China will hold an international convention on protecting and developing traditional villages in Xiamen, Fujian province, in late October.
The event will focus on how to protect agrarian civilization in a global context, sustainable development, China’s heritage protection efforts, and new technologies.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and Fujian provincial government announced the event at a news conference in Beijing on July 31.
“Traditional villages are living cultural heritage that bear historical memory, culture and arts, and ethnic and regional features of the Chinese nation,” said Zhao Hui, the ministry’s chief economist.
“They are living proof of the continuation and development of civilizations, and the embodiment of the rich human wisdom in living as a community and in harmony with nature, which teaches an important lesson about how humans should develop in the current and future environment.”
Yet he said it has been a challenge to protect traditional villages, as many have disappeared due to industrialization and urbanization.
“Protecting them is crucial to address sustainable development issues in the UN’s Agenda 21,” Zhao added. “It’s conducive to combating poverty and guaranteeing access to basic resources such as water, sanitation and disaster prevention infrastructure in rural areas.”
Some 4,153 locations have been listed as national traditional villages since the Chinese government launched an initiative to protect them in 2012.