Mobilizing cultural resources for sustainable development

(VOVworld) – Culture is considered one of resources that will help sustainable development. Once integrated into policy, rituals, beliefs, festivals, tourism, and other core cultural features will contribute a great deal to a nation’s sustainable development. 

Mobilizing cultural resources for sustainable development - ảnh 1
Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO-recognized world heritage site in Vietnam

Vietnam has a total of 8 world heritage sites and 11 intangible cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO. Vietnam ratified the UNESCO’s Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1987. Susan Vize, Chief of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam, says: “Recognizing cultural heritage is a very critical first step to be done to protect and preserve it. Otherwise, people will move forward on the path toward globalization without necessarily knowing what they are really leaving behind. So I think the fact that Vietnam has inscribed so many things in terms of intangible cultural heritage and tangible heritage means that there is now a greater ability and momentum towards protecting and preserving them.”

Prof. Luong Van Hy, Director of the Collaborative Master's Degree Program in Asia-Pacific Studies at Canada’s Toronto University, said: “UNESCO advocates respect for all cultures and their contributions to national development through the protection of heritages. On the other hand, when a nation’s culture is treasured, its aspirations, thinking, and origins will have a stronger say.”

Prof. Hy emphasized the role of community in protecting and promoting ethnic culture: “UNESCO believes in protecting heritage within a community rather than in a museum. So, the community’s role is absolutely important. It’s not enough just to record some musical pieces and then play them at a museum. Culture only lives in the community.”

Prof. Le Hong Ly, Director of the Institute for Folklore Studies at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, suggested ways to capitalize on culture: “We should turn cultural resources into commodities. This issue requires folklorists’ efforts and cooperation between culture and tourism.”