UNESCO Sub-regional Conference on World Heritage Global Strategy in the context of South Asia met in Kolkata (21-22 February 2019) released the Kolkata Recommendation as a strategy for future implementation of the World Heritage Global Strategy in the Sub-region.

The Sub-regional Conference, attended by approximately 55 governmental officials, experts from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, and the UNESCO Category II Centre for World Natural Heritage Training (Deradhun, India), adopted unanimously the Kolkata Recommendation as a strategy paper for future implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the Sub-region. The Conference also received approximately 30 experts as observers.

The Global Strategy, launched in 1994 by the World Heritage Committee, has the aim to ensure that the List reflects the world’s cultural and natural diversity of the whole humanity.  The Conference went through the current World Heritage List of the State Parties of the sub-region mentioned above, and identified the gap while exploring potential of the Region and what the Region can offer in the context of World Heritage Global Strategy.

The Conference also served as a platform for further raising awareness on a number of important issues on which the WH Committee pays great attention, such as local communities, indigenous people, Sustainable Development Policy, and climate change, apart from highlighting a number of under-represented heritage categories in the sub-region, such as Cultural Landscape and Historic Town. As a whole the Conference reinforced the capacity of the South Asia’ s State Parties in the implementation of World Heritage Convention.

The Kolkata Conference was jointly organized by UNESO New Delhi and West Bengal Government of India.