Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday said culture can be an important element in dealing with the issues confronting humanity and can change the attitudes needed to ensure peace and sustainable development."A global crisis faces humanity, marked by increasing mistrust and parochialism in our asymmetric world, environmental degradation and short-sightedness in policy-making. Culture can be an important element in dealing with the issues confronting humanity," Ansari said at a book release event here.He was speaking after releasing the book titled "Relevance of Traditional Cultures for the Present and the Future" edited by Nalin Surie and K. Raghunath. Talking about the role of tradition in identity formation, Ansari said, "Traditions create and shape our collective identity which in turn shapes the individual. Cultural heritage implies a shared bond with a community. It represents our identity, our bond to the past, to our present, and our future."Discussing the continuity of cultural heritage, he said: "Cultural heritage is not merely baggage from the past. It is also the result of a selection process: a process of memory and oblivion that characterizes our choosing for -- both cultural and political reasons -- what is worthy of being preserved for future generations and what is not."Speaking about the book, the Vice President said that is just one part of the ongoing efforts to bring together scholars from Asian countries in the hope that it would create greater public awareness.