Dr. Consuelo dL. Habito, Professor and Program Chair of the Diploma in/Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), participated as an Additional Replicator during the RURITAGE Final Conference on 8-12 June 2022 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. 

RURITAGE is a 4-year project which aims to sustainably enhance and develop the cultural and national heritage potential of rural areas through a heritage-led regeneration approach. The project is part of the Horizon 2020, a research and innovation programme funded by the European Union. 

As an Additional Replicator, Dr. Habito presented a poster of an action plan and implementation strategies entitled “Ifugao Traditional Houses: A Springboard for Re-energizing Culture, Preserving Landscape, and Support for Household Resiliency.” Other Role Models and Replicators from different countries also presented their updates on the progress of the 4-year regeneration strategies in their respective countries, showing how the projects helped improve their landscapes.

International experts and rural communities also gathered during the final conference titled, “Sustainable Rural Regeneration in the European Agenda,” on 9-10 June 2022 to celebrate the achievements of the RURITAGE projects. Mr. Kristof Vandenberghe, UNESCO’s Chief of Section for Earth Sciences and Geoparks, welcomed the participants by sharing the success story of UNESCO Global Geoparks while Professor Simona Tondelli introduced the digital platform RURITAGE Resource Ecosystem. The two welcome remarks were followed by 3-minute presentations of RURITAGE projects in 19 regions, then the sharing of insights on monitoring platforms, on RURITAGE Resource Ecosystem, and on exploitation and long-term strategy for RURITAGE. Interactive workshops such as social simulations were also conducted during the afternoon session.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to roundtable discussions (RTDs) on rural regeneration projects, of which results and strategies were presented.

“Heritage in all its forms, enables social cohesion and well-being, fosters socio-economic development and has the potential to enhance the long-term benefits of economic activities and change the face of rural regions across the world,” states RURITAGE as the highlight of the two-day conference.

The conference can be watched through these links: RURITAGE Final Conference Day 1 and RURITAGE Final Conference Day 2

 Written by: Rhea Ariele Pascua • Edited by: Dr. Joane V. Serrano

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