PRESS RELEASEExperts from 11 countries to prepare Public-Private Partnership (PPP) strategies for ASEM Culture Ministers 

25 civil society and government experts will gather from 12 to 14 July to prepare recommendations for the upcoming ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting on “Managing Heritage Cities for a Sustainable Future” in September 2012. They will focus on public-private partnerships as a key strategy for maximising resources in managing tangible and intangible cultural heritage found in cities and urban landscapes.
Given that governments are struggling in the current economic crisis to muster enough funding to care for historic structures, public-private partnerships present an efficient way, not only to preserve, but also to economically and culturally revitalise heritage cities.
ICCROM’s Project Manager, Sites Unit, Dr Gamini Wijesuriya, who is one of the invited experts, says, “In many countries, conservation and management of heritage have been considered the exclusive domain of the public sector. Borrowing of public-private partnership models, known as ‘PPP’, from other sectors came to the fore as part of a drive to attract much needed cash for conservation of heritage. One of the questions we need to raise is how these models are applicable to heritage. Some aspects – sharing costs, responsibilities and risks, boosting efficiency, development and long-term commitment – so inherent to profit-led PPP, if appropriately adapted can deliver important benefits to the heritage sector”.
Organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Centre for Heritage Conservation, Department of Architecture and Planning at the Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, the Experts Meeting, titled “Managing Heritage Cities in Asia and Europe: The Role of Public-Private Partnerships”, will highlight successful case studies and best practises from Asia and Europe.
A Public Forum held alongside the Meeting on 12 July will invite students and faculty members from Universitas Gadjah Mada, as well as local non-governmental organisations and governmental agencies, for an open session with some of the international experts.