The Mihai Eminescu Trust (MET) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Romania are co-hosting a local development conference in Sighisoara to support the efforts of the Romanian government regarding the rehabilitation of the national cultural heritage and regional development, with a special focus on sustainable development.
The MET and UNDP Romania have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in regenerating Transylvania’s cultural heritage with a view to enhancing human development and to join their efforts in the implementation of the MET Programme for “the integrated development of Sighisoara and the Saxon Villages of Transylvania” and the UNDP projects “Beautiful Romania” and Local Agenda 21”.
Having the support of HRH the Prince of Wales and HE Mr Ion Iliescu, the President of Romania and benefiting from a partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Religious Cults, the conference will bring together a wide range of national and international institutions and experts. Among those who have already confirmed their participation are the European Commission Delegation, the World Bank, UNESCO, the Mayor of Sighisoara, the German World Heritage Foundation, officials of the diplomatic missions in Romania and abroad, local NGOs and private sector representatives.
The outstanding universal value of the region was recognised by UNESCO listing Sighisoara and the Fortified Villages on the World Heritage list. This unique landscape has thereby become the responsibility of all humankind and constitutes one of the last pristine untouched rural areas of Europe . Due to the political and economic environment in the last 50 years the unique values are about to be lost. Alerted by the local community together with the MET the World Heritage Committee has asked the Romanian government to implement a management plan for the region.
The Mihai Eminescu Trust and UNDP, together with their partners, have taken up the initiative of the World Heritage Committee to implement a mechanism providing capacity building, training and necessary sets of organisational tools for improvement of the economic, social cultural and environmental conditions in the region; thus permitting sustainable development, effective operation of development programmes and projects including private ventures in the region placing conservation issues at the centre of the activities.
The International Conference for the Integrated Development of Sighisoara and the Saxon Villages of Transylvania will stimulate funding for projects, define necessary action and will be focussed on regenerating Transylvania’s cultural heritage with a view to enhancing human development and to raise awareness and support for the implementation of MET Programme for the integrated development of Sighisoara and Saxon Villages area, as well as of UNDP’s projects LA 21 and Beautiful Romania.
The project relies on a fruitful partnership between MET and UNDP, in close cooperation with local, regional and national authorities. Project briefs from local NGOs, development agencies, local councils and private companies will be presented at the conference and on this website. They cover such diverse activities as historic monument restoration and the publication of walking maps, organic produce production and marketing, internet portal programming etc. However, all projects will have the same twin aims - the regeneration of a viable rural economy and the conservation of the region's natural and built heritage.
The International Conference for the Integrated Development of Sighisoara and the Saxon Villages of Transylvania will be open only to invited guests due to space restrictions.
We thank the Packard Humanities Institute, The Headley Trust, GlaxoSmithKline, Linklaters, The British Council, The Norwegian Embassy, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Banca Transilvania and CIMEC for supporting the organisation of this conference.
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