“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.”
Major heritage sites provide one of the most powerful and sustainable opportunities for economic development and poverty alleviation in the developing world. In just the past ten years, many heritage sites are generating over $1 billion in critically needed income and jobs for their host nations and local communities - Angkor in Cambodia, Tikal in Guatemala, Machu Picchu in Peru and Petra in Jordan are just a few examples.
The world’s most important heritage sites in developing countries are facing accelerating threats, loss and destruction from poor planning and management, development pressures, unsustainable tourism, looting, natural disasters and war and conflict. This global crisis is destroying our most important heritage sites in developing countries that can help to bring millions of people out of poverty. Once these sites are gone - they are gone forever.