On the proposal of ICOMOS, 18 April was endorsed as the International Day for Monuments and Sites by UNESCO in 1983. This special day offers an opportunity to raise public awareness concerning the diversity of the world’s heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as to draw attention to its vulnerability. For several years now, ICOMOS suggests a topic to be highlighted on this occasion. This has allowed our members and our committees to hold activities, conferences, colloquia or other events to raise awareness on this cultural heritage among the public, the owners or the public authorities by linking a global theme to local or national realities.
This year’s theme is: The Heritage of Agriculture. Ivan Anthony Henares, ICOMOS Philippines member and expert member of the International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC), introduces the agricultural heritage of the Philippines in International Day for Monuments and Sites 2010 celebrates the heritage of agriculture.
Accroding to ICOMOS, “In the last two decades, the international NGO’s and public administrations in charge of heritage protection have begun to define and characterize the heritage of agriculture as well as to establish the criteria and tools that should guide the assessment of its values, protection and management. Accordingly, ICOMOS, UNESCO and other international organizations have included these objectives in their ongoing research and projects. It is therefore pertinent to evaluate how heritage properties linked to agricultural and livestock rearing practices are taken into account in current heritage practice by examining significant international experiences in this field, such as the listing of such properties in UNESCO’S World Heritage List and in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as well as the Globally Important Ingenious Agricultural Heritage Systems Programme (GIAHS), led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with other partners such as UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNESCO and its World Heritage Centre, ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), IUCN (The World Conservation Union) and CGIAR (the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).”