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The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” aims to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be enhanced. Our World Heritage is ...
UNESCO profoundly regrets the loss of life and property in a number of historic centers in Yemen, including in the World Heritage sites of Zabid, Shibam, and Sana’a, in recent days following exceptional extreme weather conditions in the country. The resulting damage is endangering the lives of the inhabitants of these historic centers, leaving some of them without adequate shelter and ...
While reiterating expressions of condolence and solidarity with the people of Lebanon in the wake of the tragic explosions in Beirut on 4 August 2020,  UNESCO is taking action and organizing a meeting on 10 August together with the Directorate General of Antiquities in the Ministry of Culture of Lebanon and its partners – ALIPH, ARC-WH, Blue Shield, ICCROM, ICOM and ICOMOS - to jointly assess ...
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the link between environmental damage and pandemics has again been established. Many indigenous peoples have warned over decades about increasing threats to natural heritage so important for their survival. Through their traditional knowledge and their relationship to nature, they have long known that environmental dilapidation can trigger disease. We are ...
The World Heritage Centre and the advisory body for natural World Heritage, IUCN, are following with concern the situation in the immediate surroundings of the Galápagos Islands, where the massive presence of industrial fishing vessels from diverse nationalities has been repeatedly reported by media worldwide.  The state of conservation for the Galápagos Islands, including the outcomes of ...
UNESCO expresses its condolences for the death of José de los Santos Sauna, Governor of the indigenous community of the Kogui people, on 6 August 2020 in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), caused by coronavirus Covid-19. The cabildo governor will be remembered as one of the most representative leaders of the indigenous peoples of Colombia, who stood out for his work in defending ...
The German Commission for UNESCO invites UNESCO World Heritage sites and possibly other UNESCO designated sites such as Biosphere Reserves in Africa to submit proposals for financial support projects that help UNESCO designated sites to overcome an existing impairment due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Through this support, the German Commission for UNESCO contributes to a relief fund set up by ...
Fires in the Pantanal ecoregion
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
UNESCO, through the World Heritage Centre and the Secretariat of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, is observing with attention and concern the large number of fires which have struck the Pantanal ecoregion in recent weeks. According to information provided by experts and firefighters on site as well as satellite data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE - ...
Resilient Reefs introduced its bold, inclusive approach to climate adaptation at the first G20 International Working Group on Coral Reef Conservation in July 2020. Reef Resilience is a new approach to marine conservation being piloted across five UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites, and backed by a global private-public consortium. The working group, held by videoconference and hosted by the ...
UNESCO will support the social cohesion and resilience of communities suffering from years of armed conflict in central Mali as part of a major new project, made possible through USD 1 million in funding from the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH).  The project will provide critical support to the rehabilitation of the World Heritage site of ...
In Memoriam: Eusebio Leal
Saturday, 1 August 2020
UNESCO expresses its sorrow at the death of Mr Eusebio Leal on 31 July 2020. Historian of the city of Havana, Cuba and Director of the conservation programme for the historic centre of Havana, Eusebio Leal was an exceptional witness to and actor for cultural heritage worldwide. The passing of Mr. Leal is a great loss for the city of Havana and for Cuba. UNESCO offers its condolences to the ...
World Ranger Day 2020
Friday, 31 July 2020
World Ranger Day is celebrated on 31 July to commemorate Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate the work Rangers do to protect the world's natural and cultural heritage. Climate change, poaching and armed conflict are some of the challenges facing World Heritage. The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified these issues affecting sites and the managers who protect them.The ...
Rangers face tremendous odds while undertaking their work protecting Africa’s remaining wild places. A recent survey of rangers conducted by the WWF showed that almost 80% of the 1,742 respondents had faced a life-threatening encounter during their work. Tragically, in the last 12 months at least 137 rangers have died worldwide according to the International Ranger Federation. The Game ...
A new armed attack was carried out this Tuesday, July 28, 2020 against the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), inside the Virunga National Park, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is currently believed that seven soldiers were killed in the territory of Beni, in the province of North Kivu. These actions are reminiscent of the tragic events of ...
Marine debris accumulates on the beaches of even the most remote and pristine UNESCO marine World Heritage sites, including Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles). Through action, education and research, the Seychelles Island Foundation removed 25 tons of waste, including 60,000 plastic flipflops. Aldabra Atoll was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982 as one of the largest raised coral ...
The coronavirus has challenged the core of what makes cities vibrant and successful: busy streets full of people. Will these cities ever come back to be the same? The webinar on Euro-Mediterranean cities in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Secretariat in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, reflected on sustainable urban development in ...
UNESCO grants emergency funds for reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by floods and landslides at Rwenzori Mountains National Park At the beginning of May 2020, torrential rain occurred in and around Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda), a property inscribed on the World Heritage List. The excessive rain caused heavy flooding which destroyed wildlife habitats and essential ...
Nelson Mandela International Day
Saturday, 18 July 2020
Today is Nelson Mandela International Day. Nelson Mandela spent the greatest number of years that he was in prison - 18 out of 27 on Robben Island (South Africa) World Heritage site. Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th ...
The “Technical Meeting on the Recovery of the World Heritage Site of Palmyra” took place on 18 December 2019 at UNESCO’s Headquarters, with the aim of reflecting on, and discussing the recovery of Palmyra, as a World Heritage property.  The meeting followed the latest World Heritage Committee Decisions, requesting to limit restoration works to first aid interventions until the security ...
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. ...
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