IPOGEA Traditional Knowledge Research Center, was born in Matera in 1993 together with the initiative for the inclusion of the Sassi of Matera in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It operated in a monumental complex located in the Sassi di Matera, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Finance, to carry out activities to enhance the cultural heritage and to promote the international role of the Sassi, resulting from the recognition of UNESCO.

Ipogea is also present in Florence, with an office located on Via Roma 595, Bagno a Ripoli.

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Pietro Laureano, director and coordinator of Ipogea, was the author of the report that led to the inclusion of Matera in the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is also responsible for the inclusion of the National Park of Cilento, with the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, in the list of World Heritage Sites.

He was a member of the UNESCO team who developed the Masterplan of Major Petra (Jordan), and is a team leader in the UNESCO conservation campaign for archaeological monuments in Lalibela (Ethiopia).

He is director, coordinator and project of the archaeological park of Gravina in Puglia, and has designed plans for important archaeological sites and parks on Italian and international level. He is the author of the methodology for the implementation of UNESCO sites management plans.
Ipogea is recognized by the European Union as an organization of excellence in the protection and enhancement of European cultural heritage, has been an associate member of ICCROM (International Center for the Study of Cultural Heritage Conservation and Restoration) and executes projects on behalf of the World Monuments Found .

Ipogea is currently engaged in activities in the following areas:

– Master plans for parks and archaeological sites;
– UNESCO World Heritage List of Management Plans;
– Soil protection;
– Sustainable management of water resources;
– Application and dissemination of traditional techniques;
– Protecting and enhancing the landscape;
– landscape planning;
-Restauration of the environment;
– Sustainable Development;
– Protection of ecosystems;
– Diffusion of know-how and capacity development;
– Valorization of heritage and cultural identities.
Ipogea is experienced in the management of multilateral activities, programs for developing countries and the co-ordination of multidisciplinary groups of international experts. It also organizes exhibitions, forums, seminars, workshops, courses and internships. He has been coordinating three major European projects, and is working for UNDP Morocco on the study of a desert area and the creation of an ecomuseum.

Ipogea’s approach is to foster the full development of local skills and resources, and to invent and enhance archaeological, historical, environmental and traditional values.

To this end, Ipogea and UNESCO have developed a methodology for the classification of local knowledge (SITTI – Iconograrphic System of Traditional and Innovative Techniques) and the creation of easily accessible archives and databases (TKWB – World Bank of Traditional Knowledge) Illustrate the memory and values ​​of specific sites to preserve, and provide operational tools for the organization of territorial parks.

This system, based on a Geographic Information System (GIS) and Google Earth platform, is a powerful tool for planning and allows you to create:

– An interactive and easy-to-access database with all available documentation;
– A numerical graph of archaeological values;
– Composite maps for the organization of parks;
– Future scenarios and projections for interested parties and public officials;
– Web-based interactive routes for the development and enhancement of tourism.