35th Anniversary ICOMOS Philippines Thanksgiving

On Saturday 16 October 2023, ICOMOS Philippines celebrated their annual Thanksgiving get-together to end the year and to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

ICOMOS Philippines Celebrates Its 35th Year Anniversary at ICOMOS Headquarters in Intramuros

One highlight of the celebration was the granting of the Philippine National Committee’s lifetime honorary membership to Regalado “Ricky” Trota José who had started ICOMOS Philippines in the late 1980s. Sir Ricky, as he’s also affectionately known, reminded ICOMOS that rewards or accolades are not what heritage is about; in fact, the practice of heritage is a reward in itself and is a privilege. 

The lifetime honorary membership was given to by virtue of ICOMOS Philippines Board Resolution No. 5 approved on March 31, 2023 wherein the organization recognizes his accomplishments and contributions which included: being the founding president of ICOMOS Philippines; his contributions leading to the inscription of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines on the UNESCO World Heritage List; his works in elevating local church cultural heritage protection and conservation towards international standards in harmony with the local context, and for being an inspiration and mentor among members of the organization.

José recalled the initial membership of ICOMOS Philippines. He said it was a very small number, an amount you could count on one’s fingers. But it was this powerhouse of heritage pioneers who advocated for awareness and sensitivity for our cultural heritage resources. Within the first two decades along with Rachy Cuna, Ramon Faustmann,  Milagros Covarrubias Jamir, and Rene Javellana, S.J., ICOMOS Philippines was pivotal in the inscription of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, and the Historic City of Vigan.

Awarding of Recognition: Former (and Current) Board of Trustees Members

Also a report was presented for the last six months of work at ICOMOS Philippines which included, among others, the funding of Vigan with the Heritage Emergency Fund, the award of Gawad Maestro for being an exemplary NGO as a learning and development institution, the participation with the Creative Industries Group of DTI, a seminar on Built Heritage and FIRE, and reports from the the General Assembly in Sydney this year. 

Cheek Fadriquela, president of ICOMOS graciously stated:  “A million thanks to all who attended our Thanksgiving party last Saturday. It was an event 35 years in the making! Our heartfelt gratitude to former trustees for gracing the occasion with your presence. Special thanks to Lila Shahani and Tracey Santiago for the books they donated to our library. And to our gracious host, Mylene Lising, we are immensely grateful with your kindness and generosity for not only allowing your Consulate to be the venue but also for making your staff assist and stay throughout the event. Kudos to all who made this event a memorable one! May you all have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!”

Invitation and Graphic of Surveying the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras for Nomination

For more information about ICOMOS Philippines and membership, please contact: info@iicomosphilippines.com

To donate to ICOMOS Philippines so we can continue our advocacy for Philippine heritage, please contact: info@icomosphilippines.com 

UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund project activities have started in the City of Vigan, Philippines

23 – 24 October and 1 – 4 November 2023, City of Vigan, Philippines – Thanks to the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF), the project “Post-Earthquake Damage Assessment of Vernacular Buildings in the World Heritage City of Vigan” was launched by UNESCO Jakarta in partnership with ICOMOS Philippines. Several activities have started in the Historic City of Vigan. The Materials Conservation Team led by Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela, and the laser scanning documentation team headed by Mr. Conrad Alampay from Digiscript are documented the two ancestral houses, Syquia Mansion and the Cabildo Old House.

The Materials Conservation Expert Team led by ICOMOS Philippines’ President Dr. Cheek Fadriquela collected samples for testing the material composition, and did an onsite XRF test on masonry materials, paint, metals and glass structural materials at Syquia Mansion.

The Material Conservation team members gathered samples and tested the material composition of the original masonry materials; bricks, mortar and plaster in aid of finding compatible materials for restoration and addressing the gap in historic brick masonry materials research in the Philippines.

Mr. Conrad Alampay, President of Digiscript, is leading the training information sessions with some of the local stakeholders of Vigan

Digiscript, on the other hand, worked on the structures’ digital documentation via 3D laser scanning to generate an accurate set of as-built drawings for analysis. Digiscript also provided training session to 11 local stakeholders from UNP, LGU Vigan and UAP-ICF to maximize the visit and for capacity building. Both are important heritage conservation practices for future building restorations.

A surveyor of Digiscript using LEICA RTC360 scanning for the 3D documentation of the ancestral houses around the pilot site of Syquia Mansion.
Digiscript team did a laser scanning of the ceiling of Syquia Mansion.
Digiscript snapped a group photo with the successful participants of the laser scanning training information sessions. The following stakeholders are from the Local Government Unit of Vigan City, faculty of the University of Northern Philippines and local architects from United Architects of the Philippines – Ilocos Ciudad Fernandina (ICD) chapter.

This activity is supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Estonia, ANA Holdings INC, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, the Republic of Serbia.

Concerned stakeholders who are interested in providing in-kind contribution, you may contact Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua, Country project Director, through kenneth.javier.tua@icomosphilippines.com and cc.: info@icomosphilippines.com. Let’s protect and promote our diverse cultural heritage together.

For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/

Photo Credits: Ms. Jennie Villanueva Amian of Syquia Mansion, and Mr. Conrad Alampay of Digiscript

#UNESCO #unescoJAKARTA #ICOMOS #icomosPHILIPPINES #HeritageEmergencyFund #firstHEF #WorldHeritageSite #HistoricCityofVigan #PhilippineHeritage #SustainableHeritageManagement, #ProtectHeritage

COP 28: United Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates – 30 November to 12 December 2023

UN Climate Change conferences (or COPs) take place every year, and are the world’s only multilateral decision-making forum on climate change with almost complete membership of every country in the world. Officially, COP 28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC.

The Republic of the Philippines is a member state and is attending the COP 28; the Philippines will present in a side event under the topic Culture Heritage, Art and Creative Industries, “Ancestral Wisdom Driving Low Carbon Climate Resilient Futures: Asia-Pacific and Global Lessons” on Saturday, December 9, 2023, 16:45 to 18:15. This side event is supported by the Climate Heritage Network, American Anthropological Association, ICOMOS, Petra National Trust, Julie’s Bicycle, Union of Concerned Scientists, and SEACHA. The speakers include Marlon Martin of ICOMOS Philippines, COO of Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement, Inc. and Preserving Legacies. 

One of the supporters of the side event, the Climate Heritage Network is committed to tackling climate change and achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. The Climate Heritage Network acknowledges that “culture is at the heart of climate action” and that  “cultural heritage, including traditional knowledge, strengthens resilience, helps communities to adapt to climate impacts, protects places, and offers green, circular and regenerative solutions. The arts speak to hearts and minds, inspiring action and helping us to understand climate change through storytelling and shared experiences. The creative industries – design, music, fashion and film – shape our lifestyles, tastes and consumption patterns.”

Artists and cultural voices from across the world are uniting to call for climate negotiators at COP UN Climate Conference to put cultural heritage, arts and creative industries at the heart of climate action.

Approximately 70,000 delegates are attending COP28, including the member states (or Parties) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Business leaders, young people, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists, and various other experts and stakeholders are also among the participants.

The major focus of the conference includes the conclusion of the first-ever global stocktake at the end of this year which takes place every five years. The global stocktake is a process for countries and stakeholders to see where they’re collectively making progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement – and where they’re not. It’s like taking inventory. It means looking at everything related to where the world stands on climate action and support, identifying the gaps, and working together to agree on solutions pathways (to 2030 and beyond).

The overarching goal of the Paris Agreement is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The science from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 at the latest and decline 43% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Crossing the 1.5°C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change impacts, the IPCC warns.

The globe is not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The window for meaningful change is closing, and the time to act is now. Governments will take a decision on the global stocktake at COP28, which can be leveraged to accelerate ambition in their next round of climate action plans due in 2025. By evaluating where the world stands when it comes to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and using its inputs, the stocktake can help policymakers and stakeholders strengthen their climate policies and commitments in their next round of NDCs, paving the way for accelerated action.

In this sense, it’s not the stocktake itself that is the gamechanger – it’s the global response, the response by countries as Parties to the Paris Agreement, that will make the difference in the form of higher ambition and accelerated action.

More information about COP 28 ➡️https://unfccc.int/cop28#news-and-media
To support Climate Heritage Network’s campaign, 𝗔𝗱𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗩𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 “𝗖𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗖𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻” ➡️ https://bitly.ws/349ah

UNESCO launches first Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) project in the Republic of the Philippines

On October 23, 2023, a landmark initiative unfolded in the Historic City of Vigan, Philippines, as UNESCO Jakarta, in collaboration with ICOMOS Philippines and with the vital support of the Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF), launched a year-long project dedicated to safeguarding of the Historic City of Vigan. The local governmental unit, under the helm of Mayor Jose “Bonito” C. Singson, Jr., welcomed the UNESCO-ICOMOS Philippines project teams and local stakeholders.

The scope of the project concentrates on two pilot sites which represent common building types in Vigan. The two homes identified by ICOMOS Philippines are the Syquia Mansion and the Cabildo Old House. Enthusiastically, the very same day that the HEF was inaugurated ICOMOS Philippines had already started onsite analytic activities which marked the inaugural implementation of the HEF initiative in the Philippines, underlining its significance in addressing the aftermath of such calamities. 

Please see the article in the Philippine Star Lifestyle and Arts section. Read here ➡️ https://bitly.ws/33hPK

This activity is supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Estonia, ANA Holdings INC, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, the Republic of Serbia.

Concerned stakeholders who are interested in providing in-kind contribution, you may contact Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua, Country Project Director, through kenneth.javier.tua@icomosphilippines.com and cc.: info@icomosphilippines.com. Let’s protect and promote our diverse cultural heritage together.

For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/

#UNESCO #unescoJAKARTA #ICOMOS #icomosPHILIPPINES #HeritageEmergencyFund #firstHEF #WorldHeritageSite #HistoricCityofVigan #PhilippineHeritage #SustainableHeritageManagement #ProtectHeritage

UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund supports the conservation of the Historic City of Vigan in the Philippines

Syquia Mansion, one of the historical buildings in Vigan damaged by the earthquake in July 2022. It is among the historical buildings that benefits from the support of the Heritage Emergency Fund. Photo credit: MNL Solutions, Inc., August 9, 2023

23 October 2023, City of Vigan, Philippines – With the support of the Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF), UNESCO Jakarta, in partnership with ICOMOS Philippines, launched a 12-month project to enhance the protection of the Historic City of Vigan, a World Heritage Site since 1999. This activity aims to support post-earthquake technical standard enhancement on the conservation and protection of heritage houses and structures and contribute to the long-term recovery of the city following the earthquake in July 2022. It is also the first HEF activity implemented in the Philippines.

On 23 October, representatives of national and local government agencies, universities, NGOs specializing in heritage and conservation, private companies, homeowners and technical experts attended the official launch of the project.

Official project launch of the first UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) project
in the Republic of the Philippines at the Historic City of Vigan, Ilocos Sur

“We are so excited to be one of the recipients of the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund project. The research and evaluation of the different teams will assure us that we will be able to restore the Syquia Mansion back to its glory days. Gregorio Syquia and all our other ancestors are beaming from up there!” – Ms. Maria Milagros “Mitos” P. Belofsky, Ancestral Homeowner, Syquia Mansion

“The critical concern now is how to protect the integrity and authenticity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site as homeowners plan to repair, restore, and rehabilitate their damaged properties; thus, the assistance from UNESCO and ICOMOS Philippines for restoration studies and plan for the two selected representatives is a welcome development” – Ar. Fatima Nicetas Rabang-Alonzo, a member of Vigan Conservation Council

Within the framework of this activity, the structural, architectural and materials assessments will be carried out for the representative houses (pilot sites), namely, the Syquia Mansion and Cabildo (Old) house, which will contribute in proposing technical standards for post-disaster damage assessment, and shoring and repair design for the future restoration of the entirety of the Historic City of Vigan’s beneficiary houses.

The findings of the two pilot sites assessments will be shared with the local government, the ancestral homeowners and the Vigan Conservation Council through a series of lectures, training-workshops and town hall meetings, and support the update of Vigan’s existing 2010 Heritage Homeowners Preservation Manual with an addendum. The outcome of the assessment and technical studies will also contribute to enhancing the skills of practitioners, craftsperson and homeowners on the effective repairing methods compatible with original building systems and materials.

The Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) is a multi-donor funding mechanism, established by UNESCO in 2015 with the goal of assisting Member States in responding quickly and effectively to crises resulting from armed conflicts and disasters all over the world. Its objective is to strengthen the ability of Member States to prevent, mitigate and recover the loss of cultural heritage, harnessing the potential of culture to strengthen resilience and support recovery. Since its establishment, the HEF has enabled UNESCO to support 84 countries through more than 120 emergency preparedness and response activities.

UNESCO thanks the donors of the Heritage Emergency Fund who make the activities possible: The Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Estonia, ANA Holdings INC, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, the Republic of Serbia.

More about the HEF:

https://www.unesco.org/en/culture-emergencies/heritage-emergency-fund

About UNESCO

UNESCO is the UN specialized agency with a mandate to protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage, in line with the international conventions.

Website: www.unesco.org/jakarta, Instagram, Facebook, X ➡️ @unescojakarta

Media contact: Eliana Bantchev e.bantchev@unesco.org

About ICOMOS Philippines

The International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a non-governmental international organization dedicated to the conservation of the world’s monuments and sites. ICOMOS Philippines is an SEC registered non-stock corporation and the duly recognized National Committee (NC) of ICOMOS International in the country from 113 worldwide.

Website:  https://philippines.icomos.org/, Instagram, Facebook, X ➡️ @icomosph

More about the UNESCO Jakarta – ICOMOS Philippines HEF Team ➡️ https://bitly.ws/YgER

Media contact: Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua kenneth.javier.tua@icomosphilippines.com

Heritage Conservation Transcending Green Building and Climate Action

On November 10, 2023 the Philippine Green Building Initiative (PGBI) held a conference entitled “Beyond Green: Transcending Green Summit.” 

Ar. Giuseppe Luigi Hernandez Abcede introduced the first cluster of speakers. ICOMOS Focal Point to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), L. Ar. Gabriel Victor Caballero gave a brief overview on what entails sustainable practices. He focused on design and planning— whether it was in heritage conservation practices, local culture, compliance to Sustainable Development Goals, or in circular economies such as furniture design.

Representing PIID, ICOMOS, HCS (the 1st cluster of speakers) respectively. IDr. Lilia De Jesus,  IDr. Willie Garcia, Ar. Michaela Rosette Santos-Tayag,  L. Ar. Gabriel Victor Caballero, EnP. Denise Lagrosa, Ar. Giuseppe Luigi Hernandez Abcede, Ar. Dinky von Einsiedel

En. P. Denise Lagrosa remarked, “The conference was well represented by professionals who are practicing energy efficiency, sustainability, green design, heritage and culturally sensitive methods from the engineers, architects, urban planners, cultural heritage professional, master plumbers, air-conditioning systems specialists, and fire protection, among others.”

Dr. Cheek Fadriquela, ICOMOS President, delivering remarks during summit

Along with ICOMOS Member L. Ar. Gabriel Victor Caballero, Ar. Giuseppe Luigi Hernandez Abcede and En. P. Denise Lagrosa, Ar. Michaela Rosette Santos-Tayag (long-time member of PGBI) and Ar. Michael Angelo Liwanag, ICOMOS Ph’s /representative to the Philippine Green Building Initiative, were also in attendance.

ICOMOS Philippines is a partner and fellow organizer with PGBI for the Beyond Green summit.

For more information on PGBI’s event 👉www.greenbuilding.ph

ICOMOS Philippines selected as the Implementing Partner of the first UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund Project for the Republic of the Philippines

On July and October 2022, Northern Luzon was struck by two strong earthquakes, with the epicenter in Abra province. One of the areas heavily affected was the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic City of Vigan, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. Despite immediate aid provided by local and national government agencies, the response could not address all the needs of the damaged areas due to limited funding and a lack of expertise for restoration. During this time, UNESCO Jakarta assigned ICOMOS Philippines to conduct a situational analysis and recommend priorities for repair. This project called “Post-Earthquake Damage Assessment of Vernacular Buildings in the World Heritage City of Vigan” was conducted from August to November 2022 led by Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela.

Onsite survey for the post-earthquake damage assessment situational analysis. Ar. Nico Pilotin, LGU Vigan (left), Dr. Cheek Fadriquela, current ICOMOS Philippines President (left), Ar. Giunno Alonzo, Junior Local Counterpart, Ar. Anjelika Orui, Research Associate, Ms. Cornelia A. Parel, Ancestral Homeowner, Ms. Maria Cristina Paterno, past ICOMOS Philippines President (right).

Following that successful partnership, ICOMOS Philippines applied to the Call For Partnerships (CFP) by UNESCO Jakarta for the project called “Post-Earthquake technical standard enhancement on the conservation and protection of Heritage houses and structures in Vigan World Heritage Site (WHS), Philippines”; the first UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) project to the Republic of the Philippines. ICOMOS Philippines was successfully selected and contracted as the official implementing partner of the said project on August 10, 2023 and September 14, 2023, respectively.  The objective of this project is to provide technical assistance to two representative privately-owned ancestral houses and to assess the recently applied methodologies and conservation techniques for damage assessment, shoring and repair and to recommend technical standards as part of the site’s long – term recovery.

Kick-off Meeting. Present from UNESCO Jakarta are Dr. Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa, Director; Ms. Diana Setiawati, Project Coordinator; Mr. Rizky Fardhyan, Project Assistant; and Mr. Angga Conni Saputra, Project Assistant. From ICOMOS Philippines are Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela, President; Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua, Vice President; Mr. Joselito Corpus, Communications Officer; and Mr. John Ray Ramos, Heritage Affairs Officer.

This project will allow the implementation of structural, architectural and materials assessments of the Syquia Mansion and Cabildo (Old) house by a pool of experts, including those from ICOMOS Philippines.

The findings of the two pilot site assessments will then be shared with the local government, the ancestral homeowners, and the Vigan Conservation Council through a series of lectures, training-workshops and town hall meetings. Additionally, ICOMOS will work with local stakeholders to update Vigan’s existing 2010 Heritage Homeowners Preservation Manual with an addendum.

Overall, the goal is to apply learnings from the assessment and structural study of two houses to upskill practitioners, craftsperson and homeowners on effective methods of repairs that are compatible with original building systems and materials. This project duration is from September 2023 – August 2024.

Onboarding session of the Key Expert Teams with the ICOMOS Philippines Project Management Team. Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua leads the project as the Country Project Director; Dr. Cheek S. Fadriquela as the Materials Conservation Expert; Ar. Michael F. Manalo with MNL Solutions, Inc. as the Architectural Conservation Expert team; Engr. Rodolfo P. Mendoza Jr. and Engr. Lessandro Estelito O. Garciano with Petro Jikken, Inc. as the Structural engineering Conservation Expert team; Dr. Eric B. Zerrudo and Ms. Bev Macayan Bautista as the Heritage Conservation (Training-Workshop) Expert Team; Ar. Fatima Nicetas Rabang-Alonzo and Ar. Giunno Alonzo as the Heritage Conservation (Local Manual Review) Expert Team; Dr. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales as the Heritage Interpretation-Curator Expert; and Atty. Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto as the Legal Counsel-Expert (not in photo). 

This activity was supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of Estonia, ANA Holdings INC, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, the Republic of Serbia.

Concerned stakeholders who are interested in providing in-kind contribution, you may contact Ar. Kenneth Javier Tua through kenneth.javier.tua@icomosphilippines.com and cc.: info@icomosphilippines.com. Let’s protect and promote our diverse cultural heritage together. For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/

#UNESCO #unescoJAKARTA #ICOMOS #icomosPHILIPPINES #HeritageEmergencyFund #firstHEF #WorldHeritageSite #HistoricCityofVigan #PhilippineHeritage #SustainableHeritageManagement

ICOMOS Ph co-hosting Preserving Legacies: A Future for our Past & Climate Risk

Preserving Legacies is a global initiative supported by the National Geographic Society and funded by Manulife to address climate change. Climate change is the fastest growing threat to cultural – natural sites and the greatest danger to our planet’s most spectacular natural heritage today. One in three natural sites and one in six cultural heritage sites are threatened by climate change impacts like floods, droughts, and rising seas.

To safeguard cultural heritage, there is an urgent need to equip communities worldwide with the tools to accurately anticipate worsening and future climate impacts, and empower them with training to turn that scientific knowledge into action that will safeguard sites, support community adaptation, and plan for unavoidable loss and damage.

For the Preserving Legacies project, about eight sites globally are cadet sites; they have been chosen to fully engage in climate heritage training and a peer-to-peer learning experience. Site custodians from these sites will shadow the full process of pilot sites located at Jordan and the Philippines, including attending their workshops, to better prepare for their own assessments in 2024.

Two primary sites will go through a more robust program to link climate science and site conservation by enabling access to locally downscaled climate change models and organize a community-led workshop of the sites’ climate vulnerability as well as impacts on local communities. Petra, Jordan and the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippines are the beneficiaries of the first program. 

The Preserving Legacies leg for the Climate Risk and Resilience at the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras conference was from October 11 and concluded October 13. Participants celebrated with the Kiangan rice harvest with eating, rituals, chants, and dancing, a site visit to the Nagacadan cluster of the Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, presentations of the sites by farmers and local officials, lectures by Marlon Martin of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo), a climate lecture by Dr. Ma Laurice Jamero, leader of the Resilience Collaboratory from the Manila Observatory, and roundtable discussions of the topics that were presented. 

With the knowledge base of both the international site custodians and local Ifugao community, the conference has put forth comparative analyses of climate change around the world, presented suggestions for increased adaptation capacities and mitigation strategies, and  recommendations for ways forwards for an environment that is sustainable and resilient.

Heritage conservation, a driver for sustainable development

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 presenting ICOMOS Philippines’ PAMANA 2030 Project

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.
Ar. Harvey Vasquez presents the findings of the ICOMOS Philippines’ emergency assessment on the earthquake’s damage to some heritage structures in Vigan City

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.

NEDA Undersecretary for National Development Policy and Planning Rosemarie Edillon awards Certificate of Appreciation to ICOMOS Philippines

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.

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ICOMOS Philippines’ members presented in the People-Nature-Culture Forum 2022

To provide how management and conservation of heritage places can give a dynamic and mutually beneficial role in society today and long into the future, the People-Nature-Culture (PNC) World Heritage Leadership (WHLP), a capacity-building programme delivered by IUCN, ICCROM, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and other organizations, with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and other partners, is established to equip heritage site managers worldwide.

Among the fully-funded scholars is ICOMOS PH member Dr. Laya Boquiren Gonzales, who was invited to participate and present at the PNC Forum, which celebrated the conclusion of the 2017-2022 Korea-ICCROM Funds in Trust, the approaching completion of Phase I of the World Heritage Leadership Programme (WHLP) and the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The event was held from October 10 – 12, 2022 in Suwon, Republic of Korea (ROK)

Dr. Boquiren – Gonzales presented “How can we establish good governance arrangements that ensure they benefit from the conservation of those places?” on Day 2 under the theme of Who benefits from heritage.

Dr. Laya Boquiren – Gonzales presents the case on the Interlinkages of Built Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the C’s of Governance at the PNC Forum

Dr. Boquiren-Gonzales provided highlights on her presentation from the forum:

The conservation of the Santiago Apostol Parish in Betis, Guagua, Pampanga, a National Cultural Treasure, is an excellent case of community-based safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and application of the C’s of Governance, including the following:

  • collaboration of management actors;
  • concerted efforts of multiple stakeholders including local champions;
  • conservation anchored on a sense of collective devotion and pride and not only tourism as the sole motivation;
  • coordination among a consulting committee;
  • collaboration of local cooperatives for the safeguarding of ICH;
  • celebrations that dramatize the significance of traditions and honor collective memory;
  • contracting technical experts in the conservation of built heritage, a convergence of space of interests;
  • consensus and coalition-building;
  • cooperation strengthened by social relationships; and
  • collective pride rooted in one’s occupational identity and place affinity.

The claiming of public spaces (SDG 11.5 and SDG 11.7), originally intended for disaster mitigation, became an intergenerational significance collective skills formation anchored on place wisdom (the space is now an artisans’ haven and eco park).

Substantial impacts include the integration of woodcarving into the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system by local champions and acknowledgment of the need to integrate heritage into basic educational pedagogy. Heritage, including intangible properties, provide livelihood (SDG 8) entrepreneurial opportunities beyond mere employment (SDG 10), a sense of well-being and contentment, pride, social cohesion, and place affinity. It is life itself.

The conservation of built heritage and safeguarding of craft production unfold in relationships forged over time across levels of the locality. Decisions are arrived at through consensus. Concerted efforts are the product of coalition-building.

Ideally, cooperation is institutionalized or formalized under the coordinated efforts of national government agencies and provincial and municipal governments. When the local government and national government agencies enter the picture, the conservation of built heritage and safeguarding of the intangibles must be achieved through efficient planning and mobilization of resources, and reflected in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); implemented in Programs, Projects, and Activities (PPAS); and audited using the right monitoring and evaluation tools.

Conservation efforts are best protected by legislation and enshrined in the constitution. However, the strength of implementing the terms of such arrangements and the rule of legislation are just as potent as the combined aspirations of communities. Therefore, community empowerment and collective action must persist above all.

To know more about the PNC forum, kindly visit this link ➡️ People-Nature-Culture Forum takes a closer look at the benefits of heritage places | ICCROM

For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/ 

#ICOMOS #ICOMOSPH #HeritageProfessionals #InAction #SustainableDevelopmentGoals #LikasKayangPagUnlad #PhilippineHeritage #PAMANA2030 #PNCForum2022