ICOMOS Philippines, the only heritage professional organization included in the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Stakeholder’s Chamber, led the discussion on heritage conservation as a driver for genuine and sustainable societal transformation during the agency’s 1st Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Summit held on November 22 to 23, 2022.
Dr. Laya Boquiren-Gonzales presented ICOMOS Philippines’ PAMANA (Heritage) 2030 Project led by the organization’s SDG Working Group. With only 8 years left to achieve the SDGs by 2030, references to heritage in the global collective aspiration remain alarmingly scarce as evident in the insufficient discussions and practices by local and national government agencies related to heritage promotion and protection.
To bridge this gap, the Pamana (Heritage) 2030 Project of ICOMOS Philippines launched in 2021 aims to further accomplish the following in the near future:
- Release a call for case profiles and will produce a policy guidance document with relevant stakeholders;
- Gather key local government solutions in addressing societal concerns of inclusive social development, holistic economic development, environmental sustainability, peace and security, and key partnerships within their local realities; and
- Provide timely baseline data and policy recommendations focused on the intersection of heritage and the SDGs in various parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Ar. Harvey Vasquez zoomed in on the importance of efficient pre-disaster recovery planning and concise post-disaster methodological actions in conserving heritage sites through the case of the World Heritage City of Vigan, impacted by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Northwestern Luzon in July this year.
ICOMOS Philippines joined the City Government of Vigan and the multi-sectoral Vigan Conservation Council in the rapid assessment of the damage, made possible by funding from UNESCO Jakarta.
Through the summit, ICOMOS Philippines hopes that more individuals will become aware of the importance of heritage conservation in the present and future, and become involved in this encompassing, holistic, and transformative movement.