Experts representing more than 30 countries attended this international conference on the 'Use of Space Technologies for the Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage', organised by the National Institute of Anthropology and Historia (INAH) in Campeche, together with ESA, UNESCO and EURISY, a non-profit European organisation which aims to promote the use of space technologies.
Present were representatives of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Mayan world (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica); the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador); Iguazu Park (Brazil, Argentina); Old Havana (Cuba); the Taj Mahal (India); the Great Wall (China); Calakmul (Mexico); the Altai mountain range (Russia); Cocos Island (Costa Rica) and Machu Picchu (Peru). Experts in space technologies from ESA and NASA, together with members of the German, Canadian, Argentinean and Syrian space agencies, universities and research institutions, also attended the Conference.
The five-day Conference discussed the problems of conserving sites classified by UNESCO as 'World Heritage sites', as well as ways in which satellite images and technologies can be used as a tool to benefit conservation and detect possible risks to this heritage of humanity.
World heritage threatened
Our world possesses places as unique and varied as the great pyramids of Egypt, the tombs of the Buganda kings at Kasubi in Uganda and the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. This extraordinary cultural and natural diversity is an important source of life and inspiration for humanity and its preservation is a responsibility that should be shared by the whole international community.