The event was co-hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and the Ninh Binh provincial People’s Committee.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Quang Ngoc said Ninh Binh is the only place in Vietnam to possess “double” UNESCO titles: Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, a mixed Cultural and Natural Heritage of the World.

He hoped that delegates will share experience and visions on specialised mechanism to unlock and mobilise resources for heritage conservation and development.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc said localities with UNESCO-recognised heritage are facing many challenges, the greatest of which is how to reach harmony of economic development and heritage conservation.

He proposed that participants shared success stories of localities in harnessing UNESCO titles to serve sustainable development, which will provide valuable lessons for localities in the process of building UNESCO nomination dossiers or seeking additional UNESCO titles.

With its vast and diverse cultural and natural resources, Vietnam has won UNESCO’s recognition for 8 world cultural and natural heritages, 15 intangible cultural heritages, 9 documentary heritages, 3 global geoparks, and 11 world biosphere reserves, said Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung in opening the conference. 

He noted that many UNESCO-recognised cultural heritage items have become well-known tourist attractions, contributing to local development, citing statistics that in 2019, over 18.2 million visitors visited world heritage sites in Vietnam, generating revenues of VND1.8 trillion (over US$76.3 million at current rate).