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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 ...
2014-2015 World Heritage Map Published
Friday, 6 February 2015
The latest version of the World Heritage map, produced by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and National Geographic Maps with the generous support of Germany, can now be ordered for a modest fee from the World Heritage Centre website. The featured image on the Map presents the Upper Middle Rhine Valley in Germany, country hosting the next session of the World Heritage Committee in June ...
Since their first agreement signed in 2011, UNESCO and Panasonic have worked together to educate young people about  protecting natural and cultural heritage. Long-term success of the program depends on the children of today, hence their involvement is of key importance. As part of the cooperation with UNESCO, Panasonic China hosted 50 pupils and teachers in a school excursion from 3 to 6 ...
World heritage site managers and tourism stakeholders from Zambia and Zimbabwe came together for the first time to initiate the process to develop a sustainable tourism strategy for the Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls World Heritage site. The workshop was held in Livingstone, Zambia from 22 to 24 January 2015. The workshop takes place within the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage and ...
Issue 74 of World Heritage magazine World Heritage sites are exposed to a wide variety of natural and human-induced hazards, such as earthquakes, cyclones or fires, which can have devastating effects on their value as well as on the lives and assets of the communities concerned. This issue explores the risks that sites are exposed to and different aspects of disaster risk management, ...
Storage conditions of ancient manuscripts smuggled out of Timbuktu to Bamako in 2012 must be improved rapidly to avoid decay, concluded participants at an international conference, held from 28 to 30 January in the national capital. They also called for the adoption of an emergency plan to preserve the manuscripts in the long-term. The conference was attended by academics; representatives of ...
From 22 to 24 January 2015, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Vietnamese authorities, hosted a workshop on World Heritage and sustainable development at the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex in Viet Nam. The workshop responded to the request by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in Saint Petersburg to develop a policy on the integration of sustainable development into the ...
Following a week-long constructive discussion with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and IUCN, the government of Belize agreed to start talks on critical conservation challenges related to the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef from the World Heritage List in Danger.  From 19-23 January 2015, UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the International Union for the Conservation of ...
2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at ...
Nearly two years after armed groups occupied northern Mali and destroyed cultural heritage there, an international conference will take place in the capital, Bamako, from 28 to 30 January to examine the long-term conservation of the country’s invaluable ancient manuscript collections. UNESCO’s Office in Bamako, Mali’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the Ahmed Baba ...
Once again this year Earthwatch is offering funded training and mentoring in organisational and business management practices to protected areas in Africa. The application period is now open until 27th February 2015. The Programme is looking to recruit 6 protected areas, who will each nominate 3 members of staff for training during a 10 day residential training course in October 2015. This ...
Internship Opportunities in South Africa and Benin, from 1 April until 30 September 2015. Two internships will run in 2015, one at the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) in Midrand (South Africa) and one at EPA in Porto-Novo (Benin). AWHF was launched in 2006 to support African State Parties in implementing the UNESCO Convention on the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. ...
On 14 January 2015, a fire has once again ravaged the Palace of the King Houégbadja in the Royal Palaces of Abomey World Heritage property in Benin. Thankfully there were no victims. Despite the efforts of firefighters, all of the thatched roofs of the palace complex were burned. As they were built from fire-resistant earthen architecture, the walls of the palace buildings were spared. The ...
In the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement (an agreement for the protection and enhancement of monumental, urban and natural heritage, between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Government of France) UNESCO has technical and financial assistance at their disposal through the following Ministries of France: Ministry of Culture and ...
Nainoa Thompson and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage (sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines) are embarking on a 3-year trip that will take them to 13 marine World Heritage sites. The voyage is taking place with Hōkūle'a and Hikianalia, sister canoes who are both sailing on parallel sail plans in 2015-2017. UNESCO and the Polynesian Voyaging Society signed a partnership agreement that will ...
The National Park Service's newest online travel itinerary highlights the 22 World Heritage sites located in the United States. The project includes fun facts and interesting background information about sites across the country, from the Statue of Liberty to Hawaii Volcanoes, which have universal significance. The World Heritage sites in the United States itinerary is the 60th in the ...
On 6 January, during her official visit to Turkey, the Director-General participated in a ceremony to present the World Heritage Certificates for the newly inscribed sites of “Pergamon Multi-layered Cultural Landscape” and “Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of an Empire” on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in the presence of H.E. Ömer Çelik, Minister of Culture and Tourism. The ceremony took ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Panasonic Corporation have released the 2015 World Heritage calendar. Featuring stunning photographs of World Heritage sites from around the world, this popular calendar can be used in paper, online and tablet app versions. UNESCO and Panasonic have been creating wall calendars since 1995 and a web version since 2010. The wall calendar includes brief ...
The First World Conference on Tourism and Culture will bring together, for the first time, Ministers of Tourism and Ministers of Culture from around the world, experts and stakeholders from both sectors to explore new models of partnership between tourism and culture (Siem Reap, Cambodia, 4-6 February 2015). Cultural tourism can contribute to inclusive economic growth, social ...
The Panasonic Corporation in cooperation with UNESCO Office Jakarta organised a launching ceremony of LED Lighting Installment in Prambanan Temple Compounds on 17 December 2014. The ceremony was attended by more than 100 participants representing different stakeholders including the National and Local Government, UNESCO Jakarta and Headquarters, local communities, craftsmen, NGOs, as well as ...
An oil spill occurred in The Sundarbans, Bangladesh on Tuesday, 9 December when a small coastal oil tanker sank after being rammed by another vessel from behind, releasing approximately 400,000 liters of oil in the water. The Sundarbans was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997 and is one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. It lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and ...
As part of the "World Heritage Eco Learning Program", Panasonic hosted, on 15 December 2015, the "Environmental activity for the next generation” at Budapest World Heritage site.  Panasonic hosted 150 pupils in an extraordinary school excursion on Monday, 15 December 2014. Children between the ages of 8 and 12, and 20 teachers accompanying them, had the opportunity to view the UNESCO ...
A presentation of the “Fragile Venice” study, which touches on some of the most serious future challenges faced by the city of Venice and its Lagoon, will take place today, 12 December (2.30 pm.), in Venice, at the sala del Piovego in the Doge’s Palace. As the city’s urban fabric undergoes deep structural changes, this is the first enquiry of its kind into the wider effects of tourism and ...
Twenty-two conservation architects, engineers, archaeologists, and experts from different regions across Syria, including Damascus, Maaloula, Daraa, Homs and Aleppo, concluded today a three-week training course that aims to enhance their technical skills and introduce them to the recent conservation trends in order for them to secure their endangered built cultural heritage and take the ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today called for the creation of “protected cultural zones” around heritage sites in Syria and Iraq. Opening an international conference on threats to cultural heritage and diversity in these countries at UNESCO Headquarters, she suggested a start could be made with the city of Aleppo, and especially the Omeyyad Mosque, a highly iconic site located in the ...
On the occasion of the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders and in the framework of the XXIII General Assembly of the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) held on 26 November 2014, UNESCO received an award for promoting Mediterranean cultural heritage in the world and for its efforts to promote the tangible and intangible cultural heritage as a ...
In 2011, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (Directorate General of Cultural Heritage – Department of European and International Affairs) launched « e-patrimoines »: a new e-learning training program on tangible and intangible heritage, for nearly a hundred francophone countries. This project was undertaken in partnership with the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) ...
Recent policy and conceptual developments in World Heritage, and in conservation generally, set the stage for new approaches that engage indigenous and local communities in World Heritage. The inclusion of communities as one of the five Strategic Objectives in the World Heritage Convention reflects an increasing demand for community engagement at all stages of the World Heritage process, and ...
The World Heritage Centre expresses its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Professor Karel Bakker from the Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria (South Africa), and a long-time collaborator on World Heritage, who passed away on 19 November 2014. Prof. Bakker contributed to numerous World Heritage missions, Heritage Impact Assessments, training workshops, ...
The General Assembly of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention met for its 1st extraordinary session on 13-14 November 2014 at UNESCO Headquarters under the Chairpersonship of Ms Vera Lacoeuilhe, Permanent Delegate of Saint-Lucia to UNESCO, with the mandate of examining the proposals made by the Open-ended Working Group to revise the Rules of Procedure in order to achieve the ...
The Convention on Wetlands, also known as the “Ramsar Convention” from the name of the city in Iran where it was signed in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity and services. It was the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements ...
Amidst alarming reports of increase in acts of vandalism, illicit trafficking and attacks on Libyan cultural heritage, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called on all parties to protect Libya’s unique cultural heritage. Her call came in the context of the deterioration of the security situation in Libya and in support of efforts towards an inclusive political dialogue to put an end to the ...
Compliance management in the Great Barrier Reef has matured over more than 30 years and is currently one of the most advanced worldwide. Still today, over 30% of all marine World Heritage sites are suffering serious pressure from fishing activities, most of which is illegal and unreported. Monitoring and evaluation of these sites is often costly and the need for a clever intelligence system ...
Conserving Cultural Landscapes: Challenges and New Directions is now available from Routledge publishers. The book is edited by Ken Taylor, Australian National University, Australia; Archer St. Clair, Rutgers University, USA; and Nora J. Mitchell, University of Vermont, USAIt is published as part of the series Routledge Studies in Heritage. Challenging traditional notions of historic ...
Patrimonito takes a stand in a changing global environment The World Heritage Centre (WHC) is pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Campaign 2015. In the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, the WHC leads the Initiative in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), Open Houses ...
November 15, 2014, marks the official announcement of the design competition to build the new Bamiyan Cultural Centre in Afghanistan. UNESCO, together with the Government of Afghanistan, decided to select the design of the Cultural Centre through an open international competition. The competition will generate interest in the project and ensure that the winning design is both iconic and also ...
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on the weekend of 15-16 November for a firsthand look at the way the World Heritage site is being managed. Her visit came amidst widespread concerns over the health of the reef, which experts say is threatened by climate change, pollution and other environmental issues that make careful, long-term planning absolutely ...
From the 13 to the 15 October 2014, the Paraguay National Commission for cooperation with UNESCO through its Executive Committee for Heritage, the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet), Paraguay National Secretary of Tourism (SENATUR) and the Paraguay Chamber of Tourism for the Jesuit Missions, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education and Culture, will hold the 1st Youth ...
Supermodel and UN Goodwill ambassador for the Environment Gisele Bündchen narrates the latest film from the World Heritage Marine Programme, which premiered at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, to a standing-room-only crowd. Ms Bündchen is a strong supporter of ocean conservation and believes in its critical role in human and ecosystem health. She has given her time and talent ...
The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) releases the 2014 legacy report summarizing its lasting impacts of eight years of cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and its partners, notably the Franz Weber Foundation and Fauna & Flora International. The programme provides emergency support to natural World Heritage sites in developing countries. Since 2006, The RRF has given 35 grants ...
Sydney, 13 November - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today called for a global commitment to “restore, revitalize and safeguard one of the planet’s most precious resources: protected areas”, at the opening session of the World Parks Congress, in Sydney, Australia. The Congress is organized by the International Union for the Conservation for Nature (IUCN), one of the advisory bodies to ...
With the severe deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Iraq, UNESCO has established an Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP) to address the challenges to safeguarding Iraq’s cultural heritage. The plan was set up at an emergency expert meeting held at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on 17 July 2014, which brought together experts from both Iraq and the international community ...
UNESCO is gearing up for its participation in the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC), which will take place in Sydney, Australia, from 12 to 19 November At this edition of the world’s most influential international forum devoted to the planet’s protected areas, over 5,000 participants will formulate the global conservation agenda in the outcome document: "The Promise of Sydney". It is also ...
Thanks to the generous support of the French National Commission and Ateliers d'Art de France, UNESCO will participate in the International Cultural Heritage Show at the Carrousel du Louvre, in Paris, France from 6 to 9 November. The Organization will have stand 30 during the four days and will present its activities in the culture sector, particularly concerning cultural heritage. UNESCO ...
Following the first African World Heritage entrepreneurship training workshops, which took place in Ghana and Senegal in May 2014, an Anglophone Entrepreneurship Field Training Workshop for World Heritage site managers and community representatives from Africa was organized from 22 September to 10 October in Livingstone, Zambia. This Field Training Workshop was devoted to developing a ...
The Asian World Heritage Media/Communication Training Workshop for young people: "Passing the Culture Message" was held in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea, from 9 to 13 October 2014. Fourteen participants from the Asia-Pacific region participated in the programme, which included the opportunity to visit and film three World Heritage sites: Gyeongju Historic Areas, Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa ...
The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) has launched an emergency appeal for funds to tackle an upswing in poaching activity in Garamba National Park in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a World Heritage site inscribed on the World Heritage List in Danger. Please donate now to help us give Garamba's dedicated rangers the vital resources they need to protect the Park's ...
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