Hub to Strengthen Heritage Management
The Pacific Heritage Hub (PHH) was officially launched at the University of the South Pacific (USP) on 27 February 2013.
On this joyful occasion, Prof Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, said that the launching of the PHH was the important milestone of the Pacific heritage community, reiterating USP’s commitment as host institute. He stated “The Pacific might be small, vulnerable and isolated, but there are many things in our culture that can teach the rest of the world and it is this dream that the government of Australia has funded and UNESCO member states in the Pacific have endorsed.”
The PHH is a regional facility with the aims of enhancing knowledge management, strengthening heritage management capacity, and facilitating sustainable funding and partnership building in the Pacific. Since the endorsement of the establishment of the PHH with USP as the host at the Pacific World Heritage Workshop held last year in Apia, a PHH manager was appointed and a Steering Committee was established. The Government of Australia has provided funding to support the launching phase of the PHH.
Speaking at the launch, H.E. Suzanne Wilson, Acting High Commissioner for Australia, said that the Hub was indeed a history for the Pacific people in creating a focal point for the entire heritage in the region.
The Steering Committee’s initial members are Australia, Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, USP, SPC, SPREP, and UNESCO. They met for the first time in Suva in order to discuss the Hub’s strategy and action plan. The Committee agreed that the PHH would act as an interactive knowledge management facility of networking across areas of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and natural heritage including biodiversity. The PHH will develop a new undergraduate course on heritage management. USP’s extensive network will allow students at the islands campuses to sign up to this course.
Covering the Pacific islands and territories, the PHH will be a link among governments, technical agencies, NGOs, and communities, overcoming geographical and technological challenges facing the region in order to showcase Pacific heritage to the world and strengthen its heritage management capacity.