ICCROM-Sharjah, the regional office of International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, has launched a new regional initiative entitled "Medina", which addresses the need to protect historic cities, and aims at supporting the enhancement of urban heritage management in the Arab region and valorising the role of cultural heritage in sustainable development.
The announcement was made at the conclusion of the webinar held on July 6, which was the last in a series of five virtual sessions organised in the course of one month, with the aim to draw on accumulated experiences in the region and to devise an effective framework for the Medina initiative that is based on priority needs on the ground.
The five webinars involved national active actors working in urban heritage conservation in the Arab states, as well as regional and international organisations (including experts from Uesco, the World Bank, Alecso, Icomos and Euro-Mediterranean projects), said the statement from ICCROM.
The webinars addressed five main themes, including: urban transformation of historic cities and post-conflict recovery plans; institutional capacity in managing urban heritage; traditional knowledge and the economics of historic cities; managing urban heritage in its natural environment and climate change; and general framework of Medina programme, an integration of initiatives, it stated.
The Medina programme will also work with stakeholders at relevant national institutions to improve management plans, with a particular focus on documentation of tangible and intangible heritage and local traditional knowledge on GIS databases; enhancing urban management skills and approaches with multiple historic city stakeholders; integration of preventive conservation and risk management approaches, especially related to climate change and natural heritage conservation in urban management plans; provision of economic incentives and other tools to improve public engagement in urban management and conservation.
"With the support of Sharjah leadership, ICCROM has been able to address one of the most pressing needs at historic cities in the Arab member states that is related to human sustainable development UN goals and livelihood of communities," remarked Dr. Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-Sharjah.
"Medina will be implemented in close partnership with local entities and will focus on socio-economical dimensions in addition to the careful preservation of historic cities in their urban and natural environments," he added.-TradeArabia News Service