Italy has always recognized the strategic importance of cultural cooperation and the role that the protection and promotion of cultural heritage can have in pursuing sustainable development and poverty reduction. In particular, the Italian intervention focuses on activities that conserve and promote local cultural heritage while fostering development of sustainable tourism and strengthening micro and small enterprises of specific production chains.
The ultimate goal is to decrease unemployment and to increase the economic and social inclusion of vulnerable and minority groups through the protection and promotion of cultural wealth.
In Myanmar, after several years of hiatus, the Italian Coperation is supporting the Government's renewed commitment to reach the highest international standards for the protection of archaeological and monumental heritage. Following a long tradition of rich collaboration, for nearly 10 years the Italian government has supported several projects managed by UNESCO aimed at implementing the World Heritage Convention. Myanmar authorities, for the first time since the ratification of the convention in 1994, participated in a long and complex training program focused on the conservation and management of the country's extraordinary cultural heritage.
The joint effort of national and international organizations was successful securing the designation of Myanmar’s first World Heritage Sites: The Ancient Pyu Cities and Bagan, in 2014 and 2019 respectively.
The Italian intervention also collaborates on activities with local and Italian NGOs for the protection of the extraordinary historical heritage of Yangon. In 2018 a mapping of historic buildings was carried out in the central area of the city. This will serve as a basis for future development and restoration activities in collaboration with local authorities.