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The Sahara of Cultures and Peoples project


In the context of combatting poverty (Millenium Development Goals), the objective of the project “The Sahara of Cultures and Peoples” is to assist the member states of the Sahara in the elaboration and implementation, especially by lessons learned from field pilot projects, of strategies for sustainable development and the fight against poverty, based on the protection and enhancement of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage and Natural Heritage.

Following the Millennium Declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000, all agencies of the United Nations system are required to contribute as a priority to the struggle against poverty and extreme poverty. In this context, UNESCO’s General Conference, at its 31st session (November 2001), adopted the intersectoral project “The Sahara of cultures and people”. The Saharan States concerned are: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia.

Issues addressed by the project include:

  • Strengthening of capacity-building for local actors;
  • Safeguarding and enhancement of heritage for the benefit of populations in situations of poverty;
  • Promotion of the cultures and civilization of the Sahara;
  • Improvement of the conditions of preservation of the Saharan ecosystems;
  • Support for responsible tourism policies