CityNet hosts a three-day seminar to discuss heritage and sustainable tourismMore than 150 delegates representing 10 countries of the Asia-Pacific region are in Lalitpur for the event.
CityNet, a network of organisations in the Asia Pacific region that are working towards sustainable development, on Wednesday began a three-day seminar in Lalitpur aiming to promote heritage and sustainable tourism and address challenges in heritage conservation and climate change.
The seminar, which will also be mulling over issues such as disaster risk reduction and infrastructure development, is being held at the premises of the Lalitpur Metropolitan City.
Inaugurating the seminar, after a heritage walk from Patan Dhoka to Patan Durbar Square which saw cultural processions and dances from Newari communities, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun said that such events hold great value in preparing for ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’, under which the government is aiming to bring in to the country some two million tourists.
“I am overwhelmed to know that more than 150 representatives from various cities representing 10 countries of Asia Pacific region have gathered in Lalitpur. I am very thankful to Lalitpur Metropolitan City for organising such a grand event,” said Pun.
The representatives are scheduled to take part in a heritage walk in Bungmati on Thursday. The city is well known for wood carvings and was severely damaged by the 2015 earthquake.
The 38th executive committee meeting of CityNet aims to promote Nepal’s tourism worldwide through 88 foreign delegates, including 14 mayors and heads of various international organisations besides 43 local representatives from Nepal.
Speaking at a press meet on Wednesday, Vijay Jagannathan, secretary-general of CityNet, elaborated on how the member countries and municipalities can work together to preserve their tangible and intangible heritage which are under risk. “If you reduce the number of vehicles and air pollution, this will help to make a liveable city. We, as an organisation, want to educate and give an orientation of our members so that they take leadership and work for change in different sectors in the region,” said Jagannathan.
Founded in 1987, CityNet is a network of 135 municipalities, NGOs and private companies.
Talking to the Post, Lalitpur’s Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan said that organising such a seminar is a significant breakthrough. “Our metropolitan city was involved with CityNet for the past two decades, but from last year we became an executive member of CityNet, and thus were able to bring the delegates here,” Maharjan added.
Talking about the significance of connecting with CityNet, he said the city has trained many engineers post 2015 and has started teaching an online course in community schools in all 29 wards besides forming disaster risk reduction centres in all wards to reduce socio-economic vulnerabilities to disaster.
He further said the city is all set to prevent two- and four-wheeled vehicles from entering the Patan area which is an ‘open museum’ and a heritage site.