Unesco commends Cambodia’s commitment to strengthen urban heritage preservation

The Unesco has highly appreciated Cambodia’s commitment to strengthen urban heritage preservation.

“Urban heritage, including its tangible and intangible components, constitutes a key resource in enhancing the liveability and resilience of urban areas, and fosters economic development and social cohesion in a changing environment,” the UN agency said in statement on Friday.

The commendation came after Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday issued a circular on preventing the demolition and destruction of heritage buildings in the kingdom, aiming at promoting heritage conservation and sustainable development.

In line with the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage promulgated in 1996, the circular was designed to preserve urban heritage buildings, including religious, public and private buildings, habitats and ancient houses.

It also set out recommendations to prevent destruction and any form of modification, alternation or damage to the appearance of urban heritage buildings.

“Cambodia has a long-standing record for its efforts on cultural conservation, and this circular will further strengthen the balance between urban growth and sustainable development, and reaffirm Cambodia’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 11, highlighting the importance of cultural and natural heritage for making safe and resilient cities,” the Unesco said.

“The circular will also promote the universal respect for cultural rights for all through the restoration and preservation of cultural heritage,” it added.

The Southeast Asian nation has rich cultural heritage with three Unesco World Heritage Sites — Angkor Archeological Park, the Temple of Preah Vihear, and the Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk.

The Agency said it has been working closely with Cambodia’s relevant authorities to promote the conservation of these sites, and it will continue to provide technical assistance to the government and stakeholders for the preservation of cultural and urban heritage.