UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, one of the world's largest nature conservation organizations, and with Washington State University is pleased to announce the launch of an online course entitled ‘Business Planning - Achieving Sustainable Financing for Protected Areas'.

Designed to provide comprehensive and rigorous training for natural World Heritage Site and other protected area managers and management stakeholders, the course is offered in three different levels of detail, with successful students obtaining a Washington State University certificate, either of participation, of achievement or of competency. This course will be available in English and Spanish. Students are expected to invest up to 35 hours of study, to pass examinations and submit assignments for evaluation.

The more intensive course also includes the services of expert tutors who will provide additional on-line personal training support.  

"World Heritage site managers operate under budgetary constraints just as most other protected area managers do," said Kishore Rao, deputy director of the World Heritage Centre.  "This course should help them develop not only a good understanding of the global discussion underway aimed at finding innovative ways to finance protected areas, but it will also introduce them to practical tools which should help them improve their own financial situation". 

Registration is now open and the first round of training begins on January 29th.