UNOSSC Cities Project and WHITRAP strengthen collaboration at 2023 World Heritage Creative Innovator Forum

November 6, 2023

From 2 to 3 November, representatives of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Cities Project participated in the 2023 World Heritage Creative Innovator Forum in Guangzhou, China.

The forum, hosted by World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP), brought together more than 100 experts and representatives from local government, academia, and the private sector to exchange insights, good practices, and experiences in heritage protection and digital innovation.

At the opening session, Mr. Jingchuan Mu, Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization Advisor of UNOSSC, presented the Cities Project and the vital work being carried out in the realm of heritage protection. He underscored the crucial role of South-South Cooperation in facilitating the exchange of good practices and knowledge among cities in developing countries.

During the event, the Cities Project and WHITRAP unveiled plans for deeper collaboration, including the development of a report titled “Good Practices and Experiences of Cities in China on Heritage Conservation in the Context of South-South Cooperation.” This report will spotlight successful cases of creative heritage education and conservation, introduce replicable solutions and innovative approaches, and foster potential partnerships to advance sustainable heritage protection and conservation among developing countries.

With the facilitation of UNOSSC, WHITRAP is exploring opportunities for a joint pilot project on international cooperation of world heritage protection between China and Mexico, especially among Oaxaca City, the National Association of World Heritage Cities (ANCMPM A.C.) of Mexico, Renmin University, and China Academy of Art.

Heritage plays a pivotal role in promoting environmental quality, livelihood, job creation, economic growth, social cohesion, equality, and inclusiveness. It lies at the heart of sustainable human development. UNOSSC is committed to fostering South-South and triangular cooperation while harnessing the expertise of UN agencies in sustainable tourism and heritage conservation through various funds, programs, and initiatives.

In 2021, the Cities Project launched a South-South Cities cluster focusing on Sustainable Tourism, Heritage Protection & Creative Economy. This cluster has established an online Community of Practice dedicated to sharing knowledge and experiences and promoting horizontal cooperation among cities and institutions in developing countries. Furthermore, it serves as a bridge, connecting local practitioners with UN specialized agencies and institutions.

About South-South Cities Clusters

The UNOSSC Cities Project seeks to promote South-South and Triangular Cooperation at the city and local levels. The South-South Cities Clusters are part of the South-South Galaxy virtual platform that facilitates information sharing, knowledge exchange, networking, and project collaboration among cities, local authorities, UN agencies, and other development partners. Currently, it offers interactive thematic spaces on:

  • COVID-19 Response and Public Health
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in Resilient Cities
  • Sustainable Tourism, Heritage Protection and Creative Economy
  • Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain Development
  • E-Commerce, Digitization and Smart Cities
  • Sustainable Transport and Air Quality
  • Waste Management, Green Cities and Renewable Energy