UNESCO Commends Cambodia’s Commitment to Strengthen Urban Heritage Preservation

UNESCO highly appreciates the Circular on preventing the demolition and destruction of heritage buildings in Cambodia, issued by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia on 12 October 2021, to promote heritage conservation and sustainable development, given the risk of losses and damage on urban heritage buildings in Cambodia

In line with the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage promulgated in 1996, the Circular aims to preserve urban heritage buildings, including religious buildings, public buildings, private buildings, habitats and ancient houses, and sets out recommendations to prevent destruction and any form of modification, alternation or damage to the appearance of urban heritage buildings.

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.

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 cultural and natural heritage for making safe and resilient cities. The Circular will also promote the universal respect for cultural rights for all through the restoration and preservation of cultural heritage.

Cambodia has rich cultural heritage with three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Angkor, Temple of Preah Vihear, and Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk. UNESCO has been working closely with relevant authorities to promote the conservation of these sites, and UNESCO will continue to provide technical assistance to the Royal Government of Cambodia and stakeholders for the conservation and preservation of cultural and urban heritage.