Turin and Piedmont host international workshop on the sustainable management of UNESCO designated sites

Key stakeholders involved in the management of over 30 UNESCO designated sites from across the world are meeting today to mark the start of the pilot edition of the International Academy on Sustainable Development, a capacity-building workshop that will run until 21 October. The event is organized by the Centro Studi Silvia Santagata-Ebla (CSS-Ebla, Turin, Italy) jointly with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).

The launch of the Academy will coincide with the final day of the 3rd World Forum on Local Economic Development. The event is part of an ongoing process that began in 2011 in Seville (Spain), with a second Forum being held in 2013 in Foz do Iguaçu  (Brazil). This third edition of the World Forum on Local Economic Development (LED) offers the opportunity to explore experiences and practices to enhance the importance of LED as a means of implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda at a local level. UNESCO’s Behind Food Sustainability exhibition, which served as inspiration for the Academy and as a starting point for the discussion of best practices in the field of sustainable development, is on display at Palazzo Cisterna in Turin from the 13th to the 18th of October as part of the Forum’s programme of events.

Introductory speeches for the capacity-building workshop in Turin will be given by Alessio Re of CSS-Ebla, Carlo Salone of the Università di Torino and Matteo Rosati, Programme Officer at the UNESCO Venice Office. Over the following days, participants will begin their visit to UNESCO sites in the Piedmont region, including the two World Heritage sites of the ‘Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato’ and the ‘Residences of the Royal House of Savoy’ and the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve of ‘Mont Viso/Area della Biosfera del Monviso’. The objective is to learn about local landscapes, communities and traditions from those who are actively involved and invested in their management. Given that the theme is closely linked to that of EXPO 2015 in Milan, particular attention is paid to designations in which food production still plays a key role in ensuring sustainable development and heritage preservation.

From 19 to 20 October, the UN Campus in Turin will host lectures and training sessions. Speakers include Philippe Pypaert, Coordinator of the Science Unit of the UNESCO Office in Venice, Marie Noel Tournoux, Project Officer Europe and North America Unit of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as well as experts in urban planning and sustainable tourism. Participants will be given the chance to present their experiences from individual sites.

The last day of the workshop will feature a visit to EXPO 2015 in Milan, where participants will attend a training session and lectures hosted by the Swiss Pavilion, supported by the cities of Geneva and Lausanne, before presenting a possible Agenda in the form of a programmatic document to be produced by a designated committee, outlining best practices and future management goals.

The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and best practices on the management of cultural and natural landscapes for sustainable development at an international level. It will contribute to advancing professional and institutional capacities with special focus on the relationship between territorial management, communities and opportunities for local development. 

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As well as contributing to the United Nations’ participation in Milan, “The Zero Hunger Challenge – United for a Sustainable World”, UNESCO is taking part in the Venice to EXPO 2015 initiative with a broad programme of events in and around Venice and in UNESCO sites and territories throughout Italy.

UNESCO’s contribution to EXPO 2015 was made possible by the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy).