World Heritage faces threats and challenges which raise the question: how can we contribute to a sustainable protection, preservation and conservation for heritage in an ever-changing world? Youth are the most affected by the key development changes. Now more than ever is the time to actively involve them in the management and protection of World Heritage.
This year, the World Heritage Young Professionals Forum was held in Manama, a city that has experienced contemporary changes, which have influenced decisions and actions on heritage protection.
The 30 selected participants learnt about the issues faced by World Heritage and how they can be managed. They visited the World Heritage sites of the Pearling and Qal’at al-Bahrain, and they participated in experts’ presentations on historical changes which could affects heritage, climate change, sustainable development, the role of technology, and on the future of the Convention.The Forum also served as a platform for the participants to meet with local communities to gather their insights on culture and their view of heritage. Furthermore, the participants had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities on traditional construction techniques as well as to extend their knowledge on the pearl trade traditions of Bahrain by playing ‘Pearlpoly’, a variation of Monopoly especially created for the Forum. Through a World Heritage Committee simulation, the young professionals also discovered and appreciated the work of the World Heritage Committee by discussing the state of conservation of a fictitious World Heritage property.
During the Forum, the participants exchanged their ideas, concerns as well as the opportunities to ensure the sustainability of World Heritage in an ever-changing world. They presented the results of their work in the form of a Declaration on 25 June at the 42nd session of the Committee. In the Declaration, they particularly recognized that the involvement of the youth and local communities is vital for the sustainability of the Convention and successful long-term conservation of heritage.
A video as well as an exhibition were also presented to show how the young delegates immersed themselves in a variety of activities linked to the theme 'Protecting Heritage in Ever-changing World'.
The World Heritage Centre would like to thank and congratulate all the young professionals for their work and involvement as partners, as well as their strong commitment to World Heritage.
The World Heritage Young Professionals Forum 2018 was organized by Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities as an integral part of the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, with the valuable support of the organization team Diadrasis, and in the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, under the theme of ‘Protecting Heritage in an Ever-Changing World’ from 17 to 26 June 2018 in Manama (Bahrain).