Kosovo municipalities are facing today major difficulties in utilization of cultural heritage for community benefits, while the risk of further destruction of cultural heritage remains high. An explanatory cause of this situation, which is already observed, is an insufficient level of dialogue between municipalities and central institutions, as well as between institutions and the community.
Local Cultural Heritage Plans
On 1st October 2012 was signed Memorandum of Understanding for the Program “Local Cultural Heritage Plans 2012-2015” (LCHP) between the Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP), Municipalities of Dragash/ Dragaš, Gjakova/Đakovica, Gjilan/Gnjilane, Kaçanik, Parteš/Partesh, Rahovec/Orahovac and Vushtrri/Vučitrn. This Program will contribute to strengthening the role of municipalities, NGOs and communities on the revival of local cultural and natural heritage and its sustainable utilization for the purpose of local economic development in all 7 municipalities. An important driver in achieving these goals is close cooperation with central institutions such as the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, Ministry of Trade and Industry, UN-HABITAT, Regional Environmental Center (REC), etc.
Three main goals of the Program:
1. Protection and conservation of cultural and natural heritage
2. Integration of cultural and natural heritage in contemporary life and local development through cultural and natural heritage
3. Education, training and awareness on cultural and natural heritage
Local Cultural Heritage Forums
Through Local Cultural Heritage Plans CHwB has adopted a new approach for protection and promotion of cultural and natural heritage. These plans will identify cultural and natural heritage assets for being utilized as a basis for economic and social development of community. For this purpose in each partner municipality were establish Local Cultural Heritage Forums (LCHF). Each Forum is consisted of 20 members in total, with more than half of the members from the respective municipality, representatives of central institutions, local authorities, international organizations and civil society.
Four main roles of the Forums are:
1. Platform of interagency communication and coordination (2012-2015)
2. Decision making bodies in drafting the plans and setting the priorities (2012)
3. Monitoring and supporting role on implementation of priorities emerged from the plans (2013-2015)
4. Implementing partners on number of priorities emerged from the plans (2013-2015)
The first inauguration meetings of LCHF were held at the second half of October 2012 in all seven municipalities, where members learned about the program, main objectives, methodologies and responsibilities of all parties involved in the process. A month after, CHwB organized a study visit to UK for two ministries and seven municipalities’ representatives so that they can experience various cultural heritage preservation strategies as well as to learn from the best practices.
Workshops with all 7 Forums were conducted during the period November 2012 – January 2013, where were undertaken the first steps toward drafting the plan. During these workshops participants analyzed an existing state of municipal cultural heritage, identified needs of each municipality through fruitful debate and discussion. At the end of the workshop, participants grouped projects and activities into three main objectives of the program. All Forums members from partner municipalities attended a short study visits in the region: Shkodra (Albania), Ohrid (Macedonia), Tirana (Albania) and Kotor (Montenegro). Workshops and meetings resulted with 190 projects ideas in total. These projects were open for public consultations during May 2013 in all seven municipalities that enriched the initial list by 51 new project ideas, resulting the total of 241 projects in 7 municipalities.
For implementation of some of the priorities that came out from these plans, CHwB will invest 100.000 € during this period in each partner municipality, where each municipality will contribute with 20.000 € of total value, this amount will reach in total 120.000 € investment per municipality.
Beside drafting local plans for 7 partner municipalities (for download check Quick Facts of the project) 82 priority projects arising from these plans were implemented. Summary of the implemented projects you can find in the following categories:
- Conservation and restoration
- Promotion of heritage and tourism
- Education and awareness
- Research and planning
More information and updated news can be found at the next section of this page “Quick Facts of the project”.