Proposals are now being accepted for presentation at the International Conference entitled ‘African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development’, to be held from 31 May to 3 June 2016 at the World Heritage property, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, in Arusha Tanzania.

Open to all concerned with the added value of World Heritage conservation and sustainable development in Africa, this conference will provide an opportunity to present research and project experiences before a wide range of stakeholders: international heritage experts, academics, government representatives, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector. The conference will explore various topics related to sustainable development and African Heritage, principal challenges and practical solutions.

The Africa Unit of the World Heritage Centre is inviting abstracts, in English or French, from emerging and established scholars, professionals in the environmental and cultural heritage fields, private and public sector development actors and development partners. Contributions focusing on non-African examples, good practices, lessons learnt and success stories regarding balancing conservation and sustainable development are welcome.


  • Environmental Sustainability through the protection of biological and cultural diversity, the management of water resources, the strengthening of resilience to natural hazards and climate change. This section will demonstrate how sustainable development and the environment are complementary in creating wealth and livelihoods at different scales on the African continent, building on traditional management systems to deliver ecosystem services and socio-cultural benefits.
  • Inclusive Social Development through mutual contribution to inclusion, equity, enhancing quality of life, well-being, relevance and quality of education, as well as the respect, protection and promotion of human rights. This theme will also examine issues related to the respect, the consulting and involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities as well as the question of gender equality in the management of heritage resources.
  • Inclusive Economic Development through employment, income generation and livelihoods as well as the promotion of economic investment and quality tourism. The strengthening of capacities for innovation and local entrepreneurship will also be discussed.
  • Fostering Peace and Security: conflict prevention and resolution through traditional and other systems, heritage protection during conflict, post-conflict recovery, planning, and management.
  • Cultural heritage, through the promotion of cultural capital at heritage sites and beyond, can be a driver of sustainable development. The mobilization of cultural resources and the application of traditional management systems can be leveraged for poverty reduction and economic development for local communities.

Whichever theme they choose to examine, contributors are also invited to examine, where relevant, the contributions of Traditional Management Systems (TMS) to sustainable development and conservation of heritage resources in Africa. TMS can be examined in terms of contributions to practice, innovation and adaptation.

Abstracts should not exceed 300 words, in A4 format, and should clearly indicate the author(s) names and affiliations as well as contact details. Submissions should also relate to at least one of the five references documents below.

The submission system will automatically close on 15 March 2016, at 23:59 pm GMT. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 25 March 2016.
Contact information

Contact information

For more information, contact or call +33 1 45 68 14 63

Selected UN and other References

Please refer to the essential reading and bibliography below:

  1. Conference Concept Note from the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO
  2. Policy document on World Heritage and sustainable development, adopted by the 20th General Assembly in 2015 (English and French language versions available at:
  3. UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda
  4. The Paris agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  5. Africa 2063 Agenda “The Africa We Want”,
    framework document EnglishFrenchPortuguese
    Popular version,