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On 9 March 2016, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan officially deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage with the Director-General of UNESCO. South Sudan become the 192nd State Party to the World Heritage Convention on 9 June 2016, when the Convention entered into force for this country. To date, ...
Over the last several weeks, the World Heritage Centre has received numerous messages from citizens and NGOs expressing their concerns regarding the development of the Vienna Ice Skating Rink, the Hotel Intercontinental and the Konzerthaus site, and other conservation issues within the boundaries of the property. It should be noted that the competent authorities of the State Party of the ...
“The destruction of heritage is inseparable from the persecution of people. This is why we consider the protection of cultural heritage today as far more than a cultural issue. This has become a humanitarian imperative, and a security issue,” stated UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova today in The Hague during the Europe Lecture 2016, organised by the European Lecture Foundation in ...
Following South Sudan’s ratification of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in January 2016, UNESCO organized a technical workshop from 8 to 13 June 2016 in Juba to support the process of preparing South Sudan’s World Heritage Tentative List. Over ten representatives from ministries responsible for natural and cultural heritage, NGOs, and Juba University participated in the workshop, which ...
At its 40th session to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 10 to 20 July 2016, the World Heritage Committee will examine the state of conservation of a number of World Heritage properties.  The full reports on 152 properties are now publicly available through the World Heritage Centre’ State of conservation Information System at the following Web address: http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc As part ...
UNESCO’s Director-General condemns the Destruction of Nabu Temple in Nimrud “The recent destruction of Nabu Temple is a new deliberate attack against the Iraqi people and against the shared values of humanity” said the Director General of UNESCO. “I condemn in the strongest manner this new crime and reiterate UNESCO’s determination to do whatever is needed to support the national responsible ...
We are living in a time of unprecedented change. As we celebrate our marine treasures this World Oceans Day, we at UNESCO are also reflecting on the work needed to sustain them as sea levels rise, and the water grows warmer and more acidic. This year, the effects of climate change have been multiplied by a strong El Niño that has brought record-breaking temperatures to much of the Pacific ...
Experts from nearly 40 countries, including 12 outside the Africa region, gathered in Arusha (Tanzania) for the international conference "Safeguarding African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development" co-organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the United Republic of Tanzania and the People's Republic of China, from 31 May to 3 June 2016. In his opening statement, the ...
Policy makers and advisors from the Federal Government of Somalia and national heritage experts met on 6 June 2016 in Mogadishu to consider the benefits of ratifying the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. During a technical workshop organised by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education together with the Italian NGO CISP as part of the European-Union funded project ‘Reviving ...
Go Wild for Life!
Sunday, 5 June 2016
Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the World Environment Day, 5 June 2016 Go Wild for Life! Wildlife is an integral part of our biosphere. It is not only essential for healthy ecosystems but also key to peace and sustainable development. Many communities depend on wildlife trade, and tourism related to wildlife, for their livelihoods. An estimated ...
Some 230 Syrian and international experts joined forces in a two-day meeting to assess damage to cultural heritage sites in Syria, develop methodologies and define priority emergency safeguarding measures for the country’s heritage. The expert meeting, held in Berlin from 2 to 4 June, was organized by UNESCO and Germany. It was opened by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Maria ...
UNESCO Director-General opened the Expert meeting on the safeguarding of syria's heritage, with Maria Böhmer, Minister of State to the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany. "Berlin embodies the power of culture to bring people together”, said Irina Bokova. More than 230 Syrian and international experts from all sides are joining forces to develop a common damage assessment ...
From 25 to 27 May, an international conference entitled “Cultural Heritage and Development Initiatives: a Challenge or a Contribution to Sustainability?” was held at the Palazzo Barnerini in Rome.  Organized by the UNESCO Office in Kabul together with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the World Bank, in cooperation with the Government of Italy, it focused on the relationship between ...
“Keeping History Alive” a UNESCO publication on safeguarding cultural heritage in post-conflict Afghanistan was launched in Kabul’s Babur Garden H.E. Chief Executive of Afghanistan Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “Safeguarding heritage and diversity is more than a cultural issue. It is an issue of citizenship, bringing people together around shared values. To ...
Climate change is fast becoming one of the most significant risks for World Heritage sites, according to the report “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate” released today by UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “Globally, we need to better understand, monitor and address climate change threats to World Heritage sites,” ...
"The 2016 International Day for Biological Diversity is dedicated to the theme of ‘Mainstreaming Biodiversity, Sustaining People and their Livelihoods.’ This echoes powerfully the vision set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. I see this as a single agenda to chart a new course for people, peace and the planet for the next 15 years. ...
Over the last several months, the World Heritage Centre has received numerous messages, through the NGO Platform Save the Tua, from individuals expressing their concern regarding the Foz Tua dam project, located inside the buffer zone, but outside the World Heritage property “Alto Douro Wine Region” limit. Those messages drew attention to the adverse impact it may have on the landscape, ...
The Director-General of UNESCO strongly condemned the severe damage caused by an air-strike to the Church of Saint Simeon, part of the UNESCO World Heritage property of the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria. The byzantine Church was built in the year 490 AD on Mount Simeon and used to be a popular destination for worshippers and tourists alike. The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina ...
Key UNESCO partners joined with the Organization to approve a new action plan to address emergency and short term interventions for the safeguarding of Libya’s cultural heritage following a three-day international expert meeting in the Tunisian capital this week. Organized with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Libya and in close cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of Libya and ...
In preparation for the UNESCO experts’ meeting in Berlin (2-4 June 2016) on the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Syria, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and UNESCO teams are pursuing consultations with representatives from Member States and experts across the board to assess the situation and the way forward. These actions are in line with the unanimous decision of the 199th session ...
With the slogan “ … and when the skies fall silent?",  the World Migratory Bird Day 2016  on 10 May aims to highlight the incredible numbers of migratory birds being threatened and lost each year . This is often linked to illicit activities are various and the toll that they are taking is disastrous – millions of birds are being killed each year.  Such numbers are totally unsustainable and ...
[in French only] Une quarantaine de personnes s'est réunie le 3 mai dernier à Niamey pour le lancement du projet de « Gestion communautaire de la conservation des aires protégées » (COMPACT en anglais) au Parc du W au Niger, bien inscrit sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial depuis 20 ans. Ce projet, qui bénéficie d’un financement du gouvernement espagnol et du Programme de micro financement du ...
This first African World Heritage Day is very special. This is an opportunity to celebrate the wealth of Africa’s cultural and natural heritage, embodying outstanding universal values. This is a moment for the world to stand with Governments, local communities and societies to support one of the continent’s most precious resources. Africa’s cultural and natural heritage is a force for peace ...
Thanks to a contribution of 4,992 USD from the International Assistance World Heritage Fund, the State Party of Albania organized a training workshop for the development of monitoring indicators for the World Heritage property "Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra”. The workshop took place in Berat, Gjirokastra and Tirana between 27 and 29 April 2016. In 2009, the World Heritage ...
The first Anglophone African Heritage Regional Youth Forum opened today on Robben Island World Heritage site in South Africa. The forum will take place from 29 April until 4 May. This first-of-its-kind forum is co-organized by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), the Robben Island Museum (RIM) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre with support from the Government of South Africa and the ...
Building materials company CEMEX has committed to staying out of World Heritage sites and to building awareness of the need to protect them, following a collaboration with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. The commitment, confirmed in the firm’s 2015 Sustainable Development Report issued this week, is in line with the globally accepted ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed sadness and anger after the latest violent attack of 23rd April at Garamba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The attack left three dead and two wounded among the guards of the Park. "I condemn this attack and killing of the guards at Garamba National Park. Once again I commend the courage of the guards who risk their lives to ...
On their return from a technical rapid assessment mission to the Palmyra yesterday, UNESCO’s experts presented their preliminary findings regarding damages to the Syrian Arab Republic World Heritage site. Headed by the Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, the mission, from 24 to 26 April inspected both Palmyra’s museum and archaeological site. The mission was escorted by United ...
Following years of preparation, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park received an “in principle” approval as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) from the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) last week. The endorsement is a major breakthrough in securing protection from the impacts of international shipping for the World Heritage site and a ...
UNESCO has sent a Rapid Assessment Mission to the world Heritage site of Palmyra (Arab Syrian Republic), led by the Director of the World Heritage Centre, from 24 to 26 April 2016. The objective of the mission is to assess the overall state of conservation of Palmyra and identify the emergency safeguarding measures, including drafting a damage assessment of the site and the museum. The ...
From Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova commended international efforts to combine safeguarding with the balanced development of a spiritual site that represents a universal message of peace, on 19 April 2016. Preceded by Buddhist chanting, Ms Bokova welcomed members of the International Scientific Committee for the Conservation and Management of ...
Every year on 18 April, ICOMOS celebrates the “International Day for Monuments and Sites”, whose establishment was approved by the 22nd UNESCO General Conference in 1983. ICOMOS wishes to dedicate the 2016 International Day for Monuments and Sites to the heritage of sports, since sports have developed from the origin of humankind onwards and have left testimonies to the diversity of ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, condemns the destruction of the two historic gates of Mesqa and Adad, and parts of the old ramparts of the archaeological site of Nineveh (Mosul). "I condemn the destruction of the gates of Mesqa and Addad, which are new crimes in a long list of attacks against the cultural heritage of Iraq, after the destruction of the winged bull of the Nergal ...
Saying that culture bears the soul of the Nepalese people, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova launched a new project for the rehabilitation of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site with the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr Ananda Prasad Pokharel, upon her arrival in Kathmandu today. The three-year project is the result of a partnership agreement with Hainan Province ...
The 199th session of UNESCO Executive Board unanimously adopted a decision regarding UNESCO’s role in “safeguarding and preservation Palmyra and other Syrian world heritage sites”, decision supported by the Russian Federation, South Africa, Germany, Belarus, Brazil, China, the United States, France, Greece, India, Italy, Lebanon, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Palau, Great Britain and Northern ...
In the context of the ongoing destruction and rapidly evolving situation of World Heritage sites in the Syrian Arab Republic, UNESCO held several information meetings in April to assess the situation and discuss the way forward. During an information meeting for all Member States held on 4 April at UNESCO Headquarters, Director-General Irina Bokova recalled the need for a global approach and ...
A regional workshop for strengthening the role of local communities in the management and conservation of World Heritage sites was held from March 27 to 29, 2016 in Mauritania. Organized by the World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Office for the Maghreb in collaboration with the Banc d'Arguin National Park, this workshop has emphasized the importance of local communities as a major player in ...
The Director General of UNESCO took part in a High Level event on the protection of cultural heritage organized by the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, in Washington DC. She presented UNESCO's role and work in the protection of heritage, both tangible and intangible, in times of conflict, calling for increased cooperation and coordination between all ...
On 18 February 2016, the participants in the first Thematic Expert Consultation meeting on sustainable management of World Heritage properties of Religious Interest focused on South-Eastern and Mediterranean Europe successfully adopted the Conclusions and Recommendations of the meeting. From 16 to 18 February 2016, thanks to the support of Bulgaria, a cycle of Regional Thematic Consultations ...
Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, acknowledges the great efforts of those engaged for World Heritage protection, and calls for civil society as a whole to increase its commitment to protecting World Heritage sites. World Heritage is humankind’s common heritage, and the responsibility for its conservation is shared by everyone.   The World Heritage Centre values ...
Following the liberation of Palmyra, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, discussed with HE Mr Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, during a telephone conversation on 27 March 2016, the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage of Palmyra. "I stand ready to send a UNESCO emergency assessment experts' mission‎ to map the damages at the UNESCO World ...
"I welcome the liberation of the Palmyra archeological site, martyr city inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which carries the memory of the Syrian people, and the values of cultural diversity, tolerance and openness that have made this region a cradle of civilization," said the Director General of UNESCO. "For one year, Palmyra has been a symbol of the cultural cleansing ...
As requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015 (Bonn, Germany), a joint Reactive Monitoring Mission involving the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will take place from 22 to 28 March 2016 to assess the overall state of conservation of the property. The mission will focus on issues that could seriously ...
The Minister of Culture from the Republic of Moldova, Ms Monica Babuc, visited the World Heritage Centre on 17 March 2016 to discuss with the Director, Ms Mechtild Rössler, and her colleagues collaboration on identifying, protecting and transmitting heritage from her country. The topic of economic benefits from sustainable tourism development for local communities was also covered. Currently ...
Today, more than 30% of World Heritage marine sites struggle with unsustainable fisheries. Addressing this challenge has been a core focus of the World Heritage Marine Programme for years, supporting sites around the world in developing capacity like technology-assisted surveillance, and community education and monitoring programs. However, until now, a comprehensive analysis of the impacts ...
On 12 and 13 March, four checkpoints in the central sector of the Virunga National Park World Heritage site located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (RDC), were attacked by rebel groups during a series of violent clashes. The RDC Armed Forces came to the rescue of the guards of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) to restore security to the area. Two ICCN guards were ...
On 8 March the Director of the World Heritage Centre, Mechtild Rossler, met with Sneška Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra to discuss cooperation between the two organizations. Emphasis was placed on heritage sites under threat and the complementary role of NGOs and civil society in safeguarding World Heritage worldwide. Europe Nostra is a citizens’ movement for the safeguarding ...
Syria possesses a cultural heritage of exceptional richness. Since 2011, this heritage has been seriously affected by conflict in the country, with important monuments, including those registered on UNESCO World Heritage List, facing destruction. Many archaeological sites have been raided and looted by armed groups, aiming for the illegal export of these archaeological objects and artefacts, ...
2015 saw countries across the world agree on the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. For UNESCO, these are a single agenda for advancing human rights and dignity, for eradicating poverty, for protecting the planet. Promoting gender equality stands at the heart of this agenda, as a basic human right and a transformational force for more just, ...
Even before the World Heritage Convention of 1972, American historic preservationists understood their work in a worldwide context. Just over fifty years ago the Rains Committee traveled through 8 European countries to study their historic preservation programs. Many of the best ideas they found were enshrined in the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). On the 50th anniversary of ...
// It is increasingly recognized that culture has an essential role to play as a driver of sustainable development, contributing to the eradication of poverty and enhancing social inclusion. Culture helps to define people’s identities and determines the way they shape their future. Gender equality, which is a UNESCO priority, refers to the roles and responsibilities of men and women and ...
Another year of supporting our future heritage leaders The National Trust for Canada is now accepting applications for the Herb Stovel Scholarship Fund. Students studying built heritage and young professionals working in the field are invited to apply by May 27, 2016 for project bursaries or National Trust Conference attendance in 2016 or 2017. To view the Terms & Conditions and to learn ...
Procurement notice: consultancy contract to provide technical assistance to Albanian authorities in the elaboration of a management plan or other documented management system to be part of the nomination file for the extension of the existing World Heritage property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region” in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. As a partner in the ...
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