Co-organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education of China, a side event of the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, themed “World Heritage Education for the Future”, was convened in Fuzhou, Fujian Province on 17 July, with both in-person and virtual attendees. Officials participating the event included Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education, Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education, Agapito Mba Mokuy, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board and Qu Xing, Deputy Director General of UNESCO.
In his keynote speech, Chen pointed out that China had been an advocate for and participant in world heritage education. World heritage education was incorporated into the national education plan and put into practice in educational institutions of all kinds and at all levels. Knowledge about world heritage and its protection were written in textbooks, taught in classes and disseminated through extracurricular activities. Efforts were made to produce high-caliber professionals in the field of world heritage protection. World heritage education was also deemed as an important part of international education exchange and cooperation.
Chen said in order to step up to new challenges in world heritage protection, relevant parties needed to uphold the universal values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom. Governments should provide people with more diversified and tailor-made services for world heritage education, thus generating synergy across whole society. Efforts should also be made to help and guide young people to become future leaders and practitioners in world heritage protection. Chen said the Chinese government would join hands with the UNESCO to build a learning platform for world heritage education, and continue to make contributions to this lofty undertaking.
Mokuy said education played a vital role in world heritage protection, and that differences should be set aside to unite efforts to enhance education and training for world heritage.
Nearly 200 representatives attended the event. Among them, government officials from Fujian Province, education ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Namibia, Thailand and Tanzania, UNESCO officials and experts from both China and the world shared their examples of success in world heritage education.