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Many different types of professionals respond to an unfolding crisis.This course provides strategies for interlocking culture specialists with humanitarian specialists during an emergency situation and aims to unify these sometimes conflicting perspectives. The course imparts practical skills and knowledge for taking simple measures to secure and stabilize endangered cultural heritage ...
Christmas Eve 1968 might seem like a strange date to mark as a pivotal point in our understanding of Earth. Yet it was on that date that William Anders of Apollo 8 took the first color photo of earth from afar rising above the grey surface of the moon. Now nearly five decades later we have realized we live on an ocean world and yet protection of the open ocean – the high seas - has still ...
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre welcomes the U.K. government's decision to reject the planning permission for the Navitus Bay Wind Park proposal offshore from the World Heritage property Dorset and East Devon Coast, often referred to as Jurassic Coast. This decision followed a detailed application review process which took into consideration the importance of the World Heritage site inscribed ...
Call for Applications for Cultural Mediterranean Projects. The Marc de Montalembert grant - 7000 euros - helps young people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and below 28 years of age to undertake a project corresponding to a personal vocation and dedicated to the cultures or arts and crafts of the Mediterranean. Since 1994 Twenty five projects have been implemented by winners ...
The Albanian government has joined the EU in supporting UNESCO’s project aimed at the sustainable development of the Lake Ohrid region, a transboundary region in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Two-thirds of Lake Ohrid is inscribed as a World Heritage site on the Macedonian side of the lake. The protection of this site would be further reinforced by extending World ...
On September 27, six weeks after it began exploratory drilling off the Northwest Coast of Alaska, Royal Dutch Shell announced that it is abandoning its quest for Arctic oil. Shell’s decision to cease operations in the Chukchi Sea is excellent news for the Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve nearby. The Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve is the only marine World Heritage site in ...
During the eighth Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Awards prize-giving ceremony, held in Monaco on 2 October 2015, H.S.H. Prince Albert II presented the Biodiversity Award to Emmanuel de Merode for his outstanding commitment to the preservation of the biodiversity of the Virunga National Park, one of five World Heritage sites of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Each year, the ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, strongly condemned the destruction of the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, a civil monument two thousand years old and symbol of the city inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. "This new destruction shows how extremists are terrified by history and culture – because understanding the past undermines and delegitimizes their claims – and embodies an ...
From 13 to 16 October 2015, Turin will host the 3rd World Forum on Local Economic Development and launch the EXTO-EXPO 2015 programme. Within this framework, the Centro Studi Silvia Santagata-Ebla (CSS-Ebla, Turin, Italy), is organising, with the support of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), the pilot edition of a capacity-building workshop on the ...
In October 2015, a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/RAMSAR reactive monitoring mission will take place to the World Heritage site "Venice and its lagoon”(Italy), as requested by the World Heritage Committee to assess current conditions at the property. The World Heritage property of Venice and its lagoon was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre closely follows ...
Biodiversity and sustainable development are inextricably linked. Biodiversity, at the level of ecosystems, species and genes, forms the foundation of the Earth’s life support systems and provides the services that underpin human lives and prosperity. Our social and economic well-being depends on biodiversity, as does our future. World leaders are now gathered at United Nations Headquarters ...
Sustainable planning and management of tourism is one of the most pressing challenges facing the World Heritage Convention today and is the focus of the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme. The workshop on “Protecting World Heritage: Disaster Risk Management and Sustainable Tourism Planning” in Romania will set the basis for the development of a value-based management ...
The UNESCO Heritage Division and its World Heritage Centre is very pleased to participate in World Tourism Day, especially given the collaboration of the World Heritage Convention with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in efforts to develop sustainable tourism. World Heritage sites are the most outstanding cultural and natural places in the world, so they are often among the most ...
New York, 26 September — The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today welcomed transfer of an alleged extremist to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to be tried for destroying religious and historical monuments in Mali. "I commend Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the authorities of Mali and Niger for transferring the first suspect to the ICC accused of the war crime of ...
The second Transboundary Platform Meeting of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” will take place on 2 October 2015 in Ohrid, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This initiative is part of a total of six meetings that aim to support the Albanian and Macedonian governments in their efforts to ...
Mechtild Rössler has been appointed Director of the Division for Heritage and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. An expert in both cultural and natural heritage and the history of planning, Ms Rössler was appointed in 2013 to the post of Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre. Since 2014, as Deputy Director of the Division for Heritage, her tasks included overseeing teams of the ...
Last month, the Marine World Heritage Programme traveled to Norway to facilitate an exchange between the West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord and Glacier Bay National Park. These two marine World Heritage sites share a challenge and an opportunity: both are popular cruise ship destinations and are threatened by pollution from tourism traffic. In Glacier Bay, a competitive ...
Illegal fishing threatens 30% of Marine World Heritage sites, and resources for monitoring and enforcement are always a challenge. Thanks to long-time World Heritage partner Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cocos Island National Park’s efforts to fight illegal fishing recently got a major boost. The Swiss watch manufacture donated 30,000 euros, raised through the auction of diving watches inspired by World ...
Following the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee and in view of the 10th anniversary of UNESCO/African Union launching of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), the World Heritage Centre brought together African heritage experts to reflect on the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the Africa region at a two and half day workshop held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce the Call for Participants for the First Youth Regional Forum for the World Heritage in Asia. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Cambodian National Commission for UNESCO will organize the forum from 25 November to 3 December 2015 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We welcome the participation of all interested young future experts. The forum ...
The thirteenth Episode of the Patrimonito cartoon films on the theme of World Heritage and Biodiversity is now available. The plot is set in the World Heritage site of the Sundarbans National Park located in India. The Sundarbans contains the world’s largest area of mangrove forests and is home to numerous rare and endangered species, including tigers, mammals, birds and reptiles. In this ...
The World Heritage Centre congratulates the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for the establishment of a Corps with the aim of securing national parks. On 15 June 2015 the DRC published decree n° 15/012 on the establishment of a Corps in charge of securing national parks (Corps en charge de la sécurisation des Parcs Nationaux, or CorPPN) and related nature reserves. The CorPPN will ...
The City of Brussels recently hosted a workshop entitled "Inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List: New perspectives for local development", which took place on 8 September 2015 at Brussels City Hall in the World Heritage site of La Grand-Place, Brussels (Belgium). The workshop focused on issues specific to site management for properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. Expert ...
UNESCO World Heritage Centre and UNESCO New Delhi Office, in close collaboration with the Department of Culture of the Royal Government of Bhutan, held the 2015 Bhutan Workshop and Forum on Cultural Landscape and Sustaining its Significance (22 July to 7 August 2015). This activity was financially supported by the NGO Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance (Paris, France) and ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed profound dismay as she condemned the destruction of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, one of the most important 1st century CE religious monuments in the Middle East, a construction unique in its design. “The destruction of Palmyra constitutes an intolerable crime against civilization but 4,500 years of history will never be erased,” the ...
The Director-General of UNESCO firmly condemns the destruction of the ancient temple of Baalshamin, an iconic part of the Syrian site of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. “The systematic destruction of cultural symbols embodying Syrian cultural diversity reveals the true intent of such attacks, which is to deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, its identity and history. One week ...
The Syrian cultural heritage community suffered two immense blows within one week with the murder of archaeologist Khaled Assad in Palmyra and the killing of the Assistant Director of laboratories at the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums Qasem Abdullah Yehiya. “I am both saddened and outraged to learn of the brutal murder of Khaled Asaad, who oversaw antiquities at the UNESCO ...
The Director-General of UNESCO strongly condemns the destruction of the Mar Elian monastery located in the Syrian town of al-Qaryatayn. The monastery is a major pilgrimage site for Syria’s Christian community, with yearly festivities in honor of Saint Elian drawing thousands of visitors. “The intentional targeting and systematic destruction of the cultural heritage of Syria is reaching ...
World Heritage marine sites are only as effective as their compliance programs, and marine protected areas around the world struggle to combat illegal fishing. With limited resources available for surveillance and compliance, it is vital to have good systems in place to identify hotspots and track violations. In the four Marine World Heritage sites that make up Eastern Tropical Pacific ...
On the occasion of International Youth Day, over ten Action Camps will be carried on in the framework of the World Heritage Volunteers 2015 campaign. Most of these Action Camps are  led youth from all around the world. This year, the theme of International Youth Day is Youth Civic Engagement. World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) campaign for 2015 seeks to mobilize and involve young people and ...
Job Vacancy: Deputy Director of the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO, Shanghai Center The World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO, Shanghai Center (WHITRAP Shanghai) announces the vacancy of the position of Deputy Director, from 1 August ...
Over the last several months,the World Heritage Centre has been receiving numerous messages from citizens and NGOs expressing their concern regarding the A303 tunnel project, located within the boundaries of the World Heritage property “Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites”, and the adverse impact it may have on the landscape, archaeological remains, and hydrogeology and ecology of the ...
UNESCO and Iraq today signed an agreement for the Conservation and Management of the World Heritage site of Samarra Archaeological City, which will start with the restauration of the Great Mosque and Al-Malwiyah Minaret. The site has been on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger since 2007. The agreement was signed at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris by Ahmed Abdullah Abed Abed, Iraqi ...
European Union and UNESCO initiative: "Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region" IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) is seeking to contract a consultant to develop and implement an integrated capacity-building programme with particular emphasis on management effectiveness, transboundary ...
From 3 to 4 July 2015, almost 120 people that are involved in the management of the World Heritage site Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (France) met on the island of Ouvéa (Gossanah tribe) to share best practices. Unique management system Today, 13 management committees are set up across New Caledonia. They regularly exchange views, opinions and proposals ...
Timbuktu, Mali, 19 July—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova yesterday visited Timbuktu whose mausoleums have been rebuilt three years after they were destroyed by armed groups. During her visit, Ms Bokova paid tribute to the local communities without whom the reconstruction could not have been carried out. The Mayor of the city and the Imam of the Great Mosque of Djingareyber met ...
Aggtelek National Park (ANP) was established in 1985 to protect the uniquely rich natural and cultural heritage in the region, and in particular the Gömör-Torna karst aquifer and geologic formations. The first of Hungary's national parks, it later added equestrian tourism and environmental education programmes to its already popular cave tours and surface tours. In 2007, the ANP Directorate ...
The call for applications for the new edition of the Masters in "World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development", offered by the University of Turin, the Polytechnic of Turin, (University of Barcelona for the Spanish edition)  and the International Training Centre of ILO, in collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and ICCROM, is now open. The programme is intended for ...
Director-General Irina Bokova presented the President of Mexico, HE Enrique Peña Nieto, the certificate of inscription to UNESCO’s World Heritage List of the Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System during his official visit to UNESCO Headquarters today. The presentation of the certificate took place in the context of an official ceremony in the presence of the Chairperson of the ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today announced an Emergency Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Yemen’s Cultural Heritage upon the conclusion of a two-day expert meeting held at UNESCO. The plan responds to the continued threat the ongoing conflict poses to the country’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage. “It is evident that the destruction of their culture directly affects the ...
A World Heritage partners’ event and panel discussion took place on 2nd July hosted by the German Television Deutsche Welle in Bonn, on the occasion of the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee. The Partners' event, following a successful first edition in Doha in 2015, provided a platform for discussing private sector partners’ contributions to World Heritage conservation and ...
The World Heritage Committee ended its meeting today announcing it will hold its next session in Istanbul, Turkey, from 10 to 20 July 2016. During this year’s session the Committee, which was chaired by Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office and member of the Bundestag, inscribed 24 new sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and approved extensions to three ...
From July 1 to 3, 2015, University of Zimbabwe hosted the Biennial Conference of the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA). With the financial support of UNESCO Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) and other partners, UZ successfully met the challenge of gathering a large number (approximately 250) of professionals and students from Southern African Region and ...
The World Heritage Committee this afternoon approved the inscription of four cultural sites on the World Heritage List: Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining in Japan, Ephesus in Turkey, Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System in Mexico, and Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape in Uruguay. The Committee also approved the ...
The World Heritage Committee this morning approved the inscription of five cultural sites on World Heritage List: Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site in Norway, Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus in Germany, Necropolis of Beth She’arim—a Landmark of Jewish Revival in Israel, The Forth Bridge in Scotland (United Kingdom) and San Antonio Missions in the United States of ...
The World Heritage Committee this afternoon approved the inscription of five cultural sites on World Heritage List. Two Danish sites were added to the List: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement and The Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand. The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy and Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars, both in France, were also inscribed alongside the Diyarbakir ...
The World Heritage Committee this morning approved the inscription of six cultural sites on World Heritage List: Tusi Sites (China), Susa, Cultural Landscape of Maymand (both in the Islamic Republic of Iran), Singapore Botanic Gardens (Singapore), Baekje Historic Areas (Republic of Korea), Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape (Mongolia). Tusi sites (China) — ...
The World Heritage Committee inscribed three new cultural sites on the World Heritage List this afternoon: Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale in Italy; Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas) in Jordan and Rock Art in the Hail Region of Saudi Arabia. Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (Italy)—Located on the ...
The Director-General of UNESCO firmly condemned the destruction of cultural property at Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, particularly damage to funerary busts and the famous Lion Statue of Athena, located at the entrance of the museum of Palmyra. "These new destructions of cultural goods of the site of Palmyra reflect the brutality and ignorance of extremist groups and their disregard ...
The World Heritage Committee this morning approved the extension of two natural sites inscribed on the World Heritage List: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas in South Africa and Ke Bang National Park in Viet Nam. The Committee also inscribed Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica, a mixed site, i.e. one that is both cultural and natural. With this inscription Jamaica enters the World ...
The World Heritage Committee today inscribed two sites in Yemen on the List of World Heritage in Danger: the Old City of Sana’a and the Old Walled City of Shibam. The Old City of Sana’a sustained serious damage due to armed conflict in the country. The neighbourhood of al Qasimi near the famous urban garden of Miqshamat al Qasimi sustained particularly serious damage. The 12th century ...
The World Heritage site of Hatra in Iraq has been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to damage inflicted to the property by armed groups. During debates today, many World Heritage Committee members voiced concern about the state of Iraqi heritage following acts of intentional destruction. They also declared their willingness to help Iraq as soon as the situation on the ...
UNESCO and UNITAR (the UN Institute for Training and Research) have signed an agreement to protect cultural and natural heritage sites with the latest geo-spatial technologies.  It was signed at the annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany, and will be delivered through UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). The strategic partnership will ...
Significant improvements in the management of Los Katíos National Park in Colombia have allowed for the site to be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The World Heritage Committee decided to lift danger listing for the property in recognition of steps taken by the national authorities to reduce illegal extraction of timber and overfishing. The site was placed on the List of ...
Three years after their destruction by extremists, the Timbuktu mausoleums are nearly restored through the extraordinary work carried out by local craftsmen and with international support. The announcement came at an event held in Bonn as part of the World Heritage Committee session taking place in the German city. “The reconstruction of the mausoleums in Timbuktu is a fine example of the ...
Iraq, a country in turmoil within a very unstable region, is fighting a cultural battle in the real sense of the word. This special issue of World Heritage magazine presents the key heritage sites of Iraq, reflecting on their historical significance and importance for the Iraqi people and the world, as well as efforts by UNESCO and other stakeholders to protect these sites from destruction, ...
On 29 June, during the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany, the Chairs of the six UNESCO culture conventions* met for the first time to discuss ways to work together more effectively. In the context of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO, this provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the future of the Organization’s standard-setting action in the face of contemporary ...
Bonn, 29 June—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today launched the Global Coalition, Unite for Heritage, during the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Bonn, Germany. The campaign is designed to strengthen the mobilization of governments and all heritage stakeholders in the face of deliberate damage to cultural heritage, particularly in the Middle East. “The ...
Bonn (Germany) - An appeal for the international community to counter the new threat of violent extremism and cultural cleansing was issued at the opening of the World Heritage Committee, which opened its session in Bonn, Germany, today. The Committee will remain in session until 8 July under the chair of Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office and member of the ...
The publication launched today, “Managing effectively the world’s most iconic Marine Protected Areas. A Best Practice Guide” lays the groundwork for a common approach to a more pro-active, future-oriented management of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world. The step-by-step guidance shows how defining a clearer vision of what MPAs can and should look like in another 10 to 20 years ...
Chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans are essential to the visibility and viability of many biosphere reserves across Africa and Asia, according to an infographic release today by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme. Great apes are found in 21 Biosphere Reserve, ...
In memoriam: Professor Chahryar Adle
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
The World Heritage Centre and the History and Memory for Dialogue Section of UNESCO have learned with deep sadness of the recent passing of Professor Chahryar Adle, a long-time collaborator of UNESCO. Chahryar Adle (1943-2015) was an archaeologist and Iranologist, and a member of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). He was also President of the International Scientific ...
Kulturweit, a volunteer organization of the German Commission for UNESCO and the German Federal Foreign Office, has designed a card game called “World Heritage in Germany-Memory”. The inspiration came from Kulturweit members who were delegates to the 2014 World Heritage Youth Forum held in Qatar. The goal of the game is to teach young people about German World Heritage sites. The German ...
[in French only] Du 29 juin au 10 juillet 2015, 13 gestionnaires de sites patrimoniaux issus de 11 pays (Burkina Faso, Colombie, Comores, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Irak, RDP Lao, Mali, Moldavie, Sénégal, Togo) participeront à la 5ème édition de la formation internationale intensive "Construire ensemble l'avenir des sites patrimoniaux. Élaborer et mettre en œuvre une gestion durable" organisée ...
UNEP has published a Sourcebook of Opportunities for Enhancing Cooperation among the Biodiversity-related Conventions at National and Regional Levels, available for download at wcmc.io/Sourcebook. The aim of the UNEP Sourcebook is to provide national focal points of the biodiversity-related conventions and other stakeholders with options to achieve enhanced implementation of the conventions ...
The World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce the Call for Participants for the World Heritage Volunteers 2015 and #Unite4Heritage common action. This common action aims to encourage young people from the Arab States[1] countries to take part in one of ten selected World Heritage Volunteers Action Camps 2015, at locations around the world. The aim of this action is to respond to the ...
In the early hours of 12 June 2015, the Old City of Sana’a, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was hit by a bombing raid. Several houses and historic buildings were destroyed, causing human casualties. Among the buildings destroyed was the magnificent complex of traditional houses in the Al-Qasimi neighborhood, bordering an urban garden (Miqshama), near the Sailah water channel. “I am profoundly ...
The Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting Exercise in the Europe and North America region was launched at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee (Saint Petersburg, 2012). In Europe, 49 States Parties and 432 World Heritage properties (382 cultural, 41 natural, 9 mixed) participated in the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting Exercise (2012-2015). The exercise was coordinated by ...
The World Heritage Centre is receiving correspondence from many NGOs and concerned citizens regarding a proposed high-rise project, and other matters, within the boundaries of the World Heritage property “Historic Centre of Vienna”. The World Heritage Centre is aware of this situation and is following the issue closely with the State Party, as well as the Advisory Bodies to the World ...
The devastating earthquakes of 25 April and the aftershocks that followed have heavily damaged the monuments and sites within the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage property, as well as an enormous amount of other cultural sites in the northwestern area of Nepal. Currently closed to tourists and the general public, the three monument zones - Hanumandhoka (Kathmandu) Durbar Square, Swayambhu and ...
As the world’s population grows, demand for fresh seafood is rising, and stocks are being stretched to the limit. Climate change impacts further stress the food chain. Marine World Heritage sites can provide a buffer against this pressure. They allow fish to grow and multiply safe from major disturbance, and boost the resilience of the oceans unique ecosystem. Today, many of the world's ...
The World Heritage Committee will examine proposals to inscribe 37 properties on UNESCO’s World Heritage List when it meets at the international conference centre of Bonn (Germany) from 28 June to 8 July. The upcoming 39th session of the World Heritage Committee will be chaired by Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, and member of the Bundestag. Nominations ...
A three-day meeting in Berlin brought together experts from around the world to discuss the current practices for mural painting conservation and led to the adoption of new Guidelines. Within the framework of the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust Project for the Preservation of the Koguryo Tombs and Mural Paintings in the DPRK, the UNESCO Expert Workshop: Conservation of Mural ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has condemned the airstrikes on the ancient city of Marib in Yemen and is calling on all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from targeting the country’s unique cultural heritage. UNESCO has received information on damage caused to the Great Dam of Marib by an airstrike during the night of 31 May. According to reports received, the ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova addressed today’s Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly, which adopted unanimously a resolution on “Saving the cultural heritage of Iraq”. The resolution, presented jointly by Germany and Iraq, was cosponsored by a total of 91 Member States, focuses on the fight against the destruction of cultural heritage and attacks against the cultural diversity ...
The 1st Management Planning Workshop to protect the transboundary Lake Ohrid region took place on 25-26 March in Korça, Albania. The workshop is part of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”, a UNESCO initiative funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Environment of Albania to safeguard the ...
The Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Ms Liu Yandong, pledged her country’s ambition to push her Government’s broad collaboration with UNESCO “to new heights” during a meeting with Director-General Irina Bokova in Qingdao on 23 May, on the eve of the International Conference on ICTs and post-2015 Education. On behalf of the Chinese Government, Ms Yandong congratulated UNESCO on ...
Worldwide shipping traffic has increased 300% since 1992, and this growing industry does not leave World Heritage marine sites immune to its impact. The International Maritime Organization (IMO)—the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships—can provide special protections for particularly ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called for an immediate end to hostilities in Palmyra (Syria) following reports from several sources that armed extremist groups have infiltrated the World Heritage site, where fighting is now ongoing.  “I am deeply concerned by the situation at the site of Palmyra. The fighting is putting at risk one of the most significant sites in the ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is receiving messages expressing concern about the state of conservation of the World Heritage property "Venice and its lagoon” (Italy), inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre closely follows the state of conservation of the property with the Italian authorities. The World Heritage Committee, at its 38th session in ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today expressed her deep concern over reports of fighting near Palmyra, endangering the local population and posing an imminent threat to the site, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Irina Bokova called for the immediate cessation of fighting. According to several sources, armed extremist groups raided the city of Tadmur, home to the ...
Amid reports of several cultural heritage sites being damaged across Yemen, UNESCO Office for the GCC and Yemen has developed a series of emergency response activities aimed at safeguarding Yemeni cultural sites and monuments of universal values from the ongoing conflict in the country. Over the past few days, UNESCO received reports from cultural institutions and experts in Yemen of severe ...
Amid alarming reports about bombing of the World Heritage Site of the Old City of Sana’a, UNESCO’s Director-General calls on all parties to protect Yemen’s unique cultural heritage. Over the past few days, UNESCO received reports of severe damage to significant cultural heritage sites in Yemen. According to several media reports and official sources, the old city of Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, ...
On 6 May, the Director-General expressed her sincere condolences to the Government and people of Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the country on 25 April by signing a message in the condolences book opened at the Embassy, in the presence of the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Ms Ambika Devi Luintel. “I wish to say how deeply aggrieved I am by the ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is receiving petitions expressing concern about the state of conservation of the World Heritage property Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Mexico), inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. The World Heritage Committee, at its next session (Bonn, Germany, 28 June - 8 July 2015), will examine the state of conservation of the property. The draft decision ...
The United Nations University (UNU) and UNESCO today brought together scholars, archeologists, historians and writers to discuss ways of opposing the widespread destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq, Syria and other countries in conflict. The symposium, entitled "Mobilization for heritage: Iraq, Syria and other countries in conflict," took place at the Organization’s Paris ...
On 4 May, during her official visit to Estonia, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Ms Keit Pentus-Rosimannus. The Minister congratulated the Organisation on the occasion of its 70th anniversary and noted strong satisfaction with the reform led by the Director-General, to increase efficiency. The Minister highlighted the Estonian ...
On 4 May, on the occasion of her official visit to Estonia, the Director General, Ms Irina Bokova, gave a lecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts on “Attacks against Cultural Heritage – What can UNESCO do?”, in the presence of the Rector of the Academy Professor Signe Kivi, and the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia to UNESCO, H.E. Mr Marten Kokk. The lecture ...
On 4 May, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met with the Minister of Culture, Mr Indrek Saar. The Minister congratulated UNESCO on the 70th anniversary of its creation, underlining the enduring importance of the Organisation today. He also thanked the Director-General for her leadership, also in reforming the Organisation, and in the strong cooperation with Estonia. The ...
From 4 to 5 May, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, is travelling to Estonia for an official visit, where she is expected to meet with a number of high level government officials including, the Minister of Foreign Affairs , Ms Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, the Deputy Secretary-General for Planning, Ministry for Education and Research, Ms Kadri Maasik, the Minister for Culture, Mr Indrek Saar, ...
Following an AWF-led great apes conservation workshop in Yaoundé scheduled from April 22nd to 23rd, the AWF will lead a trek initiative from April 25th to May 1st through the center of the Dja Faunal Reserve. One team of rangers from Cameroon and other great apes sites in Central/West Africa will use this opportunity as a field training exercise. At the same time a second team will trek ...
In memoriam: Dr Ronald Van Oers
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
The World Heritage Centre announces with profound sadness the passing on 28 April 2015 of Dr Ronald Van Oers, Vice Director of the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific Region, a UNESCO Category 2 Centre based in Shanghai, and a colleague of the World Heritage Centre since 2000. Ron was a brilliant professional in the field of heritage. He had a wealth of ...
“As we are receiving more information from the ground, I am deeply aggrieved by the magnitude of human loss caused by the earthquake in Nepal. I am also shocked by its devastating impact on the unique cultural heritage in the country, in particular extensive and irreversible damage at the World Heritage site of Kathmandu Valley”, declared Irina Bokova, the Director-General of ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the Secretary General of INTERPOL, Jürgen Stock, addressed members of the UN Security Council on “Combating the Destruction, Smuggling and Theft of Cultural Heritage” in countries where destruction of heritage, looting and illicit trafficking are used to fuel hatred and finance terrorism. The meeting, convened by the Permanent Missions of ...
The Director-General, Irina Bokova, has expressed her profound sympathy to the government and people of Nepal after the devastating earthquake that struck the country. “I wish to express my sincere condolences following the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal today, causing heavy loss of life and extensive damage, including to historic monuments and buildings of the Kathmandu Valley ...
The endangered chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and bonobos found at World Heritage sites in Africa and Asia underscore the importance of these forests and mountain ranges and are highlighted in an infographic released today by the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the World Heritage Centre of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Great ...
A screening of the movie “Virunga” was organized at UNESCO Headquarters, attended by a thousand people, in the framework of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO and the United Nations International Earth Day. The screening of the movie took place in the presence of the Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, H.E. Mr Bienvenu Lihota Ndjoli, Minister of Environment and ...
UNESCO could not conserve the Crown Jewels of the Ocean without support from public and private partner organizations around the world. In a world that is for 70% oceans, it seems fitting to honor the ocean’s most precious places on Earth Day. This year, we are celebrating Earth Day at a special event hosted in New York City by long-time partner Jaeger-LeCoultre. “Through this partnership, ...
[in French only] Les gestionnaires de Cidade Velha et de plusieurs villes de Cabo Verde, les communautés locales, les experts nationaux et internationaux en charge du patrimoine urbain se sont réunis à Cidade Velha du 15 au 17 avril 2015 pour discuter de l’approche centrée sur le Paysage urbain historique et de la manière dont elle peut contribuer à la gestion et la conservation durable de ...
Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region: Local Facilitator, Albania IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe (SEE) is seeking to recruit an experienced and enthusiastic candidate to join the IUCN SEE team working on the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural ...
In 2008 the NGO “Collectif du patrimoine des Comores” launched an inventory and cultural mapping project of the architectural and urban heritage of the Sultanates of the Comoros, with technical and financial support from the World Heritage Centre within the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement. The Comoros put the Historic Sultanates on their Tentative List in 2007. In order ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced further destruction at the archeological site of Nimrud in Iraq, shown in graphic detail on a video circulating on social media channels. “I condemn this mad, destructive act that accentuates the horror of the situation. It confirms that the terrorists are not only destroying representations of figures and bas-reliefs. With their hammers ...
H.E. Mr Kadir Topbas, Lord Mayor of Istanbul, visited UNESCO on the occasion of the Organization’s 70thanniversary, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the inscription of the Historic Areas of Istanbul on the World Heritage List. On the occasion of his visit to UNESCO, the Lord Mayor of Istanbul participated in a round-table on heritage conservation in the face of the challenges of urban ...
The Philippines’ Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a spectacular reef system in the famed Coral Triangle. The park encompasses 970 km² of coral atolls and deep seas 92 nautical miles from the nearest inhabited island. Managing this vast and remote area requires a focused management plan, and the Marine World Heritage Programme recently connected Site Manager Angelique Songco with Jon Day, ...
In the context of the recent escalation of hostilities in Bosra and Idlib, the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, reiterates her call for the protection of Syria’s unique heritage. “All Syrians must unite for the protection of their shared cultural heritage.” said the Director-General. “This heritage belongs to all Syrians and to all humanity. I call on all parties to refrain from ...
The differences in culture might be as big as the ocean between them, but Australia and Ecuador are home to two of the world’s best-known natural wonders. Site managers at the Galapagos Islands and Great Barrier Reef are entrusted with the care of vast areas that are vital for wildlife and treasured by people. UNESCO’s World Heritage Marine Programme facilitated an exchange bringing staff ...
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, launched #Unite4Heritage at Baghdad University – a social media campaign to counter the propaganda of cultural cleansing and the destruction of cultural heritage, to support Iraqi youth and to mobilise young people across the world for its protection. The launch took place in front of students, government ministers and university officials. “Today, we ...
Ngorongoro Conservation Area joins Lake Malawi National Park, Maloti-Drakensberg Park (South Africa and Lesotho) and Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe) in strategic planning for sustainable tourism. The first capacity building workshop in sustainable tourism for the World Heritage site managers, community representatives and tourism industry stakeholders was held at the ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and French President Francois Hollande today sent a strong message of solidarity to the people of Iraq and Syria, and reiterated the urgent need to safeguard cultural heritage of both countries. President Hollande and the Director-General Bokova met at the Louvre Museum in Paris, which houses several major works reflecting the splendid cultural ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today condemned the deadly attack at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, and expressed her support and solidarity with Tunisia and the families of the victims. Ms Bokova spoke of the assault during a meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The two leaders were addressing media on the destruction of cultural heritage by ...
Save Virunga’s elephants
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
“The Elephant Collaring Project Team” from Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an initiative which aims at strengthening the safeguarding of elephants using radio tracking with specially designed elephant collars. The Park’s goal is to reach 120,000 USD in donations, within 10 weeks. Donate now to Virunga National Park to reinforce vital resources needed to ...
The first management planning workshop in a series of five will take place on 25 and 26 March 2015 in the Korça region, Albania. The workshop is carried out in the framework of the 36-month European Union-funded project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”. The project is designed to address the main threats ...
Upcoming 39th session due to take place in Bonn, Germany. The annual highlight for the World Heritage community is drawing near: From 28 June to 8 July approx. 1200 delegates, observers and NGO-representatives from 191 countries will gather in Bonn, Germany, to attend the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee. During its session last year in Doha, Qatar, the Committee elected Minister ...
UNESCO, in partnership with the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (ACA), the Japanese National Institutes for Cultural Heritage (NICH), ICCROM and ICOMOS has organized a special session on "Resilient Cultural Heritage" within the framework of the Third United Nations World Conference Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), which has taken place between 14 and 18 March at Sendai, Japan. The ...
Since the beginning of the conflict in Iraq, in addition to the tragic loss of human life and the humanitarian crisis associated to the persecution of cultural and religious minorities, cultural heritage has been the target of intentional destruction. The goal has clearly been to erase the history of the country along with the identities and diversity of its people. UNESCO Director-General ...
Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office and Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Maria Böhmer issued the following statement in Berlin on 9 March following the destruction of Iraqi artefacts in Nimrud by the terrorist group ISIS: “The ongoing barbaric attacks perpetrated by the ISIS terrorist group in Iraq are devastating. In particular the abductions in Tikrit, the burning ...
Since the beginning of the conflict in Iraq, in addition to the tragic loss of human life and the humanitarian crisis associated to the persecution of cultural and religious minorities, cultural heritage has been the target of intentional destruction, with the aim of erasing the history of the country and thus undermining the peaceful coexistence of diverse communities. Attacks against the ...
“I condemn in the strongest possible manner the destruction of the archaeological site of Nimrud site in Iraq. This is yet another attack against the Iraqi people, reminding us that nothing is safe from the cultural cleansing underway in the country: it targets human lives, minorities, and is marked by the systematic destruction of humanity’s ancient heritage,” said UNESCO Director General ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has welcomed the UN Security Council's statement denouncing the attack on the Mosul Museum. "This statement is a strong testiment to the unity of the international community regarding the tragic destruction of irreplaceable heritage for all mankind," said the Director-General. "The members of the Security Council have reaffirmed the deep ...
"The reopening of the Baghdad Museum is a powerful symbol, coming in the wake of the destruction perpetrated in Mosul. To fight violent extremism and attacks against cultural heritage, we need more than ever to nurture the power of culture, supporting its fundamental role for dialogue and for social cohesion in Iraq and around the world." "I welcome this historic reopening, coming just a few ...
March 3rd is World Wildlife Day
Friday, 27 February 2015
"It is time to get serious about wildlife crime" This year’s theme for World Wildlife Day is right in line with one of the key goals of the World Heritage Convention: protecting sites which are home to threatened plant and animal species. These invaluable sites are threatened more than ever, and illegal human activities such as poaching and illegal logging are some of the most worrisome. ...
“I was filled with dismay by images of the attack on the Mosul Museum, as well as on other archaeological sites in the Nineveh region in Iraq,” said the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova. She spoke at a press conference following the release of a video showing the devastation of the Mosul Museum in Iraq. Terrorists based in Iraq defaced many statues and bas-reliefs with an ...
“I am deeply shocked by footage released today showing the destruction of statues and other artefacts of the Mosul Museum. I condemn this as a deliberate attack against Iraq’s millennial history and culture, and as an inflammatory incitement to violence and hatred,” said the Director General. “This attack is far more than a cultural tragedy – this is also a security issue as it fuels ...
A major international conference was organized by ICOMOS Oman at Dhofar University in Salalah, Sultanate of Oman to review archaeological heritage identification, management, and conservation, and to explore new approaches. Among the participants were experts from different parts of the world, representatives from Ministries and heritage agencies, Ambassadors of UNESCO Member States, the ...
Established as a Category II Centre under the auspices of UNESCO in October 2009, the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) is an inter-governmental organisation which was jointly initiated by the African Members States of UNESCO and the African Union. Its mission is to support the effective conservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage of outstanding universal value in Africa. ...
Prior to the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee, a Young Experts Forum will be held from 18 to 29 June 2015 in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley World Heritage site and in Bonn, former capital of Germany. Young heritage experts from around the world from 20 to 30 years old will exchange ideas and provide input to the theme of this year’s Forum Towards a Sustainable Management of World ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, welcomed the adoption of a new UN Security Council Resolution 2199 that condemns the destruction of cultural heritage and adopts legally-binding measures to counter illicit trafficking of antiquities and cultural objects from Iraq and Syria. “The adoption of resolution 2199 is a milestone for enhanced protection of cultural heritage in Iraq ...
Over 900 participants, including over 45 Ministers and Vice Ministers of Tourism and Culture, international experts, speakers and guests from 100 countries, gathered at the UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to explore and advance new partnership models between tourism and culture (4-6 February 2015). Tourism, moving more than one billion people ...
With support from UNESCO’s World Heritage Marine Programme, the Banc d’Arguin National Park in Mauritania organized a series of educational activities for students from four local schools who are located in the park. Throughout 2014, about 100 students participated in three-day excursions in which they learned about the biodiversity, the socioeconomic importance of the Park and the need to ...
The secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is currently recruiting a Director General (DG).  SPREP is the regional organisation established by the Governments and Administrations of the Pacific charged with protecting and managing the environment and natural resources of the Pacific. It is based in Apia, Samoa, with about 95 staff and an annual budget of USD $20 ...
On Wednesday, 28 January, the cargo ship Floreana stranded near San Cristobal, an island that is part of the Galápagos islands World Heritage site. The vessel transported 1,400 tons of cargo and 50,000 liters of fuel among other, potentially hazardous, products. Accordingly to early government reports, products leaked from the ship. Actions are being taken to define the impacts on the marine ...
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