National Government Officials and World Heritage site managers, essentially from 24 countries in the Asia and the Pacific Region, but also from other continents of the world, gathered together at the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITRAP, China) and participated in an Asia-Pacific Regional Training Workshop on Assessment of Vulnerability of Cultural and Natural World Heritage Properties to Disasters and Climate Change. This Training Workshop was held from 6 to 12 December 2009 at Peking University of China, and was organized jointly by the World Heritage Centre, ICCROM and WHITRAP.

Aware that the world, including the Asia-Pacific region, is increasingly exposed to disasters and to the adverse impacts of climate change, the participants addressed a Beijing Appeal to the world leaders attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen (COP15, 7-19 December 2009).

This appeal asks world leaders to ensure that disaster and climate change considerations are integrated into national legislation and international agreements, particularly with regard to World Heritage properties. It also endorses the Action Plan on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Mitigation at World Heritage properties in the Asia and the Pacific region.

The Training Workshop itself consisted of introductory lectures, case study presentations, group discussions and site visits that allowed the highly qualified participants to actively take part in the discussions. With financial support from the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO, this activity enabled World Heritage site managers from the Asia-Pacific Region to become better informed of the World Heritage Committee's activities relating to disaster risk reduction and climate change issues in the region and the world at large. An Action Plan was developed, giving specific recommendations as to training needs and defining the most appropriate way in which to establish and maintain an efficient training network in the Asia and the Pacific region.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Feng JING (