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About the Awards

About the Awards

Throughout Asia and the Pacific, cultural heritage sites are under threat. As heritage buildings and properties are largely in private ownership, the role of private individuals and institutions in protecting these vulnerable sites is paramount. Recognizing this, UNESCO seeks to encourage private sector involvement and public-private collaboration in conserving the region’s cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations.

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation was established in 2000 to recognize excellent achievement in successfully conserving or restoring heritage buildings and properties in the region by private sector or by public-private initiatives. 

In 2005, UNESCO launched the Jury Commendation for Innovation, now known as the Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts. This Award recognizes newly built structures that demonstrate outstanding design well-integrated into historic contexts. 



Since 2000, UNESCO has received 720 entries from 25 countries. A total of 217 projects have received the awards. In addition, 16 projects have been honored with the Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts, which recognizes contemporary architectural design in their heritage contexts. 

The winners span a wide range of conservation projects from private residences to palace complexes. Over the years, the projects illustrate the increasing momentum and level of conservation in Asia and the Pacific. 

The Awards set high technical and social standards for conservation in the region. They have increased local preservation efforts, inspiring local communities to take action to save their historic buildings.


UNESCO's Mission

Transforming the world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action plan for people, planet and prosperity. It pursues universal peace in global partnership with all countries and stakeholders involved. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 165 targets were adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 to support universal sustainable development within the balance of social, environmental and economic dimensions. The issues regarding culture and cultural heritage conservation are delivered under SDG 11 on sustainable cities, specifically in target (d) strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the urban cultural and natural heritage. However, culture can been seen as a cross-cutting issue which contributes to achieving various other SDGs. 

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation directly addresses SDG 11 on sustainable cities by recognizing and promoting efforts in cultural heritage conservation in the region by private sector or public-private initiatives. At the same time, the programme explicitly targets to stress the role of culture in achieving the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development by focusing on and illustrating how cultural heritage conservation and the winning projects of the Awards relate to the idea of sustainability.