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TMACH in brief

Culture represents all the aspects of living that is inseparable and closely connected to one another, developing into a set of customs and traditions. Cultural heritages are inheritable, knowledgeable, and valuable so that human beings are willing to approve, advocate, and preserve these treasures, and only changes in natural environment, societies and economy can make them fade away. Narrowly speaking, based on Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, culture could be monuments, historical architectures, relics, cultural landscapes, antiques, folk items, traditional arts and its preservationist while, in general, industrial heritages, cultural routes, underwater cultural heritages, library documents, and oral literature are included as well. Cultural heritages cover a wide range of varieties, and the notion of conservation changed and evolved as time went by. Nevertheless, the value of conservation is related to a coherent identity of a community, which is categorized as public affairs.

According to UNESCO, the objective is to ensure diversity of culture by promoting preservation of cultural heritages of every variety, e.g. world heritage, memory of the world, intangible cultural heritage. Knowing that conflicts all over the world resulted from divergence among people, the United Nations states that every kind of lifestyle, custom, and culture should be well preserved to help humankind understand and respect one another. Therefore, the purpose of cultural heritage conservation is to protect human rights and to pursue sustainable development. Based on this framework, the affairs of cultural heritage include law systems, academic approaches, education promotion, community development, town and county planning, cultural and creative industry, cross-field value-adding, and other strategic behavior.

To practice the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1966, and it was in force from 1976. “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” (ICESCR 1966, Common Article 1), which is the first article of ICESCR could be deemed as the fundamental of preservation of cultural heritage and the right to engagement in cultural development. People should respect different cultural development so that the more tolerant toward cultural divergence, the more peaceful communities will be.

In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) released Our Common Future to review the key issues of environment and development and to propose the relevant strategies. Based on this report, sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This definition shows that the focal point of sustainable development is not only the relationship between human beings and environment, but also the morality of following generations. To follow the world tendency, the Executive Yuan of Taiwan government held a forum and invited professionals from all different walks of life to subscribe to the declaration of Taiwan sustainable development, which conveys several important concepts related to the affairs of cultural heritage such as inter-generational fairness, social justice, eco-balance and development, protection of human rights, knowledge economy, aborigine protection, etc.