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At its tenth session, the UN Permanent Forum on indigenous issues (UNPFII) made several recommendations relating to UNESCO, its World Heritage Committee and the advisory bodies ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN. At the 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011) and 36th (St Petersburg, 2012) sessions of the World Heritage Committee, representatives of the UN Permanent Forum were present as observers ...
The project ‘Protection, Preservation and Prosperity: Stories of World Heritage,’ is being launched today by UNESCO and the Smithsonian Institution to celebrate the World Heritage Convention. Using mobile phone technology to reach the wider public, the project focuses on 10 World Heritage sites which embody, in particular, the role of local communities in World Heritage ...
In light of escalated violence in the vicinity of several historic urban areas in Syria, the Director-General reiterates her appeal of 30 March 2012, to all parties involved in the conflict to protect all Syrian cultural heritage. UNESCO is particularly alarmed over reports of heavy fighting in Aleppo, which ancient city is a World Heritage site. Strategically positioned on historic trade ...
Echoing the call of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, the World Heritage Committee has established a Special Fund to support Mali’s efforts to safeguard the World Heritage properties affected by the armed conflict in the north of the country, notably the sites of Timbuktu and the Tomb of Askia in Gao. The Fund will support the Government of Mali in assessing damage at the sites, ...
On June 24, a group of armed rebels attacked the headquarters of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, situated in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing seven park staff- and their family members. Others were taken hostage or are unaccounted for. The entire Reserve infrastructure was destroyed and the 15 okapi of the Epulu Breeding and Research Station were all killed. Epulu plays ...
The record of the "International Expert Meeting on the 40th Anniversary" which was held on 16 February 2012 is now available on the Japan ICOMOS website in English and Japanese. http://www.japan-icomos.org/news.html
The World Heritage Centre and the French Marine Protected Area Agency (AAMP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in support of the conservation of marine World Heritage sites. The World Heritage Centre and  AAMP have cooperated informally over the past years, in particular on efforts for the conservation marine World Heritage in the Indian Ocean and strengthening the World Heritage ...
The World Heritage Committee Friday closed its 36th session after almost two weeks of work under the chair of Eleonora Mitrofanova, the Ambassador of Russia to UNESCO. The Committee added 26 new sites to UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the session.  It marked the 40th anniversary of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The new ...
UNESCO and the nongovernmental organization Fauna and Flora International are launching an emergency appeal to support the staff and rebuild the headquarters of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in Epulu, a small village in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  On 24 June, poachers armed with AK47 rifles attacked the facility and killed seven people, including two ...
The World Heritage Thematic Programme, Human Evolution: Adaptations, Dispersals and Social Developments (HEADS) http://whc.unesco.org/en/heads/, collaborated with the UNESCO Science Sector in the organization of the 21st International Radiocarbon Conference, held from 9 to 13 July 2012, at UNESCO Headquarters. Nuria Sanz, General Coordinator of the HEADS Programme at the World Heritage ...
After a three-day expert meeting held in Italy and ending on 20 June 2012, participants concluded that there is further potential for European beech forests as World Natural Heritage.   The workshop was held in the context of the existing site “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany”, and demonstrated how World Heritage was ...
The World Heritage Committee on 2 July condemned the destruction of World Heritage sites in Mali and decided on measures to help the country protect its heritage. In its decision, the 21-member Committee responsible for implementing the World Heritage Convention, called on the Director-General of UNESCO to create a special fund to help Mali in the conservation of its cultural heritage. The ...
The World Heritage Committee on Monday morning inscribed Lena Pillars Nature Park of the Russian Federation, the last site to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List during this year’s session. Chad, Congo, Palau and Palestine had World Heritage sites inscribed on the List for the first time. Lena Pillars Nature Park is marked by spectacular rock pillars that reach a height of ...
The World Heritage Committee on Sunday inscribed eight new sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, including Chad’s first World Heritage property. Inscriptions will continue tomorrow Monday. The new sites are: Major Mining Sites of Walonia (Belgium): The four sites of the property form a strip that is 170km long by 3 to 15 km, crossing Belgium from east to west. It consists of the ...
Pearling, testimony of an island economy (Bahrain) and the Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan (Iran) were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Saturday morning. The World Heritage Committee, the independent 21-member responsible for the World Heritage Convention, will continue examining sites nominated for inscriptions during its afternoon session and tomorrow. Pearling, testimony ...
The World Heritage Committee on Saturday afternoon added the following sites to UNESCO’s World Heritage List: Gonbad-e Qābus (Iran), Archaelogical Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (Malaysia), The Landscape of Grand Pré (Canada); Heritage of Mercury (Almadén and Idrija (Slovenia/Spain); Margravial Opera House Bayreuth (Germany); Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today expressed her distress and dismay over the destruction of three sacred tombs that are part of a World Heritage site in Timbuktu, Mali. Ms Bokova called on the belligerents to cease the destruction immediately. “Reports that the Mausoleums of Sidi Mahmoud,  Sidi Moctar and Alpha Moya have been destroyed is extremely distressing,” the ...
The World Heritage Centre received a letter today from the Government of Mexico’s National Commission for Natural Protected Areas formally advising it that the government had withdrawn all approvals for the development of a very large tourism development application located near Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park (CPNP). CPNP is a component of the large Islands and Protected Areas of ...
New sites have been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Palestine); Site of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot/Wadi el-Mughara Caves (Israel), Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), and The Cultural Landscape of Bali: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita ...
The Site of Xanadu (China), the Bassari Country: Bassari and Bedik Cultural Landscapes (Senegal) and the Historic Town Grand Bassam, the first capital of Côte d’Ivoire have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. North of the Great Wall, the  Site of Xanadu  encompasses the remains of Kublai Khan’s legendary capital city, designed by the Mongol ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed her utmost concern with the recent fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which is affecting several World Heritage sites. On Sunday June 24, a group of armed rebels attacked the headquarters of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, killing at least 7 park staff. Others were taken hostage by the rebels or are still unaccounted for. All ...
The World Heritage Committee on Thursday accepted the request of the government of Mali to place Timbuktu and the Tomb of Askia on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The decision aims to raise cooperation and support for the sites threatened by the armed conflict in the region. The Committee, meeting in St Petersburg until 6 July, also asked Mali’s neighbours to do all in ...
The World Heritage Committee on Tuesday morning recognized the success of two countries, Pakistan and the Philippines, in improving the conservation of sites that had been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger: Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines). Successful measures have been taken to remove the threat ...
Environmental factors, lack of maintenance and uncontrollable urban developments have been cited as reasons to inscribe the Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The site, comprising a group of fortifications, is a magnificent example of 17th- and 18th-century military architecture built on Panama’s ...
The World Heritage Committee has placed Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the proposed construction of Liverpool Waters, a massive redevelopment of the historic docklands north of the city centre. The Committee contended that the development will extend the city centre significantly and alter the skyline and profile of the site inscribed on the ...
Of the 33 sites nominated this year, which ones will make the cut to achieve UNESCO World Heritage status? The first day of the World Heritage Committee session began this morning, from the historic 18th century Tauride Palace (also known as “Tavrichesky” Palace) in St Petersburg, Russia. Delegations from the 21 States Parties will decide, by July 6, which sites will be added to ...
The challenges facing heritage preservation as UNESCO celebrates the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention were the focus of the opening of the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee. The session started Sunday in St Petersburg and will continue until 6 July. The Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, Eleonora Valentinovna Mitrofanova, welcomed the participants ...
The Youth Model of the World Heritage Committee, to be held in Kazan from 1 to 9 July, is designed to attract the attention of young people of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to the problem of preservating natural and cultural heritage and to raise awareness  of youth activities related to the Convention, its role and its international importance as well as procedures ...
On 11 June, a protocol agreement for a preservation and management project for Historic Cairo (Egypt) was signed by Mr. Samir Gharib, Head of the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH), and Dr. Tarek Shawky, Head of the UNESCO Cairo office, on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Attendees included H.E Mohammed Ibrahim, Minister of State for Antiquities, H.E Mohammed Saber ...
Participants to the 4th annual World Heritage Centre / Earthwatch / Shell "Business Planning for natural World Heritage site managers" year long training programme have just been informed of their successful candidacies.    In October 2012, 18 World Heritage site staff from 6 sites in Africa will travel to the Mpala Research Centre  in the shadow of Mount Kenya World ...
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 ...
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