Projects – Culture

The Power of Culture: Supporting Community-based Management and Sustainable Tourism at World Heritage Sites in Malaysia and Southeast Asia
Penang weaving

Photo ©Sharizad Sulaiman/UNESCO Jakarta




In order to support sustainable tourism at World Heritage sites, UNESCO Office Jakarta and UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC) have introduced the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism (WH+ST) Programme to the respective stakeholders of the targeted WH sites in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. This will support responsible parties i.e. Ministry of Tourism and Culture, local government, and site managers to manage tourism efficiently, responsibly and sustainably based on the local community context and needs. Networking amongst site managers will also be strengthened.

Key ActivitiesLinks to PublicationsNews

The main achievements from the project can be summarised as follows:

  • A series of workshops including national and sub-regional workshops were concluded with active participation from WH site managers, national and local officials and community representatives. Two sub-regional workshops were held in Malaysia. Three national workshops were held in Malaysia, two national workshops and one public meeting were held in the Philippines, and three national workshops and one public meeting were held in Indonesia.
  • Each pilot site in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia has produced its own sustainable tourism strategy which had gone through public consultation. The publications are also made available on both the UNESCO Jakarta website and the mucp-mfit web portal.
  • The last-site specific workshop brought forward 26 participants including two representatives from Myanmar who were present as observers to potentially apply the same process towards sustainable tourism strategy for the Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments. 
  • Final sub‐regional workshop was held with participation of national representatives and site managers from each pilot sites aiming to share experience and good practice in developing the sustainable tourism strategy for their sites.



Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction of Heritage Cities in Southeast Asia and Small Island Developing States in the Pacific


 Three heritage cities have been selected as the pilot sites undpenangworkshop1er this project, namely: 1) Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca (Malaysia), 2) Semarang Old Town (Indonesia), and 3) Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji). Funded by the Government of Malaysia under the Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP), the overall objective of the project is to build capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) of heritage cities in SEA and Pacific SIDS with a view to developing DRR strategies and integrate them into the overall heritage management plan of heritage cities. The project will consist of several activities, which expect to achieve these two results: 1) to enhance the capacity of stakeholders involved in DRR of heritage cities in Southeast Asia and Pacific, and 2) to empower communities living in heritage cities through the improved management plans including DRR strategies.

Key ActivitiesNews

  • Organized an Inception Workshop on 5 and 6 April at Bayview George Town Hotel, Penang, Malaysia. Twenty-four (24) participants from Malaysia, Indonesia and Fiji attended the workshop. Participants were expected to formulate strategies for Disaster Risk Reduction within one year of the inception workshop. This inception workshop will be followed by a national workshop for the development of DRR plan/strategy in each participating heritage cities as well as development of web-based communication platform and production of tool kits to raise community awareness on DRR in heritage cities.
  • Organized national workshops in Semarang from 26-27 Feb 2018 and George Town from 1-2 March 2018, while the workshop in Levuka Port Town is scheduled in June 2018. The national workshops aim to seek feedback from the government officials, NGO, civil society organization as well as community on the draft DRR strategy and to harmonize multi-sectoral coordination in managing disaster risk in each heritage city.