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Since its inception in 2001, the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (NFiT) at the World Heritage Centre has served the international heritage community as well as local communities in practically all regions of the world in pursuing the safeguarding and sustainable development of the World Heritage, both natural and cultural.  The agreement between the Dutch Government and UNESCO has enabled a ...
Following the earthquakes that struck the region of Emilia in northern Italy, notably since May 20, the UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova dispatched an urgent technical mission with the objective of assessing the overall situation at the affected World Heritage properties. The mission also aimed to evaluate the current risks related to the evolution of the seismic phenomenon ...
The Consultative Meeting on World Heritage and Sustainable Development, held in Ouro Preto, Brazil from 5 to 8 February, was a contribution to the celebration the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. In the first session, all speakers stressed the need to redefine the paradigm of this important topic in the face of growing inequalities and global challenges. This ...
In celebration of World Oceans Day, the World Heritage Centre is launching an iPhone app. This years’ Oceans Day theme “Youth: the Next Wave for Change” inspired the World Heritage Centre to go mobile. Of the 6,000 marine protected areas on the planet, only 45 are inscribed on the World Heritage List, the highest internationally recognized status for conservation. The ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre would like to express its sincere condolences to the friends and family of Professor Philip Vallentine Tobias, who passed away on Thursday, 7 June 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Professor Tobias, born on 14 October 1925, was an exceptional paleoanthropologist and an inspiration to generations of students. He was internationally renowned for his commitment ...
As requested by Director-General Irina Bokova, a team of experts has traveled to northern Italy to assess damage to World Heritage sites following recent earthquakes. On 20 May 2012 a powerful earthquake hit the region of Emilia Romagna, in the north of Italy, followed by numerous aftershocks. This caused considerable damage to several important historic buildings. The three World Heritage ...
The World Heritage Committee will consider the inscription of 36 sites on the World Heritage List during its next meeting from 24 June to 6 July, in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. The forthcoming 36 th session of the Committee , an independent body of 21 States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention , will be chaired by. Eleonora Mitrofanova, Ambassador Permanent Delegate ...
The World Heritage Inventory of Earthen Architecture  is now available in English and French online: http://whc.unesco.org/en/earthen-architecture/ (see documents 2 and 3). In 2008, the World Heritage Programme on Earthen architecture (WHEAP) was launched as an initiative to address pressing concerns through the development of policies for the conservation, revitalisation and ...
The Government of Mali and UNESCO have defined measures to safeguard World Heritage Properties in the north of Mali, including the fabled city of Timbuktu, following reports of wilful damage to mausoleums in the World Heritage site. UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Africa, Lalla Aicha Ben Barka, travelled to Bamako (18 – 20 May) and met senior government officials ...
The Rivers and Heritage website was officially launched on 15 March 2012 at the World Water Forum in Marseille (France), during the session “Water Culture in local governance” organized by the AIMF in partnership with l'Académie de l'Eau and UNESCO in the framework of the France-UNESCO Convention. The site lies within the framework of the Rivers and Heritage, conducted ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for the protection of Libya’s Old City of Ghadamès inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1986. “I am deeply concerned by information that the Libyan city of Ghadamès has been the target of rocket attacks,” the Director-General said. “I call upon all those involved to refrain from ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today extended her condolences to the inhabitants of northern Italy for the loss of human life and suffering caused by the earthquake that shook the region on May 20. The Director-General also said that UNESCO is sending a mission to assess damage to World Heritage sites and other cultural heritage in northern Italy.  “While initial reports from ...
The conference Living with World Heritage, held in Røros, Norway from 13 to 16 May 2012, was part of Norway`s official contribution to the celebration of the World Heritage Convention`s 40th anniversary. Almost 140 persons from 28 countries participated. The themes of the conference were sustainable development and the role of local communities, with a primary ...
On 7 May 2012, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and H.E. Ms Katalin Bogyay, Ambassador of Hungary and President of UNESCO's General Conference, signed the new Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape adopted by the General conference on 10 November 2011. The Recommendation was adopted by acclamation, the first such instrument on the historic environment issued by UNESCO in 35 ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressed her great concern following the desecration of the graves of Sidi Mahmoud in Mali by the Ansar Dine group on 4 May 2012. According to information UNESCO received, the front door of the mausoleum and its protective curtain have been burned and the people of Timbuktu who gather there every Friday for prayer were prevented from accessing it. "This ...
The World Heritage property “Frontiers of the Roman Empire” has received £537,185 (US$ 850,406) in funding from SITA Trust to underwrite a conservation project that will restore dilapidated portions of the site located in the United Kingdom. The project will be administered by Hadrian’s Wall Heritage. Originally inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987 as ...
Members of the Coordinating Committee on the Serial World Heritage Nomination of the Silk Roads release recommendations for two priority transnational heritage corridors of Silk Roads Serial and Transnational Nomination Following their meeting in Tashkent, a group of 30 experts from 5 Central Asian countries and China as well as international experts from UK, Japan and Belgium, today ...
Sydney Opera House was among the World Heritage sites around the globe participating in Earth Hour 2012, the environmental campaign to draw attention to the effects of climate change through turning off the lights for one hour, from 8.30 to 9.30pm on 31 March 2012. To see a list of the participating ...
In reaction to recent events in Northern Mali, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expresses her deep concern about the possible consequences of the ongoing armed conflict on the invaluable cultural World Heritage property located in Timbuktu and Gao. The recent takeover of these cities by the Tuareg rebels could have damaging effects on the management and conservation of the three mosques ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for the protection of the cultural heritage of Syria. ‘Following a number of media reports that Syria’s cultural heritage is threatened by the current conflict, I wish to express my grave concern about possible damage to precious sites and to call upon all those involved in the conflict to ensure the protection of ...
Archaeological discoveries
Friday, 30 March 2012
In the sacred place of Tenochtitlan, archaeologists from INAH-Conaculta (The Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Mexican National Council for Culture and the Arts), have found 23 tombstones over 550 years old, with etched images of snakes, prisoners, ornaments and warriors, which, as a whole, appears to depict the story alluding to the birth of Huitzilopochtli and ...
The International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Criterion (vi)  and associative values which took place in Warsaw, Poland, 28-30 March 2012, adopted its recommendations at a closing session today. The conclusions and recommendations will be presented to the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee in Saint Petersburg  June 2012. The meeting appreciated the support of the ...
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova underlined the importance of better integrating cultural heritage preservation and sustainable tourism during the Roundtable on World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism, held in Miami on 19 March. She highlighted that cultural heritage is a powerful driver of social and economic development for local communities. Also participating in this Roundtable were ...
World Heritage and literacy were bookends to a day where Philadelphia opened its arms to UNESCO, during the second day of Director-General Irina Bokova’s visit to the United States on Thursday.Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined the Director-General to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention at morning ceremonies held at Independence Hall, where in 1776 ...
With a stunning visit to the Everglades the day before serving as a strong reminder, Director-General Irina Bokova turned her attention to a private-public sector roundtable on World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism in Miami on Monday. Joining a panel of local leaders in the tourism industry and conservation, the Director-General highlighted the importance of better integrating cultural ...
UNESCO will partner with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Earth Hour, one of the world's largest and most well-known environmental campaigns in the world. UNESCO has invited World Heritage sites to participate in this initiative by switching off the lights on the night of Earth Hour: Saturday, 31 March 2012, from 8:30 to 9:30pm local time. The lights will also be switched off at UNESCO ...
IUCN and UNEP-WCMC have compiled a KML layer with key information on the natural and mixed World Heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as of 1 January 2012. The information comes from the latest version of the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). The WDPA is a joint project of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and IUCN, maintained at the UNEP World ...
From 12-15 March 2012, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre, partner of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre since 2008, organized its fourth online auction for the benefit of World Heritage marine sites. This year, the Manufacture auctioned a new water-resistant watch inspired by the Memovox Deep Sea: Prototype N° 1 of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage ...
On January 15th, forest fires were spotted on the slopes of Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Africa.  Inscribed onto the World Heritage list in 1997, Mount Kenya is a critical refuge for a host of iconic species, ranging from the African elephant, the leopard, and a variety of antelopes and rare birds.  The mountain is also referred to as Kenya’s water tower, as it ...
The World Heritage Centre took part in a Conference organized by the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) and the Municipality of Venice on "Building Cities Resilience to Disasters in Europe: Protecting Cultural Heritage and Adapting to Climate Change" (Venice, 19-20 March 2012). Part of the international campaign called "Making my City Resilient - My City is Getting ...
To contribute to the 2012 celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea (CHA) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC) recently launched the World Heritage Youth Storyboard Competition at the national level. Adapting the theme of the 40th anniversary on the role of local ...
Professor Herb Stovel, one of the world’s most renowned experts in heritage conservation, recently passed away in Ottawa, Canada. During his long career, Professor Stovel made an outstanding contribution to heritage conservation and to the World Heritage Convention in particular. As a scholar and a teacher of exceptional intellectual curiosity and rigour, he has had a huge impact on ...
The National Park Service of the United States of America is celebrating the World Heritage Convention with events throughout the year. For more information, there is an interactive website: http://www.nps.gov/oia/topics/worldheritage/World_Heritage_Anniversary.htm 
The World Heritage Centre has just been informed that a Ministerial Order, signed on 1 September 2011, delivers to SOCO (South Africa Congo Oil) a Certificate of Environmental Acceptability in order to exercise an oil exploration campaign by the acquisition of aeromagnetic and aerogravimetric data in block V of the Albertine Rift (Virunga National Park), Democratic Republic of Congo ...
Dr. Sami El-Masri, Deputy Director General for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, with the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Mr Kishore Rao, opened today the International Expert Meeting on Integrity for Cultural Heritage. The meeting is held from 12 to 14 March 2012, in Al Ain and is hosted by the United Arab Emirates in collaboration with the ...
Aztec Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987 as part of the Chaco Culture designation,  celebrated  the 25th anniversary of its inscription on February 24 2012, joining the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.  More information about the event, organized in collaboration with the National Parks Service (NPS), can be found in the ...
On 6 March 2012, Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee granted outline planning permission for the Peel Holdings £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme. The permission is subject to the signing of a legal agreement and has to be referred to the Government which will decide whether a public inquiry will be held. Experts from UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and from the International ...
On 12 August 2011, the Government of Brunei Darassalam and on 8 December 2011, the Government of Palestine officially deposited with the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, their instruments of ratification, becoming the 188th and 189th State Parties to adopt the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The World Heritage Convention entered into ...
Women in Mali have developed over the last decades specific skills in terms of textile dyeing. This activity provides many employment opportunities for women, as their production is being exported all throughout the sub-region. However, since chemical dyeing products are being used and polluted waste water released in water drainage canals or in the Niger River, this activity entails water ...
In March 2012, the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea (CHA) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC)  launched the Patrimonito National Storyboard Competition, Republic of Korea. Of the 143 student submissions, 10 of the storyboards were selected by the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration and were then sent to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ...
Thanks to Quindío being declared as part of the UNESCO World Heritage property, Coffee Cultural Landscape (Colombia), the exploration of hydrocarbons in this area has been stopped by order of the Council of State. The decree was issued less than eight days ago and demands the suspension of all exploration by the National Agency of Hydrocarbons and the Drilling 2010 consortium in the ...
Takuya Okada, Chairman of the AEON Environmental Foundation and Honorary Chairman of AEON Co., Ltd., announced today the opening of nominations for the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity. The MIDORI Prize is a biennial international prize, established by the AEON Environmental Foundation, in 2010, during the International Year of Biodiversity, that honours individuals who have made outstanding ...
A joint international expert mission to the World Heritage property of Great Barrier Reef by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is taking place from 5 to 14 March 2012. The World Heritage Committee, at its 35th session in June 2011 (Paris) examined the state of conservation of Great Barrier Reef (Australia), inscribed on the ...
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, two young Indian men, Aniketh MJ and Sulesh Kumar, are planning to visit India’s 28 World Heritage sites over a span of 3 months starting March 5th, 2012, travelling mainly by bus and train. With this trip they would like to create a bond between the current generation of Indians and the wonderful ...
UNESCO and Collins are delighted to announce the publication of The World’s Heritage (2nd Edition) – the definitive, best-selling guide to all 936 UNESCO World Heritage sites. This is the first book to describe all the sites on the List fully, including the most recent additions to the List in 2011. Only the world's most spectacular and extraordinary sites make it onto UNESCO's ...
To mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the UNESCOWorld Heritage Convention, Dentsu, EVERGREEN Digital Contents and NTT DOCOMO, in collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, have launched a special cartoon film featuring the friendship between “Patrimonito”, the mascot of the World Heritage Education programme, and “Docomodake”, the mascot of NTT ...
Expert Working Group meeting held in Tokyo, releases recommendations for Safeguarding World Heritage property of the Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan Following their meeting in UNESCO Headquarters in March 2011, a group of Afghan and international experts working on the safeguarding of Bamiyan (Afghanistan), as well as representatives of the Afghan and Japanese governments and UNESCO,  have ...
Heritage Heals in Hiraizumi
Monday, 13 February 2012
It is rare for a Director-General to present a certificate of World Heritage in person, but the temples, gardens and archaeological site of Hiraizumi, inscribed on the List in 2011, marked an exception. Located in north-east Japan, the 12th-century site, representing the Buddhist Pure Land gained its world heritage status three months after the earthquake and tsunami devastated the ...
Panasonic Corporation held yesterday, 8 February, the award ceremony of "Eco Picture Diary Global Contest" which the company has been promoting with the aim to raise awareness of environmental issues and eco actions for the young generation, with the final nomination of national finalists attending the ceremony at UNESCO headquarters. The "Eco-Picture Diary Contest" is a program developed ...
The Retezat Massif has received a Rapid Response Facility (RRF) grant to undertake urgent snow-tracking surveys in response to a road-building threat through the Carpathian Mountains. This protected area is on Romania’s World Heritage tentative list, and is known for its plant diversity, endemism and rich fauna, including the Eurasian eagle-owl, the gray wolf and the brown bear. The ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, launched the 40th anniversary celebration of the World Heritage Convention in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 30 January. It was the first of a series of events States Parties to the 1972 Convention are organizing around the world over the coming year, and ending with a final event in November 2012 in Kyoto, Japan. The launch featured a ...
World Heritage Convention turns forty
Monday, 30 January 2012
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, one of UNESCO's most successful programmes and one of the most powerful tools for heritage preservation. Almost universally adopted, with 188 signatory countries, the Convention is unique in that it combines the protection of cultural and natural heritage in one instrument. Since its adoption by the General Conference of ...
On November 16, 1972, the international community took a historic step towards safeguarding core, irreplaceable elements of our global heritage when the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the World Heritage Convention. Since then, more than 188 countries have ratified the Convention, and more than 936 separate sites around the world have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As ...
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