Press Contact:
Elinor Betesh
GHF Press Relations
650-325-7520
ebetesh@globalheritagefund.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Global Heritage Fund, Asia Society Host
“The Forum on Global Heritage in a Developing World: Focus on Asia”
May 3, 2012, New York

PALO ALTO, CA (May 3, 2012) — Global Heritage Fund (GHF), an international conservancy devoted to saving endangered cultural heritage sites in developing countries, today hosts The Forum on Global Heritage in a Developing World: Focus on Asia in New York. The event, held in partnership with Asia Society, features keynote addresses, distinguished speakers including leading Chinese government officials, and panels on sustainable global heritage conservation, to explore challenges and discuss innovative solutions for the most important and endangered sites in Asia’s developing countries.

The Forum marks a milestone in a new global campaign to save our global heritage for future generations,” said Jeff Morgan, Executive Director of GHF. “Investment in protection and preservation of heritage sites has proven to be one of the most scalable, effective and targeted means of helping developing nations. We’ve already seen how funding to major archaeological and heritage sites can have a significant impact for local communities in the most impoverished countries. But international assistance, cooperation between the public and private sectors, and new strategies are urgently needed. The Forum gathers experts from Asia and around the world so that we can get started on our campaign.”

Three specific goals of The Forum are to:

1. Increase public awareness of a global crisis
2. Identify new technologies and innovative solutions
3. Increase funding and public-private partnerships

International and domestic tourism to major archaeological and heritage sites has soared over the past ten years: from $8 billion to over $25 billion in annual revenues, according to a 2010 GHF study, Saving Our Vanishing Heritage. By 2025, GHF estimates that global heritage sites in the world’s poorest countries have the potential to generate over $100 billion annually, while creating millions of new jobs and business opportunities. A majority of the developing world’s sites, however, are threatened by mass tourism, uncontrolled development, encroachment, looting, and man-made destruction.

The Forum includes the release of a new report — Asia’s Heritage in Peril — which was developed by GHF experts in the field and documents threats to 10 of Asia’s most important global heritage sites: Ayutthaya, Thailand; Fort Santiago and Intramuros, Philippines; Kashgar, China; Mahasthangarh, Bangladesh; Mes Aynak, Afghanistan; Myauk-U, Myanmar; Plain of Jars, Laos; Preah Vihear, Cambodia; Rakhigari, India; and Taxila, Pakistan. Each of these sites, like hundreds of others across Asia and the developing world, represents a vast, untapped economic opportunity for its host nation and local communities in need.

By bringing together leading authorities in heritage conservation, international development, philanthropy, economics, business and academia, The Forum focuses on the untapped potential of global heritage sites to stimulate economic growth, improve social infrastructure, and alleviate poverty in developing countries. The event’s diverse program enables local and international philanthropists, conservationists and private sector leaders to participate in an open dialogue with some of the world’s authorities on historic preservation and development.

Guest speakers and participants from various professional backgrounds will share their experiences from the field during a series of afternoon workshop sessions, while expert panels will discuss challenges and innovative solutions in heritage conservation, master planning, sustainable tourism, and integrated community development. The Forum will focus on Asian nations, but its findings will be able to be applied globally across the developing world.

In addition, The Forum will announce the launch of a new global study — Global Heritage-Based Development: A New Paradigm for the Developing World — to take place over the next ten years. The study analyzes the growth and development of global heritage sites over the past ten years to evaluate strategies for long-term sustainable conservation in the coming decades. Heritage-based development means properly preserving cultural sites in order to create new jobs and income, as well as investment in infrastructure, social services, health and education for local communities.

About Global Heritage Fund
Global Heritage Fund (GHF) is an international conservancy whose mission is to protect, preserve and sustain the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world. GHF utilizes its 360-degree Preservation by Design® methodology of community-based planning, science, development and partnerships to enable long-term preservation and sustainability of global heritage sites. Since 2002, GHF has invested over $25 million and secured $20 million in co-funding for 20 global heritage sites to ensure their sustainable preservation and responsible development. For more information, please visit www.globalheritagefund.org.