Preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage and promoting culture for island sustainable development

Priority 4

The SAMOA Pathway outcome document calls upon the international community to support SIDS in designing and implementing their own innovative cultural policies to strengthen heritage and creativity and leverage the economic, social and natural benefits of culture. It further reaffirmed that “indigenous bio-cultural heritage recognizes the deep connections among people, culture, knowledge and the natural environment, and can meaningfully advance sustainable development”. In this context, protecting tangible cultural heritage, safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, promoting responsible sustainable tourism, boosting creative industries and transmitting traditional knowledge are crucial. This also implies adopting a holistic approach to the cultural heritage of SIDS in the specific context of the relationship of these human settlements to the land and the sea that takes into account their especially rich marine and underwater cultural heritage, which requires high levels of protection and whose potential for driving sustainable development is as yet relatively underexplored. The Action Plan aims to support SIDS in addressing these challenges.

Four priority areas in cultural heritage are particularly relevant to address sustainable development in SIDS:

  1. Culture for sustainable development;
  2. Cultural and natural heritage;
  3. Living heritage and cultural industries;
  4. Sustainable tourism.
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