The third Huangshan Dialogue kicked off on Thursday at Mount Huangshan, a UNESCO natural and cultural heritage site and global geopark in east China's Anhui Province.
Themed "UNESCO sites facilitating sustainable development," the three-day dialogue will host a series of events focusing on disaster and risk assessment at World Heritage sites, as well as the cooperation and development of such sites along the Belt and Road.
More than 180 domestic and foreign experts, scholars and representatives from UNESCO and international organizations will attend.
"Heritage was long absent from the mainstream sustainable development debate despite its crucial importance to societies and the wide acknowledgment of its great potential to contribute to social, economic and environmental goals," said Mechtild Rossler, director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, at a speech read at the meeting.
"World Heritage sites not only inspire us with a profound sense of wonder and joy, but also provide many direct tangible contributions to the sustainable development goals, such as security and health, through shelter, access to clean air, water, food and other key resources and contribute to alleviating poverty and inequalities."
There are a total of 1,092 World Heritage sites distributed in 167 countries and regions. China alone is home to 53 UNESCO natural and cultural sites.