This volume is a collection of papers from the 2016 ICCROM-CHA Forum on National Conservation Policy. It was the fourth in a series of five forums from 2013–2017 and resulted from an ongoing collaborative effort between ICCROM and the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) of the Republic of Korea.

The series of Forums on Conservation served as a think tank for the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, bringing together participants from more than 20 countries to explore contextual issues related to regional cultural heritage management.

Previous editions of the forum focused on conserving sacred heritage, questions of authenticity, and using traditional knowledge to conserve and manage heritage. The objective of the 2016 Forum was to explore the different national heritage systems within the Asia-Pacific region to identify gaps to be addressed in the future. The Forum involved participants from the heritage authorities of various countries, as well as several regional institutions and NGOs.

This volume provides a glimpse into some of the region’s diverse national policies governing heritage conservation, from Pakistan to New Zealand. As Adeni Masni (this volume) states, “The heritage of Malaysia is an embodiment of the history, culture and values representing the Malaysian people”, and the national policies which govern its identification, protection, use and conservation demonstrate the importance of heritage to a national psyche.

This forum series and its subsequent publications were made a reality by the collaboration and generous financial support of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) of the Republic of Korea – ICCROM’s long-standing partner, with whom we continue to collaborate today. We sincerely thank CHA for working with us for many years to provide capacity building, tools and know-how to those tasked with the management and conservation of places of cultural and natural value.