CHP has a number of fundamental beliefs on which the foundation of our organization is built. It is the commitment to seeing these beliefs being implemented that drives our work.
1. Everyone has a moral obligation: We believe the enjoyment of cultural heritage is the right of mankind. Hence, effective cultural heritage protection work in China cannot and should not be solely considered as the government’s responsibility. Cultural heritage protection will progress more effectively if communities are involved in all aspects of protection, management, and enjoyment of cultural heritage.
2. Public awareness ensures sustainability: To be involved in protection and management of local heritage, communities must be empowered through enhanced awareness, skills training, and organizational development in the cultural heritage protection sphere. A grassroots level education can ensure sustainable and long-lasting efforts to preserve cultural heritage among communities.
3. Education of heritage protection laws is crucial: The laws of China regarding cultural heritage protection are sound and well-conceived, but there is a serious lack of understanding, enforcement and application of the laws. Cultural heritage NGOs have a fundamental role in galvanizing awareness and enforcement of these laws at the community level, as well as introducing international best practice in heritage conservation to China.
4. Economic development and cultural heritage protection are not mutually exclusive: Cultural tourism, if responsibly managed, can be an effective tool in heritage protection. It can alleviate poverty, generate a sense of community pride to poor areas of the country, and raise an appreciation of the value and beauty of Chinese heritage within the community.
5. A role CHP can play: As a well-managed NGO, CHP can be an important catalyst for enabling communities to protect their local heritage and bridging the gap between government policies and laws and local action.