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Please note that given the exceptional circumstances related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, regular mail sent to the World Heritage Centre in Paris cannot be processed on a normal basis for the moment. To avoid any delays in the treatment of statutory and/or general correspondence, please send systematically to the concerned addressee within the World Heritage Centre an electronic copy of all the correspondence you may wish to transmit. Thank you for your understanding.
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Site managers report on Covid-19 World Heritage sites are also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the managers of World Heritage sites tell us how they are coping with the crisis. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre would like to warmly thank the site managers and staff who made the effort to update us during this particularly difficult time.This page will continue to be ...
The theme of the 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Solutions are in Nature”. The year 2020 was defined as a 'biodiversity super year', but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, major events dedicated to Biodiversity protection have been postponed to a later date. The current pandemic has shaken the international biodiversity agenda but has also revealed our total ...
As nearly half of the global population went into lockdown in recent months, rare wildlife sightings emerged in the most unexpected places. CO2 emissions dropped by 8% since the start of the year, the largest decrease ever recorded.  Nature seemed to finally take a breath from the relentless human pressures that have been the primary reason for biodiversity reduction and habitat loss for at ...
Children's Artwork on World Heritage Sites Thank You Children's Artwork on World Heritage Sites The artwork displayed below was posted in response to a global call for the Little Artists Exhibition inviting children around the world to draw a UNESCO World Heritage site that matters to them. This could be a site in their community, a memory from a family vacation, or a ...
UNESCO welcomes the decision taken by Mr. Abbas Mortada, Minister of Culture of Lebanon, to halt the construction project at the Archaeological Site of Nahr El-Kalb.  Since 2019, the Archaeological Site of Nahr el-Kalb has been on Lebanon’s Tentative List for potential future World Heritage nomination, and since 2005 on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. It consists of several ...
On April 24, a tragic attack from armed militia groups caused the death of four civilians and thirteen staff members of the Virunga National Park, a natural World Heritage site in the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC). In order to ensure the continuity of conservation actions, the Rapid Response Facility (RRF), an emergency fund established by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Fauna ...
On 9 May 2020, people around the world will celebrate World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) – a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.  This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us must stay at home. But we can reach for our binoculars to celebrate the theme of World Migratory Bird Day “Birds Connect Our ...
In memoriam: Guy Suzon Ramangason
Thursday, 7 May 2020
The World Heritage Centre would like to express its sadness at the death of Dr. Guy Suzon Ramangason, former Director General of Madagascar National Parks, who passed away on 30th April 2020.  Guy Suzon made an important contribution to biodiversity conservation in Madagascar and beyond.  After an international career at IUCN and WWF, Guy Suzon took the reins of Madagascar National Parks, ...
On 6 May 2020, Dr Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre, is launching the UNESCO publication Empowering Youth for Heritage. Dedicated to the World Heritage Volunteers Initiative (WHV), it kick-starts a series of Webinars to support and build the capacities of the WHV-implementing organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This publication provides a retrospective of the ...
African World Heritage Day May 5th 2020 Youth, Entrepreneurship and Heritage Sustainability in Africa Due to COVID-19, 90% of World Heritage sites around the globe are closed or partially closed, and many of them are in Africa. As African World Heritage sites cope with the current situation, they are also looking ahead to the post-Covid time and planning for the short ...
Monitoring World Heritage site closures Introduction to the global map on the closure of World Heritage sites due to Covid-19 and analysis. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many governments have taken measures to restrict movements of people and access to certain areas. This includes the closure of natural and cultural World Heritage sites in the 167 countries they are located in. ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Azoulay, strongly condemned the killing of 13 employees of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), and of four civilians on 24 April 2020 in the vicinity of Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage property in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  "In a global context already weakened by a health crisis linked to COVID-19, the ...
Over 130 Ministers and Vice-Ministers of Culture joined the online meeting convened by UNESCO to discuss actions to bolster the cultural sector, which is facing unprecedented upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministers spoke of the direct effects of the current crisis on tourism, museums, cultural production and artists, as well as the measures that they have taken to mitigate the ...
Recent heavy rains reported in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, have resulted in extensive damage to the city’s infrastructure, homes, and residential areas located along Wadi Sailah. “UNESCO is deeply concerned about the impact of these flash floods on the Old City of Sana’a and the people who live there. We stand ready to assist in any way we can,” said Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant ...
UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Mr. Ernesto Ottone R., expressed his concern about the fire that, on the morning of 13 April, seriously affected the Milot Church inside the National Historic Park - Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers, in Haiti, a property inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. "We are in contact with the National Heritage Preservation Institute (ISPAN), ...
Notre Dame: One year after the fire
Tuesday, 14 April 2020
A year has passed since the fire that ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The Cathedral is part of the World Heritage site “Paris, Banks of the Seine” and a fine symbol of Gothic architecture. The flames tore through the upper levels of the 12th century cathedral on the evening of 15 April 2019, destroying two-thirds of its roof and collapsing its famous spire. Parisians and ...
UNESCO Little Artists Exhibition Call for artwork COVID-19 has presented a host of new challenges for parents and guardians of young children, the majority of whom are out of school. Yet confinement can also be an opportunity – for learning, creativity and discovery. To encourage this creativity, UNESCO is inviting children between ages 6 and 12 to draw a UNESCO World ...
UNESCO is launching initiatives to support cultural industries and cultural heritage as billions of people around the world turn to culture for comfort and to overcome social isolation during the COVID-19 sanitary crisis, which is hitting the culture sector hard. “The global nature of the COVID-19 crisis is a call for the international community to reinvest in international cooperation and ...
The Archaeological Site of Nahr El-Kalb is an exceptional monument that testifies to the rich cultural heritage of Lebanon. The site has been included on the Tentative List of Lebanon since 2019, for potential nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The site’s exceptional documentary heritage includes the commemorative stelae of Nahr El-Kalb, which reflect the entire history of ...
COVID-19 has brought into stark relief, as crises often do, the necessity of culture for people and communities. At a time when billions of people are physically separated from one another, culture brings us together.  It provides comfort, inspiration and hope at a time of enormous anxiety and uncertainty. Yet even as we rely on culture to get us through this crisis, culture is also ...
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