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Gyeongju Recommendation

We, mayors from 34 World Heritage Cities of 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific region gathered on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, under the theme of ‘sustainable development and the role of local communities’in the city of Gyeongju, Republic of Korea, from 29 to 30 August 2012 for the “UNESCO Asia-Pacific Mayors’ Forum for World Heritage Cities,”


Thanking the city of Gyeongju and Province of Gyeongsangbuk-do for hosting the forum, also the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Bangkok Office for organizing the forum, giving an opportunity for mayors to share experiences and ideas on managing World Heritage Sites within the urban contexts of Asia and the Pacific;


Recognizing that contemporary processes of urbanization in Asia and the Pacific are presenting new and  increasing opportunities as well asenvironmental, social and economic pressures for the conservation of World Heritage sites located in cities;


Acknowledging the multiple values, both economic and social, of urban heritage as well as the important role oflocal communities,and privateand public sectors, to ensure the long-term sustainability of heritage resources; 


Noting the UNESCO Recommendation on Historic Urban Landscape as well as its accompanied Action Plan adopted by the Member States of UNESCO at its 36th General Conference on November 10th 2011;


Considering that mayors are best positioned to assure that the historic built environment is first identified, then protected, then enhanced so that future generations can also be beneficiaries of these heritage resources;


Recommend all mayors of World Heritage Cities in Asia and the Pacific to:

1.   Integrate the principles as contained within the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape into city development and planning frameworks, whilst seeking to initiate and implement pilot projects;

2.   Facilitate capacity building and awareness raising of city planning officials and decision makers on the concepts and principles of the 1972 World Heritage Convention and the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape;

3.   Encourage local communities to create and cultivate pride in the heritage of their cities;

4.   Create and maintain networks and ties amongst each other to better meet the challenges of conserving and managing a city having World Heritage status in Asia and the Pacific, in particular within the network of the Organization of World Heritage Cities;

5.   Note with appreciation the interest of the city of Gyeongju to host the first regional Secretariat for Asia and the Pacific of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, and the proposal to convene the first regional conference in 2014.