving force behind sustainable development. Image: Mikel Martinez de Osaba (Canva) CC0

On 18 April, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the Global Heritage Fund (GHF) announced a new collaboration. By signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MuO), both organisations want to unite heritage and sustainability. The partnership hopes it can show how heritage can become a driving force in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

The MuO aims to “develop, evaluate and promote cultural heritage practices that support sustainable development,” ICOMOS stated in a press release. Apart from that, both organisations will develop an evaluation framework for judging the sustainability of cultural heritage conservation projects. ICOMOS’ recently released policy report should help with the creation of said framework.

Measuring impact

Teresa Patrício, President of ICOMOS, emphasised that developing global partnerships is essential in realising sustainable development. Her counterpart at GHF, Executive Director Nada Hosking, agreed. Hosking also mentioned a mutually beneficial partnership that can strengthen sustainable cultural heritage practices.

We hope to test out the policies we create and learn more from local stakeholders to find out what sustainability means on the ground.

Gabriel Caballero

“Creating specific plans to make measurable improvements over time isn’t easy”, Hosking noted in the press release. He thinks it’s vital to the success of the partnership to record the impact of heritage projects.

Gabriel Caballero, ICOMOS Focal Point for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, hoped the partnership would provide exciting case studies that can improve the quality of life for people living in and around heritage sites. “We hope to test out the policies we create and learn more from local site managers and stakeholders to articulate further what sustainability means on the ground”, Caballero mentioned.

Source: ICOMOS (press release), ICOMOS (policy report)

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