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The Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, in collaboration with the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago and the Tourism Development Company organized in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) on 1st and 2nd November 2016, the Second Workshop on the World Heritage Convention. This international workshop was conceived with the support of the World Heritage Centre together with the ...
World Heritage sites and their associated museums are working with both local communities and international heritage professionals not only to preserve, but to help people maintain and reinforce their relationship to their shared cultural and natural heritage.  Together they are facing threats and challenges like conflict, climate change and funding shortages. An International Conference on ...
On 3 and 4 November, fifty years after the 1966 Venice flood and the International Safeguarding Campaign launched by UNESCO, the Director-General, Irina Bokova, undertook a visit to Venice, Italy. This visit was an opportunity to mark the longstanding cooperation with Italy and to express UNESCO’s support to its government and people after the country was struck by a series of powerful ...
On 24 and 26 October 2016, at the invitation of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo, represented by the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature - ICCN), met with Permanent Delegates from  Uganda, Central African Republic and South Sudan, at UNESCO Headquarters to discuss the state of ...
The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Mechtild Rössler, has expressed her profound sympathy to the government and people of Italy after the devastating earthquake that struck the country Sunday last. “It was with great concern and sadness that I learnt of the devastating earthquake that struck Central Italy Sunday last, and I would like, at the outset, to express the World Heritage ...
On 28 October 2016 UNESCO World Heritage Centre and IUCN World Heritage Programme representatives met with H.E. the Ambassador and an expert delegation of senior officials from Bangladesh to chart a way forward in addressing core conservation challenges to the Sundarbans, the world's largest unbroken mangrove system. Earlier this month, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN released a report of ...
The World Heritage Committee continued its work from 24 to 26 October 2016 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, thus completing its 40th session which began in Istanbul, Turkey from 10 to 17 July 2016. The Committee finished its deliberations, including discussions concerning the budget and revision to the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention. The Committee also ...
“Cultural heritage is significant in the present, both as a message from the past and as a pathway to the future. Viewed from a human rights perspective, it is important not only in itself, but also in relation to its human dimension,” Karima Bennoune says. As UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, she decided to address the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as an ...
Seven marine sites sign historic agreement
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
The Eastern Tropical Pacific region is a vast swath of open ocean, coasts and islands that stretches from the west coast of Mexico to the northern tip of Peru. Its rich waters support some of the world’s most productive fisheries, and are home to wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. The region’s spectacular scenery and wildlife have made it a global tourism destination, and seven ...
Culture has the power to make cities more prosperous, safer, and sustainable, according to UNESCO’s Global Report, Culture: Urban Future to be launched in Quito (Ecuador) on 18 October. The Global Report presents evidence on how development policies in line with UNESCO’s conventions on the protection and promotion of culture and heritage can benefit cities. The Report will be released at an ...
The Sundarbans in Bangladesh is part of the world’s largest mangrove forests, home to the famous Bengal Tiger and a hotspot for dolphins, turtles, and birds. Millions of people depend on this labyrinth of tidal rivers for food, homes, and flood protection.   The Sundarbans were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997, and will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. In March ...
Beth Maclang has spent the last three weeks at Mammoth Cave National Park learning about the operation of the park. Maclang is visiting MCNP as a World Heritage Fellow. She is the superintendent of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park on the island of Patawan in the Philippines. “I’m just trying to observe,” she said. Like MCNP, Puerto Princesa is a national park with a ...
National Focal Points for World Heritage in Europe are invited to complete the online form and provide information on steps taken so far toward the implementation of the Helsinki Action Plan for Europe. Each question corresponds directly to one of the 34 specific actions outlined in the Action Plan. National Focal Points are invited to provide quantitative information relating to each ...
In Memoriam: Lawrence S. Hamilton
Monday, 17 October 2016
The World Heritage Centre has learned with great sadness of the recent passing of Larry Hamilton, a pioneer in nature conservation whose impact touched all the corners of the globe. Larry was an exceptional educator, advisor, and pioneer of courses in forest ecology, watershed studies, interdisciplinary collaboration, and international resource issues at Cornell University’s Department of ...
“As I have stated on many occasions, and most recently during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee, Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is in recognition of this exceptional diversity, and this cultural and religious coexistence, that it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. “The heritage of ...
Over the past nine years, the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Initiative has grown tremendously due to increasing interest and appreciation for World Heritage protection, preservation and promotion of World Heritage sites. Celebrating 10 years of the initiative, the World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce the Call for Projects for the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Campaign ...
Professionals from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia are the beneficiaries of the sub-regional workshop on “Managing Disaster Risks in UNESCO Designated Sites” that will take place in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 10-13 October 2016. The event is organised by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), in support of the World Heritage ...
Since South Sudan’s ratification of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in March 2016, UNESCO has been working closely with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to support the development of the newest African country’s first Tentative List of potential World Heritage sites.  A ‘Tentative List’ is a detailed inventory of natural, cultural or mixed (both natural and cultural) ...
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has recognized Ahmed Al-Faqi Al-Mahdi guilty of war crime and has sentenced him to 9 years in prison for his responsibility in the deliberate destruction in 2012 of nine mausoleums and the secret gate of the Sidi Yahia mosque in UNESCO’s World Heritage site of Timbuktu (Mali). “The decision of the International Criminal Court is a landmark in gaining ...
With almost 1.2 billion people travelling abroad each year, tourism has become a powerful economic sector, a passport to prosperity, dialogue and peace, and a transformative force improving millions of lives. Tourism and World Heritage are natural partners. Almost all World Heritage sites are or become tourist destinations-some are among the most iconic places on Earth. The key objective of ...
Destruction of cultural heritage has reached unprecedented levels. In light of this, and culture’s unique contribution to peace and sustainable development, the ratification, implementation and visibility of UNESCO’s six Culture Conventions are more important than ever. This was the focus of the Second Meeting of the Chairpersons of the Committees of UNESCO Culture Conventions at UNESCO ...
On 19 September 2016 at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Architectural and Heritage Centre), Paris, the representatives of seven States Parties, Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan and Switzerland were presented with the certificates of inscription on the List of World Heritage of the serial property “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding ...
The sacred gate of the mosque of Sidi Yahia in Timbuktu, which bears testimony to cultural traditions dating back to the 15th century CE, was officially reinstalled on 19 September in a ceremony organized by the inhabitants of the World Heritage site. The gate, regarded as sacred, had been pulled out and damaged on 2 July 2012 by armed extremists who occupied the city. The restoration and ...
A joint reactive monitoring mission by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) to assess the state of conservation of the World Heritage property “Wood Buffalo National Park” will take place from 25 September to 4 October 2016, at the invitation of Canada, and in keeping with the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in ...
In May/June 2016, the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with its partners, organized a travelling exhibition displayed on the railings of UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and, subsequently, at the international conference in Arusha on the theme of African World Heritage Safeguarding as a Driver of Sustainable Development. For the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee held in ...
The more than 1,800 UNESCO designated sites around the world – World Heritage sites, biosphere reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks – are impacted by climate change, and can play a significant role in understanding, adapting to and mitigating these impacts. These were the key messages from the opening day of the 2nd Huangshan Dialogue, a global forum on UNESCO-designated sites and sustainable ...
It is with great sadness and concern that the World Heritage Centre learnt of the impact of the heavy rains and windstorms of 23 August 2016 that affected local communities, historic buildings and the villages of Albreda and Juffureh at Gambia's World Heritage site of Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites. The storms caused destruction of property, including the loss of part of the roof of ...
The Nature-Culture Journey of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress concluded with a call for commitments, “Malama Honua - to care for our island Earth”. It recognizes the nature-culture links as vital for addressing contemporary conservation challenges. The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, which took place in Honolulu, Hawai’i from 1 to 10 September 2016, was attended by some ...
New guidelines launched at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress aim to support the management of areas recognised simultaneously under several international designations, all of which have environmental conservation at their heart. The publication, “Managing MIDAs – Harmonising the management of Multi-Internationally Designated Areas: Ramsar Sites, World Heritage sites, Biosphere ...
Meet the Heritage Heroes
Sunday, 4 September 2016
The winner of the Heritage Heroes award was announced on 4 September 2016 at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, USA. The Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Dr Mechtild Rössler, congratulated the Heritage Hero nominees from Virunga National Park (DRC), Western Caucasus (Russian Federation) and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India). Mr. Bibhuti Lakhar was the people’s ...
On 1 September, the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova participated in the IUCN World Conservation Congress opening ceremony, in the presence of several Heads of State of the Pacific Islands, Ms. Sally Jewell, US Secretary of State of the Interior and Senator of Hawaii, Mr Shatz. Irina Bokova held several bilateral meetings with Heads of State and Conservation leaders, where she ...
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, welcomed the establishment by the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama, of the largest nature reserve in the world, by expanding the marine reserve Papahānaumokuākea, in Hawaii (USA), listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010. "This decision is a powerful symbol of determination to protect the environment. It is a way to strengthen ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will undertake a mission to Honolulu (USA) from 1st September to 3rd September to participate in the World Conservation Congress organized by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), an advisory body to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The main purpose of IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii is to bring together leaders ...
25 August – The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has expressed her profound sympathy to the government and people of Myanmar after the devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck central Myanmar, including the ancient city of Bagan, causing loss of life and extensive damage to nearly 200 historic monuments and iconic pagodas. “I wish to express my sincere sympathy following the ...
Paris, France – From 27-31 August 2016, managers from the 49 marine sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List will convene in the Galapagos Islands to explore solutions to some of the world’s most pressing conservation challenges including climate adaptation strategies and market-based approaches to strengthen sustainable fisheries. Along with leading experts and ocean conservationists they will ...
UNESCO today welcomed the opening of the hearings of the case of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for alleged war crimes and the destruction of historical monuments and buildings of religious significance, including nine mausoleums and a mosque at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Timbuktu (Mali) in 2012. This first trial at an international ...
The Director of the Centre met with the Minister for Culture, Arts and Civic Education of Gabon Ms. Paulette Mengue M’OWONO and her team to discuss collaboration on a number of topics including African Heritage and sustainable development, national World Heritage Committees and reinforcing national capacities and expertise towards more nominations from African countries. Gabon has currently ...
Just over one year ago, on 25 April 2015, Nepal was devastated by an earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks. This natural disaster heavily damaged Nepal’s cultural and natural heritage, including 691 historic buildings in 16 districts, of which 131 fully collapsed. Rapid visual assessment showed that the monuments, institutions and sites within the World Heritage site of Kathmandu Valley ...
The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Dr.Mechtild Rössler, attended a ceremony on the occasion of the new inscriptions from India on the World Heritage List.  The ceremony was organized by the Wildlife Institute of India with the Indian authorities and representatives of the Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda, Bihar, and the mixed property of ...
On 3 August 2016, the Director of the World Heritage Centre and the Home and Cultural Affairs Secretary of Bhutan, Mr Sonam Topgay, launched a two year UNESCO – Japan Funds in Trust project for South Asian Cultural Landscape Initiatives in Thimphu, Bhutan. The launch took place at the successful conclusion of the Workshop for Cultural Landscape and Sustaining its Significance – Bhutan 2016 ...
Paris, 3 August- Sunken coral islands, floating rainforests, giant undersea volcanoes or even spires of rock resembling sunken cities: none of these sites can be inscribed on the World Heritage List because they are found in the High Seas, outside of any national jurisdiction. A report launched today by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ...
On Wednesday 20 July 2016, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and the municipalities of Bethlehem and Battir organized an official ceremony to celebrate the inscription of the two World Heritage properties in Palestine: “The Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem” and “Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern ...
By Decision 40 COM 17, the World Heritage Committee, decided to continue the work of its 40th session at UNESCO’s Headquarters in the course of October 2016. Therefore, please save the date for this meeting which will take place in Room II at UNESCO’s Headquarters from 24 to 26 October 2016. More detailed information regarding this meeting will be available in due ...
In Memoriam: Luc Hoffmann
Tuesday, 26 July 2016
The World Heritage Centre has learned with great sadness of the recent passing of Luc Hoffmann, a pioneer in nature conservation whose impact touched all the corners of the globe. An ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist, Mr Hoffmann co-founded the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and helped establish the Ramsar Convention for the protection of Wetlands. He set up the Tour du Valat ...
A World Heritage partners’ event and panel discussion took place on the 15th of July in Istanbul sponsored by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, on the occasion of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee The Partners' event, for the third consecutive year, provided a platform for discussing private sector partners’ contributions to World Heritage conservation and promotion ...
The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation is the first Italian organisation to sign up to the Google Trekker Loan Program, so from today it will be possible to enjoy the Dolomites online, anywhere from New York to Calcutta, on Google Maps Street View. The result of the combined effort put in by volunteer mapping team from the Dolomites regional mountaineering clubs, the UNESCO Dolomites park ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 17 July—The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Istanbul, Turkey from 10 to 17 July with Ambassador, Director General of Cultural Affairs and Promotion Abroad of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lale Ülker as its Chairperson has inscribed 21 sites on the World Heritage List. They include 12 cultural sites, six natural and three mixed sites. The World Heritage List ...
Istanbul, Turkey 17 July—The World Heritage Committee, on the last afternoon of its 40th session which opened on 10 July, inscribed eight new sites on the List: one transnational site (in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan), and others in Canada, Chad, China, Iraq, Iran, Mexico and Sudan. The newly inscribed natural sites are: Hubei Shennongjia (China)—Located in Hubei Province, in ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 17 July—The World Heritage Committee this morning inscribed four new sites on the World Heritage List: the transnational serial site of The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland), along with sites in Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil and India. Today’s inscription gives ...
The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee will resume on Sunday 17 July at Istanbul Congress Center, with a Bureau meeting at 9 am, followed by the Plenary at 9.30 am. The agenda of tomorrow's meeting will be restricted to a limited number of items. The 40th session will end on Sunday evening after these items are examined. Watch  Follow the Committee’s live ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 15 July—The World Heritage Committee inscribed five new sites on the World Heritage List this afternoon. One of the new sites, a transboundary property, is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, the others are in Greece, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The new sites, in the order of their inscription, are: Stećci – Medieval Tombstones ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 15 July—The World Heritage Committee, meeting for its 40th session since 10 July, this morning inscribed four new sites in China, India, Iran and Micronesia on the World Heritage List. Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia in the Federated States of Micronesia was inscribed both on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The new ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 14 July—The World Heritage Committee today placed the five World Heritage sites of Libya on the List of World Heritage in Danger because of damage caused by the conflict affecting the country and the threat of further damage it poses. The five sites are: Archaeological Site of Cyrene, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna, Archaeological Site of Sabratha, Rock-Art Sites of ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 13 July — The World Heritage Committee has decided to add Uzbekistan’s Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz to the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the over-development of tourist infrastructure in the site. The Committee expressed concern over the destruction of buildings in the centre of the World Heritage site’s Medieval neighbourhoods and the construction of modern ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 13 July—The World Heritage Committee has decided to remove Georgia’s Historical Monuments of Mtskheta site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee’s decision reflects recognition of Georgia’s efforts to improve the safeguarding and management of the site, which had been on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 2009. It had been put on the List in ...
Istanbul, Turkey, 13 July—The World Heritage Committee has added the Old Towns of Djennéthe List of World Heritage in Danger due to insecurity, which is affecting the area and preventing the implementation of protective measures for the Malian World Heritage site. The Committee has expressed concern over the property, which is situated in an area affected by insecurity. This situation is ...
Istanbul, 10 July - The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee opened today in Istanbul (Turkey) under the chairmanship of Lale Ülker, Ambassador, Director General of Cultural Affairs and Promotion Abroad of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The opening ceremony was an opportunity to stress that World Heritage, which is now, more than ever, the subject of numerous threats, must ...
Istanbul, July 10 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today appointed Turkish musician Kudsi Ergüner, UNESCO Artist for Peace, at a ceremony held had the Congress Center in Istanbul (Turkey) following the opening ceremony of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee, which ends on 20 July. Kudsi Ergüner is named in recognition of his efforts to promote the universal values ...
[in French only] Il faudrait construire 90 000 logements par jour, d’ici à 2030, pour répondre aux besoins de 3 milliards de personnes selon UN-Habitat. Face à ce défi, l’architecture de terre propose un certain nombre de solutions. Souvent sous-estimée comme matériau de construction, la terre est pourtant utilisée encore aujourd’hui par plus d’un tiers de la population mondiale. Elle offre ...
From 23-25 June 2016, UNESCO brought together site managers from natural and cultural heritage sites in Tanzania, which are recognized as World Heritage and/or Man and Biosphere Reserves (MAB), community representatives, private partners and national authorities for a workshop to raise capacities in planning and writing project proposals. A total of 35 participants gathered near Kilimanjaro ...
Cultural heritage around the world suffers from intentional attacks, collateral damage, looting and the effects of natural disasters.  Reaching affected sites and areas quickly to monitor the situation, plan for restoration and prevent further loss often proves very difficult. Thanks to a partnership between UNESCO and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), ...
This workshop is part of UNESCO’s ongoing efforts to address the priorities of the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting for the Africa region, which called for increased capacity-building in dealing with risks and threats to heritage properties at both site-level and regional-level, The training course was co-organized by the African World Heritage Fund, a UNESCO category 2 centre, in ...
The World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce the winners of the #OurWorldHeritage photo and story competition. The Instagram campaign aimed to invite people to share their unique World Heritage stories and experiences with the rest of the global community. Over the course of the competition, more than 1800 posts with the hashtag #OurWorldHeritage were published on social media. Even ...
The World Heritage Committee will examine proposals to inscribe 29 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its 40th session (10 to 20 July), which will be chaired by Ambassador Lale Ülker, General Director for Overseas Promotion and Cultural Affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The session will be held at the Istanbul Congress Centre. The Committee will examine the ...
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 ...
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