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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 ...
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 ...
Under the motto “Protection, Prosperity and Conservation”, the Wadden Sea World Heritage and the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme will be represented at the ITB Berlin, the world´s largest tourism fair, from 9 to 13 March 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The World Heritage Wadden Sea can be found in Hall 4.1, booth 227 and offers a varied and interesting programme, with Wadden ...
A severe tropical cyclone struck the Island Nation of Fiji in late February 2016, causing catastrophic destruction and human loss. It is with great sadness that the World Heritage Centre learnt of the tropical cyclone storm that struck Fiji, and wishes to express its deepest sympathy for the human losses as well as for the material damages caused by Cyclone Winston. According to various ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, signed a partnership agreement paving the way for the two organizations to undertake joint projects to enhance the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict. “As the impartial, neutral and independent keeper of international humanitarian law, the ...
Earlier this week, the Government of Belize adopted its first Integrated Coastal Zone management plan—a blueprint for sustainable use of its rich marine resources. The plan’s endorsement is a second major step forward in meeting the conditions of the Desired State of Conservation for the Removal of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger since the ...
Marine science experts from around the world gathered at UNESCO’s Headquarters in a two-day working meeting to explore possible new marine World Heritage sites in the Arctic. Experts discussed unique and exceptional Arctic features that could potentially merit inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list for their nature conservation values. The Arctic is home to geological features and ...
Proposals are now being accepted for presentation at the International Conference entitled ‘African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development’, to be held from 31 May to 3 June 2016 at the World Heritage property, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, in Arusha Tanzania. Open to all concerned with the added value of World Heritage conservation and sustainable development in Africa, ...
Thanks to the generous financing of a Japan Funds-in-Trust project to UNESCO for ‘Technical and financial assistance for the reconstruction of Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga, architectural masterpiece of the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi, Uganda, World Heritage property in Danger,’ an illustrated tour guidebook entitled ‘KASUBI: Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi Tour Guiding Manual-2015’ has been ...
UNESCO and the European Commission are launching a project to develop cultural routes that would benefit from the power of World Heritage sites to attract tourists to promote other cultural assets such as museums and festivals, for example, along selected European itineraries. Funded by the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-Sized ...
As requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015 (Bonn, Germany), a joint World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) Reactive Monitoring mission will be undertaken during 12-16 April 2016 to assess the overall state of conservation of the property, including factors that constitute a serious threat to the property, and provide ...
The World Heritage Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014) requested the State Party of Pakistan to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1st December 2015, an updated report on the state of conservation of the Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore property and the implementation of the decision of the World Heritage Committee. In this context, the current UNESCO mission to Lahore (21 ...
Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, and Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, have signed an agreement on the establishment of a centre in Turin (Italy) that will conduct research and training relating to the economics of cultural heritage and cultural policies for development. Under the auspices of UNESCO, the International Training ...
The World Heritage Marine Programme is pleased to announce the release of its annual report, 2015: A Year in Review. Looking back on the past twelve months, there is a lot of progress to acknowledge. With the support of global partners, big strides have been made in protecting some of the world’s most spectacular places. In the Arctic, Russia’s Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve is now ...
The main objectives of this evaluation are to assess the Centre’s performance with respect to its objectives and functions, as specified in the agreement between UNESCO and the host Government, and its contribution to UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives and sectoral or intersectoral programme priorities and themes. The findings of the evaluation will serve as the basis for the Sector ...
“I am sincerely distressed by the recent attacks against cultural heritage in Yemen. These attacks increase the human suffering and deprive the people of Yemen of their culture, which is an essential element of their identity, a source of fulfillent and a major asset for the future recovery and development of the country” declared the Director General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova. According ...
World Heritage attracts and fascinates: media around the world publish thousands of articles about it every year and countries invest a great deal of work and money to get sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Yet not enough is known about the conservation and management efforts that go into protecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the 1000+ sites that are currently on the ...
Geneva, 18 February 2016 - Official Representatives of the Parties to seven global biodiversity-related conventions[1] met at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 8 to 11 February 2016 to explore ways to strengthen synergies and improve efficiency among the conventions with a view to enhancing their implementation at all levels. Assisted in their work by the heads and staff of the ...
As part of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee and in the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO and the Istanbul Site Management Directorate are organizing the World Heritage Youth Forum 2016: “At the Crossroads of Multi-Layered Heritage” from 29 June to 12 July 2016. Young representatives, aged from 22 to 28, from ...
Paris, 16 February, 2016 - UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, expressed her deep sadness at the passing today of Mr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the first Secretary-General of La Francophonie. “Boutros Boutros-Ghali devoted his life to promoting the ideals of a more just, peaceful and equitable world, the importance of democratizing ...
The draft Baseline Assessment report prepared under the coordination of ICOMOS and IUCN ECARO has been published for comments as part of the project ““Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Environment of Albania. The Baseline Assessment report provides crucial ...
Procurement notice: consultancy contract to lead the drafting of a Local Plan for Integrated Solid Waste Management in Pogradec Municipality, Lake Ohrid region, Albania As a partner in the implementation of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”, the IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central ...
Paris, 15 February—UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, will sign an agreement on the establishment of a Task Force of cultural heritage experts in the framework of UNESCO’s global coalition Unite for Heritage on 16 February in Rome. Under the agreement, UNESCO will be able to ask the Italian Government to make experts of the ...
The international dialogue on "Understanding rights practices in the World Heritage system: lessons from the Asia-Pacific and the global area" took place in Caux, Switzerland from 18 to 19 January 2016. The meeting was organized by the University of Lucerne in cooperation with ICOMOS and IUCN, with support from the Swiss Network for International Studies, ICOMOS Norway and the Swiss National ...
The “Workshop on synergies among the biodiversity-related conventions” organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and was held from 8 to 11 February 2016 at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. All 7 secretaries of the Biodiversity-related Conventions (Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild ...
The Association of World Heritage Properties in France (ABFPM) is launching a call for candidates for the second national training session “Interpretation – World Heritage” which will be held from 7 to 9 March 2016 at the Arc-et-Senans Royal Saltworks (France).  This intensive and operational training is aimed towards personnel in charged with welcoming the public to World Heritage ...
The Director General and the Director of the World Heritage Centre met on 5 February 2016 with a Delegation from Slovak Republic including Mr František Palko, State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Construction, and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic and Ms. Ivana Magátová, Director General of the Tourism Section of the Ministry of Transport, Construction, and Regional ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova designated the famous Slovenian sculptor Mr Marko Pogačnik as a UNESCO Artist for Peace on 5 February 2016. This title was bestowed upon Mr Pogačnik in recognition of his commitment to improving relationships between people and their environments, based on the concept of protection, education and sustainable development, to increase people’s ...
Timbuktu (Mali), February 4 - A consecration ceremony of the Timbuktu mausoleums, last held in the 11th century, was held today at the initiative of the local community. This is the final phase of the cultural rebirth of the Timbuktu mausoleums after their destruction by the armed groups who occupied the city in 2012. The ceremony, held at the Mosque of Djingareyber, began in the early ...
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February, marking the date in 1971 when the Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar, drawing attention to the importance of wetlands. The theme for 2016, “Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods” brings the focus on the vital role of wetlands for the future of humanity and their ...
The World Heritage Resource Manual Series are intended to provide knowledge and assistance to State Parties in ensuring a representative and credible World Heritage List consisting of well-protected and effectively managed properties. Published for the first time in English and French language between 2010 and 2013, the Manual Series were a joint undertaking by the three Advisory Bodies of ...
On 19 January 2016, the Governor of the Region of Saint-Louis in Senegal signed a decree forbidding all demolition projects of older buildings on the island of Saint-Louis, inscribed on the World Heritage List since 2000. This welcome decision bears witness to the years of effort and hard work put in by managers of heritage sites in Senegal, supported by the World Heritage Centre and the ...
Welcoming a growing alliance around the protection of cultural heritage under attack, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova appealed for reinforced advocacy, strengthened legislation and measures to fight impunity for war crimes and destruction of heritage, during an event held during the World Economic Forum in Davos on 21 January 2016. Welcoming a growing alliance around the protection of ...
Dear friends and supporters of World Heritage, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.  2015 was a year with many challenges: World Heritage sites were threatened by natural disasters, terrorist attacks and ill-advised infrastructure projects. Many sites around the world are under serious threat, and protecting our heritage is as ...
For the one-year anniversary of the IUCN World Parks Congress, UNESCO has published the proceedings of this Congress to highlight the recommendations of the global conservation community on World Heritage for the next decade. The Promise of Sydney for World Heritage sites agreed at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is to secure the highest level of international protection for our most ...
Earthwatch is offering its annual opportunity for funded training and mentoring in organisational and business management practices to protected areas in Africa. The application period is now open until 26 February 2016. Earthwatch and its Earth Skills Network are looking to recruit 6 protected areas, who will each nominate 3 members of staff for a training programme. The training includes a ...
In Memoriam: Jean-Paul L’Allier
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre has learnt with deep sadness of the recent passing of Mayor Jean-Paul L’Allier, founder and dedicated supporter of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. In 1991, as Mayor of Quebec City, Mr L’Allier brought together the Mayors of 41 World Heritage Cities from around the globe to lay the foundations for the creation of the Organization of World Heritage ...
The 1st World Heritage Youth Forum (WHYF) in Asia, held from 25 November to 3 December 2015 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, successfully concluded with serious and realistic suggestions by young people to promote participation in World Heritage preservation among their peers in the Asia-Pacific region. The WHYF in Asia, organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the Cambodian National Commission ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has condemned the destruction of parts of the Ancient City of Bosra during combats in the World Heritage site on 22 December 2015, as confirmed by the Syrian Directorate of Antiquities and Museums. There is fear of further deterioration to the site due to severe damage to the western courtyard adjacent to Bosra’s 2nd century Roman theatre and to ...
Following the Fourth meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the World Heritage Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 24-25 November 2015, more than 50 representatives and experts from twelve countries together with UNESCO representatives, international experts and representatives of IICC Xi’an (China), Secretariat of Silk Roads Coordination Committee,  today released a ...
The work at the World Heritage Marine Programme would not be possible without the help of its partners and donors. This month, the Marine Programme welcomes a new partnership with the French Agency for Marine Protected Areas.  France’s support will scale up our peer-to-peer learning platforms for managers and grow our on-the-ground capacity for marine conservation around the world. World ...
The World Heritage Centre organized an international meeting on natural heritage protection and management in the Arab States on 21 December at the UNESCO Headquarters.   The meeting entitled “The Management of Natural Heritage in Support of Sustainable Development: An Institutional Challenge in the Arab States” was co-chaired by Mechtild Rössler, Director of the Heritage Division and World ...
A new strategy has been devised to reduce grazing pressure on the Simien Mountains National Park (Ethiopia) (SMNP) World Heritage site and its surroundings through measures that harmonize grazing and conservation needs. SMNP in northern Ethiopia is a spectacular landscape, where massive erosion over millions of years has created jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices ...
In the framework of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre, highlights the importance of understanding climate change and its impact on UNESCO World Heritage sites. “Climate change concerns all of us.  It concerns World Heritage sites, especially islands in the Pacific ...
UNESCO in partnership with Think City, a community-based urban rejuvenation organization in Penang, held a conference entitled “UNESCO Regional Conference on Harmonizing Actions to Reduce Risks for Cultural Heritage in Asia and the Pacific” from 7 - 9 December 2015 at Hotel Jen in Penang, Malaysia. The conference provided a platform from which to raise awareness across several disaster, ...
Virunga National Park, a World Heritage site in Democratic Republic of the Congo, has launched a #FestiveVirunga appeal to raise funds for the park’s incredible rangers. And now there is a matching challenge - for just 1 week, for every dollar you give to the park, a private donor will be giving 2 more! In true #TeamVirunga spirit, we would be so grateful if you would consider sharing this ...
On 12 December 2015, the participants of the International Conference on “Culture for Sustainable Cities” (10-12 December 2015, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China) adopted the “Hangzhou Outcomes”, culminating in nine key recommendations to build on the power of culture for sustainable urban development. The International Conference on “Culture for Sustainable Cities” in Hangzhou, People’s ...
The European Commission continues its support of the Central Africa World Heritage Forest Initative (CAWHFI) by allocating 5 million Euro over the course of three years. The CAWHFI project is part of the World Heritage Programmes: “Natural World Heritage in the Congo Basin” and implemented by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, since 2004. This programme is initiated in the form of a ...
On 15 December, the Representatives of Italy, Jordan, UNESCO, INTERPOL, UNODC officially opened an exhibition on the protection of cultural heritage that will be displayed at the United Nations Headquarters from 14 to 24 December. The exhibition is co-organized by Italy, Jordan, UNESCO, INTERPOL and UNODC with the aim to highlight the new partnership to act together against destruction and ...
On 7 December 2015, during the COP 21, the Malagasy Minister of the Environment, Ecology, the Sea and the Forests, Ralava Beboarimisa, met with Edmond Moukala, Chief of the Africa Unit of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, to discuss progress made in implementing recommendations from the World Heritage Committee regarding the conservation of the Rainforests of the Atsinanana. The Minister ...
UNESCO is pleased to announce the Call for Participants for the Regional Youth Forum for the World Heritage in Africa, which will take place 28 April to 4 May 2016 on Robben Island World Heritage property in South Africa. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2016. Part of the World Heritage Education Programme, this African Youth Forum seeks to provide a sustainable platform to ...
On 15 December, UNESCO in Brazil, the Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) and the Municipal Government of Congonhas will inaugurate one of the most important projects for preserving the country's memory: the Museum of Congonhas. The institution comes with the objective of enhancing perception and interpretation of the multiple dimensions of the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de ...
The Qatar Development Fund (QDF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) signed today their first Memorandum of Understanding to support the implementation of UNESCO’s programme for the protection of cultural and natural heritage in emergency situations. The MOU provides a $2 million grant as part of a 2014 pledge by H.E. the Prime Minister of the ...
At COP21 on 5 December 2015, the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, met with Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The President made a presentation at the event "UNESCO sites: a climate change observatory ", where he spoke of his strong commitment to World Heritage conservation. He described progress made with fishery regulations at the Phoenix Islands World ...
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