Dear friends and supporters of World Heritage,

I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 

2015 was a year with many challenges: World Heritage sites were threatened by natural disasters, terrorist attacks and ill-advised infrastructure projects. Many sites around the world are under serious threat, and protecting our heritage is as difficult as it ever has been. 

But we have also had many high points for World Heritage conservation, including the successful 39th session of the World Heritage Committee (June-July 2015), where the Bonn Declaration called for the international community to come together to counter the threat of intentional destruction of cultural heritage, and a new Sustainable Development Policy was adopted by the General Assembly of all States Parties to the World Heritage Convention (November 2015). 

Many sites and projects are in urgent need of financial support, while resources of the World Heritage Fund are diminishing. We are counting on you to support World Heritage conservation in 2016. We can all play a part in protecting our heritage. 

Make a difference: donate today to the World Heritage Fund at

On behalf of the whole team at the World Heritage Centre and colleagues at UNESCO, we would like to thank you for your continuous support in safeguarding the world’s precious, irreplaceable and fragile cultural and natural heritage for the generations to come. 

All the best for World Heritage conservation in 2016!

Dr Mechtild Rössler
World Heritage Centre