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What is LEAP?

 

LEAP is a regional initiative that fosters local community stewardship over the vast and varied heritage resources of Asia and the Pacific.

The LEAP programme strategy aims to promote active community participation in the development and management of local economies, grounded on local culture, history and environment. The strategy was initially conceptualized in Asia and the Pacific Region, where most heritage sites and living cultural landscapes continue to be inhabited by indigenous peoples through generations who have evolved their own traditional cultural and environmental resource management systems. This particular situation necessitates that development strategies within and adjacent to heritage sites should be based on and guided by the local culture.

The basic approach in the implementation of the LEAP programme strategy is to initiate a series of participatory and catalytic activities that spur local interest groups to assess the nature, characteristics and economic potential of indigenous resources, and then to develop these resources in ways that are both profitable and sustainable. LEAP project activities empower people living within or near heritage sites to take an active or leading role in site management and preventive conservation, as well as site interpretation for visitors, thus providing local communities the opportunity to benefit both economically and socially from conservation of their community's heritage.

By taking part in the development of culture tourism-related industries, local communities can reduce the problems of poverty by themselves and finance the conservation of local heritage on which tourism is based, and enhance their living conditions.

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