On June 10, 2019, the UNESCO International Conference on Urban and Rural Development: the Future of Historic Villages and Towns was held in Meishan, China. The conference was sponsored by UNESCO and hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Construction, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the People's Government of Sichuan Province and the People's Government of Meishan, Sichuan Province.
During the conference, the participants focused on small villages, shared the exemplary practices and experiences of historical villages and towns in achieving sustainable development through culture, analyzed the policy and implementation impact of cultural integration into the revitalization of local small villages, provided a platform for communication and liaison, and established cooperative relations in the cultural field. Through this conference, it will promote the role of culture in rural revitalization, poverty alleviation and cultural heritage, and promote the sustainable development of small villages.
At the opening ceremony, the representatives of UNESCO, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Construction, the People's Government of Sichuan Province and Meishan delivered speeches respectively. They hoped that the participants would fully express their insights, collide with sparks of ideas and gather wisdom consensus. Taking this international conference as an opportunity, they would absorb the achievements of the conference and continue to do a good job in Rural Revitalization and poverty alleviation. The cultural inheritance has made due contributions for the protection and utilization of historic villages and towns worldwide.
Historical villages and towns are the essence of human civilization development and the foundation of prosperity and development of national culture. At present, the rate of urbanization in the world is 55%, and it is expected to reach 68% in 2050. The development of urbanization has a great impact on the life style of urban and rural residents. China's rural population is the second largest in the world, reaching 578 million. Around the strategy of rural revitalization, a lot of experience has been accumulated at both national and local levels, especially in Meishan.
As the hometown of Su Dongpo, Meishan has a profound cultural background, and historical villages and towns are well preserved and unique. In recent years, Meishan has always adhered to the protection and development in the process of inheritance, focusing on the village style, folk houses, historical relics and ecological protection, and constantly intensified the protection of historic villages and towns. Five villages have entered the national traditional village directory, and 14 villages have entered the provincial directory. Meishan deeply implements the strategy of vitalizing the Rural Areas and the construction of Livable Rural Areas.
Following the opening ceremony, a high-level dialogue on culture for sustainable development and the UNESCO World Bank Forum on Cultural Promoting Urban-Rural Linkages Plenary Meeting are held.
During the conference, these forums will be held on "Creative Economy and Cultural Tourism Help Poverty Alleviation", "Culture Promotes Community Participation to Achieve Local Sustainable Development", "Cultural Heritage Protection and Innovation Enhance Environmental Sustainability and Rehabilitation", "Comprehensive Policies to Strengthen Urban-Rural Linkages and Achieve Sustainable Rural Revitalization". The future of Rural Revitalization in China and the world will be discussed, and Meishan Achievement will be issued. With the analysis for the policy and impact from the cultural integration into local sustainable development, the charm and role of culture are highlighted for local sustainable development.
In this conference, Meishan will provide excellent examples and experiences for the protection and cultural heritage of traditional villages around the world to promote of rural revitalization.