The 4th World Heritage Youth Forum focusing on the implementation of the World Heritage Convention was held from 10 to 20 June 2012 in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) and Mollina, (Málaga). Forty-six young people aged from 12 to 15 years old, with Spanish as a common language, attended from Colombia, Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Russia, Spain and the United States, representing World Heritage sites of their countries.
The activity was carried out in line with the Patrimonio Joven program of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports and under framework of the World Heritage Education Programme. It began in 2009 when Spain hosted the 33rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and organized the 1st Ibero-american World Heritage Youth Forum.
This year, the event was held as part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. The 4th World Heritage Youth Forum benefited from the collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, as organizer of the meeting, la Comunidad de Madrid, and el Instituto de la Juventud (INJUVE) of the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.
The 10-day program included conferences, site visits, round table discussions, debates and participative workshops where participants discovered World Heritage sites in Spain and developed their own ideas for heritage conservation.
In addition, an extensive program of participatory workshops was scheduled in order to encourage participants to discuss heritage so that the working sessions would produce, through a collective construction methodology, high-quality content that could later be used in heritage education materials.
- What is Heritage Workshop where the 46 young participants started with individual reflection and working together to reached a single definition of Heritage.
- Foropedia Glossary Workshop in which young people worked on their own definitions of the following terms: Communication. Conservation, Community, Identity, Culture and Heritage.
- The Whys of Heritage Workshop where participants, confronted with ideas, argue the 5 C's (Community, Communications, Capacities, Conservation and Credibility) defined by UNESCO as strategic guidelines for the effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
- Actions for Heritage Communication Workshop to define a subject and an action related to local heritage that the participants should carry out on their return to their communities.
- During the Forum, the participants took turns to give a presentation of the World Heritage site in their country, emphasizing their personal relationship with the site and how this is reflected in their family and school.
The results of the 4th World Heritage Youth Forum were presented to the international community in a side event that took place June 29, 2012, at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee, held from 24 June to 5 July in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.
Activities were broadcast online daily at: www.patrimoniojoven.com/4oforojuvenil