Major international sustainable development conference starts

The opening ceremony of the 4th Huangshan Dialogue on UNESCO-designated Sites and Sustainable Development was held in Huangshan, Anhui province, on Thursday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The 4th Huangshan Dialogue on UNESCO-designated Sites and Sustainable Development kicked off in Huangshan, Anhui province on Thursday.

With the theme "Digital Technologies Enabling Sustainable Development of UNESCO-designated Sites", the dialogue this year brought together more than 200 delegates from China and foreign countries who have worked to identify, research and manage UNESCO-designated sites, to explore the application of space technology in the protection and management of World Heritage sites, World Biosphere Reserves and Global Geoparks, which jointly form UNESCO-designated sites.

Organized by the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the auspices of UNESCO, the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals and Huangshan People's Government among others, the meeting has eight sessions on topics like the digital protection, harmonized management and sustainable development of UNESCO-designated sites, and their role in cultural tourism.

During the opening ceremony, Guo Huadong, director of HIST, who is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, advocated more application of digital technology, more interdisciplinary international cooperation on scientific research and improvements on our digital technology so as to better meet challenges posed for the protection of the sites and promote their sustainable development.

The Recommendations on Climate Action for Heritage Conservation was released during the dialogue on Thursday, which aims to respond to the influence of global climate change on the sites. It advocates policymakers, site managers and heritage professionals to take proper actions and apply the best possible technological means to reduce the negative influence.