FFE Magazine

Vigan wins UNESCO award

MANILA, Philippines – Vigan City won the best cultural conservation practices award given by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), beating 28 other cities and countries nominated for the award.

A "kalesa" or a Philippine horse-drawn carriage in the streets of Vigan

Vigan Mayor Eva Singson-Medina said that the competition dealt with 'One-Off Initiative for Sustainable Conservation and Management of a World Heritage Property.'

Vigan, cited for its centuries-old ancestral houses that are still habitable, was listed as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1999. Medina will receive the award on Nov. 8 in Kyoto, Japan to be given by World Heritage Centre of the UNESCO.

In a letter to Medina informing her of the award, World Heritage Centre director Kishore Rao said Vigan got the highest number of votes after two rounds of consultations among members of the selection committee.

The committee picked Vigan after it took cognizance of its 'good management practice that was achieved with relatively limited resources which should make it adaptable to other countries.'

The committee also noted that the local community (is) well integrated in many aspects of the sustainable conservation and management of the property and recognized that an interesting multi-faceted approach to the protection of the site has been developed.

Medina said UNESCO National Commission in the Philippines endorsed Vigan as the country's entry in the competition. She said she did not expect to win the award since Vigan is a small city with minimal resources, compared to the other competitors that are much bigger and richer.

She thanked her constituent for cooperating with the city government in its conservation efforts.

The Philippine Star || By Teddy Molina – November 05, 2012

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