Introduction -

 

 

Saving Our Vanishing Heritage


Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites in the Developing World


Introduction



Saving Our Vanishing Heritage explores the challenges facing our most significant and endangered archaeological and heritage sites in the developing world—and what we can do to save them—before they are lost forever.

Our focus on the developing world is driven by the large number of important cultural heritage sites which exist in regions with little capacity to safeguard their existence. In the first decade of the 21st century, we have lost or seriously impaired hundreds of our most precious historic sites—the physical record of our human civilization.

Vanishing surveys over 500 global heritage sites and highlights the accelerating threats facing these cultural treasures. Many have survived thousands of years, only to be lost in this generation—on our watch.

Vanishing was conceived by Global Heritage Fund, an international conservancy that has worked for nearly a decade to protect and preserve the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world.

With the critical review of 24 leading experts working in heritage conservation and international development, this report surveys hundreds of endangered global heritage sites and strives to identify those most in need of immediate intervention, and what the global community can do to save them.

The primary goals of this report are:
1. to raise critically needed global awareness
2. to identify innovative technologies and solutions
3. to increase funding through private-public partnerships

Vanishing’s findings strongly suggest that the demise of our most significant cultural heritage sites has become a global crisis, on par with environmental destruction.

In this report, GHF considered sites with the highest potential for responsible development critical for the sustained preservation of the site. GHF considers the scientific conservation of a site and its potential for responsible development during our design and planning process resulting in an integrated master plan and strategy that goes well beyond traditional monument based approaches to preservation. This report represents the first attempt to quantify the value of heritage sites as global economic resources to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Vanishing focuses on significant global heritage sites that have high potential for future tourism and responsible development, but the report’s findings and recommendations can and should be extended to other realms of heritage preservation. Global heritage sites generate extremely high economic asset values, with some worth billions of dollars a year. These sites can help to greatly diversify local economies beyond tourism and sustenance agriculture reducing dependency and alleviating poverty.

Vanishing begins a global campaign to save the most important and endangered heritage sites in the developing world.

How we as a global community act—or fail to act— in the coming years will determine if we save our global heritage and can realize the untapped economic opportunity these precious sites offer for global development in the world’s lowest-income communities and countries.

Please join us.

Jeff Morgan
Executive Director

To read more, download the full Report on the right.