The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1965, dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage worldwide. ICOMOS gathers more than 10.000 professionals that contribute to the international charters and recommendations for conservation doctrine, and best practices in cultural heritage conservation. As a World Heritage Advisory Body of UNESCO, ICOMOS contributes with World Heritage Technical Evaluations and the Monitoring of the State of Conservation of World Heritage sites.
ICOMOS-CIAV, the International Committee on Vernacular Architecture and ICOMOS-ISCEAH, the International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage are two of the 28 International Scientific Committees and 110 National Committees that constitute ICOMOS. The two International Committees aim at promoting cooperation and conservation of vernacular and earthen architectural heritage at the local and international level. Each year, the International Committees select a country to hold a global high-level international conference and annual meeting to discuss the world's cutting-edge theories and practices in the conservation of vernacular and earthen architecture, also providing advice on local conservation and sustainable development.
Pingyao has been highly visible internationally because of its extremely rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage. It was listed as a National Historical and Cultural City in 1986 and successfully nominated to the World Heritage List in 1997. In the past two decades, the Pingyao County Government has put a lot of effort into the conservation and development of ancient cities, which has achieved remarkable outcomes,such as the establishment of refined management system for heritage conservation, improvement of human settlement, inheritance and innovation of culture, etc. However, World Heritage cities face new challenges nowadays.
The ICOMOS CIAV & ISCEAH 2019 China Joint Annual Meeting & International Conference on “Vernacular & Earthen Architecture towards Local Development” (hereafter abbreviated as ‘2019 Pingyao Conference’) is proposed to be held in Pingyao. The international high-level conference aims to promote the communication and cooperation on the conservation of vernacular and earthen architecture as well as the rural landscape towards local development, and to propose the ‘ICOMOS Pingyao Recommendation’ to contribute to the conservation of cultural heritage worldwide. At the same time, this conference will provide recommendations and suggestions to improve the conservation of the authenticity and integrity of Pingyao World Heritage site and the local urban and rural conservation and sustainable development.