UNESCO praised the government for issuing a circular to prevent the demolition of heritage buildings in Cambodia in a bid to promote conservation and sustainable development.
“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,” it said in a press statement on October 15.
Prime Minster Hun Sen issued the circular on October 12.
"In order for the conservation of urban heritage sites, religious buildings, ancient villages and houses to be in accordance with the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, the government prohibits the alteration of exterior features that may damage their beauty," he said in the circular.
UNESCO said Cambodia has a long-standing record for its efforts on cultural conservation, and this circular would further strengthen the balance between urban growth and sustainable development, and reaffirm the country’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 11.
It said 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,” it said.