Marking the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, UNESCO and the European Union teamed up to develop a new project to start in 2019 that strengthens the connections between cultural heritage, youth and education. The project has two main components: one seeks to empower a new generation of heritage professionals and another aims to bring intangible cultural heritage into the ...
Nominations are now open, with the deadline for submission 30 April 2019. The Prize rewards outstanding action to safeguard and enhance the world’s major cultural landscapes, which can contribute significantly to sustainable development and achieve a number of goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The prizewinner, who may be an individual, an institution or a ...
The third meeting of the World Heritage Policy Compendium Working Group took place from the 11th to the 13th of December 2018 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The meeting was organized in order to finalize the draft Compendium in line with the request by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in Manama, Bahrain. During the three-day working meeting, the Working Group, which ...
Under the high patronage of H.E. Abdulaziz bin Mohamed Al-Rowas, Advisor for Cultural Affairs to His Majesty the Sultan of Oman, some 30 experts gathered in Salalah, Oman, from 3 to 5 December 2018, to discuss the future of the World Heritage property “Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley” and to enhance cooperation between relevant stakeholders. Financially ...
Nearly two-thirds of the ocean, half of the world's surface, lies beyond the jurisdiction of nations. While 49 marine sites are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, all of them are currently limited to areas within nation’s territories. Following a pioneering UNESCO-IUCN report in 2016, experts concluded that these remote ocean areas do harbour globally unique areas that deserve ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre held a workshop on 26-27 November in Bhopal, India, with stakeholders of the new ‘World Heritage Journeys Buddha’ project. With the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and in collaboration with National Geographic, the project focuses on three World Heritage sites in South Asia including Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha ...
In response to recent reports that Tanzania granted a contract for the construction of a dam within the Selous Game Reserve World Heritage property to two Egyptian companies, the Director of the World Heritage Centre reminded the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania of its obligations as signatory to the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Upon the inscription of Selous Game Reserve on ...
A new UNESCO project funded by the Government of The Netherlands is supporting Eritrea’s efforts to strengthen the conservation and management of Asmara: A Modernist African City World Heritage property using the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape Approach. Eritrea’s capital city Asmara was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017 as “an exceptional example of early modernist ...
From 17 to 29 November 2018, the Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 14) was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The meeting was an important milestone for the international community to see where we are in achieving global goals—such as the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2010-2020 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable ...
The World Heritage Centre reaffirmed its commitment to the protection of natural heritage at the 18th Meeting of the Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) in Brussels, Belgium, which was held on 27 and 28 November 2018. Ms. Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre, welcomed the progress made in its protection and highlighted the future challenges facing this ...
From 26 to 30 November 2018, a high-level delegation from Belize is visiting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to exchange best practices on leveraging their reef’s iconic World Heritage status, to protect their fragile ecosystems from climate impacts and secure sustainable livelihoods, jobs and income for local communities. The visit follows a series of landmark conservation actions that led to ...
From 12-14 November 2018, World Heritage Focal Points of the Arab States region came together in Manama, Bahrain for a workshop on Periodic Reporting for the World Heritage Convention. The workshop was organised and hosted by the UNESCO Category 2 Centre ARC-WH in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and was held within the framework of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting (PR), ...
The World Heritage Centre, in close collaboration with the UNESCO Multisectoral and Regional Office in Dakar and the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), organized a workshop entitled "World Heritage and Institutions of Higher Learning in Africa" from 6 to 8 November 2018 at the University Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis (Senegal), with the support of the Senegalese Ministry of Culture and the ...
From 14 to 16 November 2018, World Heritage marine managers and marine litter experts from around the world met at the Island of Norderney in the Wadden Sea World Heritage site to discuss impacts of marine litter and plastics. During the 3-day workshop, best practices on marine litter monitoring, clean-up campaigns and awareness-raising were exchanged. Marine litter, including plastics, is ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce the Call for Projects for the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Campaign 2019. This Call welcomes the participation of all interested organizations and institutions. “Empowering the Commitment to World Heritage” What is the WHV Initiative? The WHV Initiative was launched in 2008 to encourage young people to undertake concrete actions ...
The World Heritage Centre received today a visit from a delegation of representatives from the Arhuaco indigenous community of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, included on Colombia’s Tentative List since 2012 as a potential mixed World Heritage property. The representatives met with the Director and the team of the Latin American and Caribbean Unit of the World Heritage Centre to discuss ...
UNESCO launches the second phase of the World Heritage and Museums programme in cooperation with three prestigious World Heritage cities: George Town, Melaka (Malaysia) and Vigan (the Philippines) Thanks to the generous and renewed funding from the government of Japan through UNESCO, three historic towns will design and implement a variety of activities, which strengthen the ties between ...
“Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia” is a jewel in the Pacific that has inspired many stories and myths. There are more than 100 islets at the site, constructed with walls of basalt and coral boulders, upon which were built structures with walls up to eight meters high of columnar basalt that glistens in the sun. These ruins represent the ceremonial center of the Saudeleur ...
Addis Ababa, 5 November 2018: The Director of UNESCO Liaison Office to AU and UN ECA, and Representative to Ethiopia, Ms Ana Elisa Santana Afonso met with a delegation of the Orthodox Tewahido Church of Lalibela, led by His Holiness Aba Tsige Selassie, Head Administrator of the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela. Begun in the 12th century, this complex of 11 churches was among the first cultural ...
From 18 to 22 October 2018, the World Heritage Centre undertook a technical mission to the Barotse Cultural Landscape, a site on the Tentative List of Zambia. The mission met with the local communities to identify suitable development projects compatible with the safeguarding of the cultural landscape, and to seek the support of the traditional custodians to nominate the site on the World ...
On 5 November 2018, a team of experts from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN arrived in Montenegro for a joint Advisory mission to the World Heritage property “Durmitor National Park.” The State Party of Montenegro invited the mission with the objectives to review a potential boundary modification and to assess the overall state of conservation of the World Heritage site. The mission ...
The World Heritage Office of the Historic Heritage Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Government of Spain is organizing the XII National Meeting of World Heritage Managers, hosted by the Luis Seoane Foundation from 6 to 8 of November 2018 in the city of Coruña. The meeting, celebrated annually since 2007, is a space for analysis, debate and ...
The national Technical Secretariats of the six countries belonging to the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System continue their collaborative efforts in strengthening the conservation and management structure of this unique and complex World Heritage site, inscribed in 2014 as a serial cultural transboundary property crossing Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In the months of ...
UNESCO gathered tourism and heritage experts at the Organization’s Headquarters on 29 October 2018 to examine the leading role that tourism and culture can play in fostering sustainable development in the EU and China. The EU-China High Level Conference on World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism was organized in the framework of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, an initiative led by the ...
UNESCO condemns the intentional destruction of the Ahmed Al-Faz Mosque and Mausoleum in Hodeida, located on the coast approximately 30km from the World Heritage property of the Historic Town of Zabid. The General Organization of Antiquities and Museums (GOAM) in Yemen confirmed, in a statement published on 23 October, that the building was destroyed by extremists on the previous day. The ...
For the first time, UNESCO World Heritage coral reef managers will partner with global climate resilience experts and local community stakeholders to build and embed comprehensive resilience strategies into their management of World Heritage sites. The project builds on the capacity of reef managers to work locally and enables a global network of flagship protected area managers to create ...
The project “Communities and reinforcement of the management of the Royal Palaces of Abomey World Heritage Site” financed by the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust was implemented from July 2017 to August 2018, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Benin, the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) and the School of African Heritage (EPA). The project aimed to strengthen the state of ...
The results have been released concerning the development of management strategies for the Silk Road corridors in Central Asia after the sub-regional meeting of the working group on preparation of the dossier of the Serial transnational nomination of the World Heritage "Silk Road: Fergana-Syrdarya Corridor" held on 2 October 2018 and a sub-regional seminar on the development of management ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre was saddened to learn of the passing of David Lowenthal, the American historian and geographer whose revolutionary work contributed to heritage study being recognized as an academic discipline. He argued that heritage was not history, but rather what people choose from history to define themselves.    Born in the United States, he lived most of his life in ...
Every year, disasters caused by natural hazards affect millions of people around the world. The resultant human losses are tragic and highlight the vulnerabilities shared by our societies. Recent events have illustrated the devastating effects of natural disasters. The State of Kerala in India, for example, experienced in August the worst episode of flooding since 1924. Many hundreds of ...
From 9 to 12 October 2018, World Heritage managers from the Africa and Arab region met at Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park in Sudan. The meeting focused on sharing expertise in balancing conservation of the site's unique natural values with the reduction of poverty among local communities that are directly dependent on the World Heritage ...
The first China/Germany Cultural Exchange on Heritage Conservation for Sustainable Development, organized at the initiative of UNESCO, took place on 26-30 September 2018 in Berlin, Germany, and gathered international experts and stakeholders for an international reflection session on the role of culture as a vector of sustainable development on the international stage, today and in the ...
Every year some 300,000 elephants are killed by poachers in Africa for their tusks, and approximately 41 tons of pangolin scales were seized in Africa (in 2017), that is the equivalent of over 34,000 animals. On Sunday, 30 September 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo organized a ceremony, in the presidential park of N’sele, 50 km from the centre of Kinshasa, to set free five grey parrots ...
Tourism is increasingly a major source of growth, employment and income for many of the world’s countries, particularly in emerging economies. However, when mismanaged, overwhelming numbers of visitors can damage ancient monuments and put intangible heritage at risk. World Tourism Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of protecting World Heritage and ensuring that tourism makes ...
For the first time, on 18-19 September 2018, members of the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions (BLG) met with the Culture Conventions Liaison Group (CCLG) at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The occasion was the 13th meeting of the BLG, held to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation to fight against accelerating global biodiversity loss, especially in view of the ...
Today, on 24 September 2018, a group of experts from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN arrived in Warsaw to carry out a joint Reactive Monitoring mission to the transboundary World Heritage property “Białowieża Forest” (Belarus/Poland). Situated on the watershed of the Baltic and Black Seas, the World Heritage property is the site of an immense and biologically diverse primeval forest that ...
The Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting (2018 – 2024), a global World Heritage conservation monitoring exercise carried out in six-year cycles, begins this September with reporting in the Arab States region. World Heritage Site Managers and National Focal Points of the 84 World Heritage properties (76 cultural, 5 natural and 3 mixed sites in 18 State Parties) in the Arab States region will be ...
This guidebook for urban and architectural regulation of Cidade Velha (Cabo Verde) was produced within the framework of an international assistance for the elaboration of an ‘Illustrated guidebook of the urban rules of Cidade Velha’. Its objective is to make the urban legislation of the city of Cidade Velha, inscribed on the World Heritage List since 2009, more accessible and understandable ...
Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre released an update to its 2017 first global scientific assessment of the impact of climate change on UNESCO World Heritage coral reefs. The latest update concludes that limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C degrees above pre-industrial levels would mean World Heritage-listed coral reefs are expected to avoid severe annual bleaching this century. ...
Coinciding with the European Heritage Days celebrations, UNESCO will launch the first-ever web platform dedicated to World Heritage and sustainable travel. Supported by the European Union, the platform features 34 selected World Heritage sites spread across 19 European Union countries, and it has been developed in collaboration with National Geographic. The launch will take place when UNESCO ...
It is with deep sorrow that we learned of the passing of Dr Henry Forrester Cleere, in London on 23 August 2018. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre staff would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Henry’s family. Dr Henry Cleere was born in London on 2 August 1926. After completing a Masters degree in English, Henry Cleere worked for over 20 years in the iron and steel industry before ...
On 30 and 31 August 2018, the 70th anniversary of IUCN was celebrated at Fontainebleau, France with the theme “The Future of Landscapes: A New Relationship for People and Nature”. It is at the Chateau de Fontainebleau, a World Heritage site, that in 1948 the founding assembly convened at the invitation of UNESCO to create the International Union for the Protection of Nature (IUPN), later to ...
Upon the conclusion of the second Governing Board meeting of the Lucio Costa Centre (CLC), Regional Training Centre for World Heritage Management (Category II Centre under the auspices of UNESCO), located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the member countries of the CLC adopted the Work Plan 2018-2020 as a new agenda of activities and actions in the field of World Heritage. The meeting involved the ...
Over the last several months, the World Heritage Centre has been receiving numerous messages from citizens from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as from other countries, expressing their concern regarding the ‘Proposed Scheme’ for the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down project, located within the boundaries of the World Heritage site “Stonehenge, Avebury and ...
On the night of 22 to 23 August 1791, in the western part of the island of Saint-Domingue, then French colony of the West Indies, an uprising of slaves took place, which would mark a turning point in the tragic history of the slave trade. The war that ensued culminated in 1804 in the independence of that part of the island, which took the name of Haiti, and led to the recognition of the equal ...
This year, International Youth Day focuses on the theme: "Safe spaces for youth". Youth is a decisive phase in personal development. It is the age when people venture into the unknown, seeking new horizons; it is a time of encounters, often memorable ones; it is a time of first commitments. However, youth is also a vulnerable age, when negative experiences can quickly lead to withdrawal, ...
Indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable populations in the world. This International Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness of their precarious situation, particularly in relation to migration, which is the Day's theme in 2018. Migration influences the way of life of many indigenous peoples, whether these be nomadic pastoral societies who follow the transhumance calendar, ...
The World Heritage Beech Forests Conference was held in Vienna, Austria on 23 July 2018. Eighty-four participants from 15 States Parties came to discuss the challenges and future of the UNESCO World Heritage “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”. The conference supported the upstream process and enabled direct communication with UNESCO and IUCN ...
The following is a message from United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered on 6 August 2018, at the memorial ceremony in Hiroshima on the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) was the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945. It was inscribed on the World Heritage ...
State of Conservation of Lake Baikal
Friday, 3 August 2018
On 1 August 2018, the World Heritage Centre received a petition signed by more than 2,400 citizens who expressed their concerns about deforestation at Lake Baikal World Heritage site (Russian Federation). The competent authorities of the State Party as well as the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Body IUCN are informed of the concerns raised by the campaign. The state of conservation ...
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has issued the statement below following news of the death of French architect and heritage conservation expert Pierre-André Lablaude: “Pierre-André Lablaude leaves behind him an immense body of work, including a remarkable contribution to the safeguarding and restoration of UNESCO's World Heritage, for which I wish to express our Organization’s ...
In the part years, interest in rural areas, small settlements, and the fine-tuned interaction between humankind and its natural environment, has exponentially grown in China and all around the world.The critical role played by villages, small towns, and their vast surrounding environment is gaining global acknowledgment as a complementary counterpart to growing cities. However, today these ...
Over the last several weeks, the World Heritage Centre has received numerous messages from citizens expressing their concerns regarding a car park project within the World Heritage property “Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar”, and the adverse impact it may have on the serial property. The concerned area is located within the ...
The World Heritage Centre has launched an Online Consultation with key World Heritage stakeholders on the Reactive Monitoring process. The consultation, which is taking place until 14 September 2018, will gather feedback and comments from key World Heritage stakeholders on this crucial process of the World Heritage Convention. This inclusive online consultation invites States Parties to ...
The 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development with the theme "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies" was held at the UN New York from 9 to 18 July 2018. During the Forum, the Secretariats of the biodiversity-related conventions met at an event called the The Living Planet – the foundation of sustainable development: Contribution of the ...
A side event dedicated to the ‘Making of’ the draft Policy Compendium was held during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee in Manama, Bahrain (24 June – 4 July 2018). During the event, a panel composed of experts from the Policy Compendium Working Group and representatives of the World Heritage Centre presented their work to date on the draft Policy Compendium. The presentation ...
The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) and ICOMOS International in collaboration with ICCROM and IUCN, are organizing a Capacity Building programme for World Heritage Professionals in the Arab Region. This programme aims to build a strong network of experts from the Arab Region that will assist the Arab States, the Advisory Bodies, and all World Heritage stakeholders in the ...
The 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 30 June to 10 July 2019, further to the kind invitation of the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On 3 July 2018, during its 42nd session in Manama, Bahrain, the Committee elected H.E. Mr. Abulfaz Garayev, Azerbaijani Minister of Culture as the new Chair of the Committee, with Brazil, Burkina Faso, ...
The managers of the French properties inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and their institutional partners met on 30, 31 May and 1 June last in the Mining Basin for their 16th Annual Meeting, following an invitation by the Mining Basin Mission. Over 100 people were present to attend the General Assembly of the association, to participate in the afternoon debate devoted to the various ...
In Memoriam: Dr Janice Lindsay
Monday, 9 July 2018
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre was saddened to learn of the death of Dr Janice Lindsay, Principal Director, Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES) in Jamaica. Dr Lindsay was a Cultural Heritage Development Specialist focusing on the economic development of tangible and intangible heritage assets. She was also ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, ended today. The next session of the World Heritage Committee will be in Baku, Azerbaijan. During the session, the Committee inscribed 19 sites on the World Heritage List (13 cultural sites, three natural and three mixed sites, i.e. both natural and cultural). It ...
UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative partner with WWF and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to launch global insurance industry commitment to protect World Heritage sites UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI)—the largest collaborative initiative between the United Nations and the insurance industry—in partnership with WWF and the UN ...
The 14th episode of the Patrimonito cartoon series on the theme of World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism is now available. The episode takes place at the natural World Heritage site of the Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon, which is one of the largest in Africa and is especially known for being home to many animal and plant species. Several of them are globally threatened today such as the ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, today inscribed one mixed, i.e. cultural and natural, site in Mexico, and three natural sites in China, France and South Africa. The Committee also approved the extension of a World Heritage site in the Russian Federation. The examination of nominations will ...
The ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’ Initiative was presented on 30 June 2018 during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee. Launched by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in February 2018, the Mosul Initiative is conceived in partnership with the Iraqi Government to integrate the human dimension in the reconstruction and recovery of the city, particularly through culture and ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, inscribed two cultural sites in Italy and Spain, on the World Heritage List this morning. The inscription of sites will continue this afternoon. The new World Heritage sites, in order of inscription, are: Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (Italy) – The ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, inscribed two cultural sites in Germany and Turkey as well as two mixed (i.e. both cultural and natural) sites in Canada and Colombia, on the World Heritage List this afternoon. The inscription of sites will continue on 2 July. The new World Heritage sites, in ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, inscribed four cultural sites on the World Heritage List this morning. The inscription of sites will continue through 1 July. The new World Heritage sites, in order of inscription, are: Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (India) – Having become a ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, inscribed cultural sites in Denmark and Germany on the World Heritage List this afternoon. Inscriptions will continue through 1 July. The new World Heritage sites, in order of inscription, are: Aasivissuit-Nipisat, Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, inscribed three cultural sites on the World Heritage List this afternoon. The inscription of sites will continue through 1 July. The new World Heritage sites, in order of inscription, are: Thimlich Ohinga archeological site (Kenya) – Situated north-west of the ...
A benefit concert and fundraising event was held last night during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee to support the widows and families of the fallen rangers of Virunga National Park. The reception and concert, featuring a performance by Musicians Without Borders at the Arcapita building in Manama (Bahrain), launched the crowdfunding campaign #HelpVirunga, created to support ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June, decided today to inscribe the Lake Turkana National Parks on the List of World Heritage in Danger, notably because of the impact of a dam on the site. The Committee expressed concern about the changes affecting the hydrology of the Lake Turkana Basin, notably the disruptive effect of Ethiopia’s Gibe III dam on the flow and ...
World Heritage faces threats and challenges which raise the question: how can we contribute to a sustainable protection, preservation and conservation for heritage in an ever-changing world?  Youth are the most affected by the key development changes. Now more than ever is the time to actively involve them in the management and protection of World ...
The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June, decided Tuesday to remove the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee considered that safeguarding measures taken by the country, notably the introduction of a moratorium on oil exploration in the entire maritime zone of Belize and the strengthening of forestry regulations ...
Today, the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee decided to remove the world’s second largest coral reef, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, from the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger. The decision follows an intensive period of landmark conservation action over the past year, led by the Government of Belize in close collaboration with UNESCO, IUCN and civil society. The Belize ...
The International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on World Heritage (IIPFWH) was launched on 25 June 2018 during the 42nd Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Manama, Bahrain. “Our newly established Forum will focus on capacity strengthening for effective participation of Indigenous peoples in World Heritage processes, and we hope to establish diverse partnerships in support of that," ...
The opening ceremony of the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee took place Sunday at the Bahrain National Theatre in the presence of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain. It marked the beginning of the Committee's work, which will continue until 4 July. Several hundred people took part in the ceremony, which was opened by the President of the Bahraini Authority for ...
Taking place in Helsingør, Denmark the meeting prepared for the launch of the first sustainable travel website for World Heritage. The initiative is co-funded by the European Union. The World Heritage Journeys of the European Union platform showcases a selection of sites based around four thematic journeys – Romantic, Royal, Underground and Ancient Europe. Each journey features 8-9 World ...
The World Heritage Committee will inscribe some of the 30 sites nominated for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its forthcoming meeting in Manama under the chair of Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain from 24 June to 4 July. The proposed additions to the World Heritage List number five natural sites, including one extension to a site already inscribed, three mixed sites ...
The renewed agreement outlines the mandate and responsibilities in the field of World Heritage of the Regional Heritage Management Training Centre “Lucio Costa” located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO. The Lucio Costa Centre is recognized for its mandate focused on reinforcing the capacities of Member States for the conservation and management of ...
The stakeholders and partners of the project BIOsphere and Heritage of Lake Chad (BIOPALT) met in N'Djamena from 28 to 31 May 2018 to discuss their collaboration for the implementation of the project. Launched on 28 February 2018, the BIOPALT project aims to strengthen the capacity of the member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to safeguard and sustainably manage the ...
This World Oceans Day, the World Heritage Centre highlights the power of art to inspire people all over the world to step up efforts to protect our Marine World Heritage for future generations. Since the first true marine site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982, Marine World Heritage has grown into a global collection of 49 sites that stretch from the tropics to the ...
Standard Chartered Bank has informed the World Heritage Centre that as part of a review and update of their environmental and social framework, it has strengthened its policy regarding World Heritage sites. Standard Chartered has not only decided to stop financing or lending to any projects that may damage World Heritage sites, but has also stated that it will not provide financial services ...
Considering that the sky is the common heritage of all humanity, as well as recognizing the need to identify and reinforce the ties that exist between religious / sacred traditions and knowledge of the universe, that illustrate in many places the close relationship between spirituality, the skyscape and sacred places, experts from 18 States Parties from around the world and a wide range of ...
Join us in beating plastic pollution at World Heritage sites. If you plan to visit one of the 1073 World Heritage sites this year, help contribute to protecting the site by not using single-use plastic. 50% of consumer plastics are designed to be used only once, and nearly one third of the plastics we do use escape our collection systems. Once they’re in the environment, plastics don’t go ...
Following the regional strategy approved by the World Heritage Committee in Decision 38 COM 10B.4 (Doha, 2014), and contained in the regional Action Plan for World Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean (PARALC), 2014-2024, a sub-regional meeting with the participation of Mexico and the countries of Central America was held in Zacatecas, Mexico. The objectives of the meeting were to ...
The Norwegian Parliament has adopted a resolution to halt emissions from cruise ships and ferries in the West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord World Heritage site by 2026 at the latest. This will make the fjords among the world’s first zero emission zones at sea. The decision is expected to have a positive impact on the local population, transport and tourism, climate and ...
An exceptional photo of the Namib Sand Sea presented by Mrinal Mohit won the first prize in the photo contest organized on Instagram by the World Heritage Centre (WHC) and the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) on the occasion of the third edition of the African World Heritage Day (5 May). The contest closed on Monday 30 April 2018 after three weeks of competition, and with the submission of ...
May 31, 1945 – May 5, 2018. Architect Augusto F. Villalon, one of Asia’s most renowned experts in heritage conservation, recently passed away in Manila, Philippines. During his long career, Arch. Augusto F. Villalon made an outstanding contribution to heritage conservation and to the World Heritage Convention in particular. A former President of ICOMOS Philippines, he was practically a lone ...
The “Warsaw Recommendation on Recovery and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage” was developed at the ‘International conference on reconstruction: The challenges of World Heritage recovery’ held in Warsaw, Poland, from 6 to 8 May. The purpose of the international conference was to summarize previous discussions and experiences regarding the recovery and reconstruction of UNESCO World Heritage ...
This year’s World Migratory Bird Day is dedicated to the world’s major bird flyways—the flight paths of migratory birds that span continents and oceans. These flyways include World Heritage sites that are key stopover sites for birds, so the effective conservation of these sites are crucial for migratory bird conservation on a global scale. The three major flyways, shown below, contain ...
Today, for the third time, we celebrate African World Heritage Day. The Day was established to raise awareness of the immense potential of the African cultural and natural heritage. It also aims to alert the world to the vulnerability of this heritage: there are 21 African sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The preservation and enhancement of this heritage are essential factors ...
In keeping with UNESCO’s mandate to promote culture and education in Africa, the World Heritage Centre, in close collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund and the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa in Harare, organized a regional workshop entitled “World Heritage and Education Institutions in Africa” at the Great Zimbabwe, Masvingo (Zimbabwe) from 26 to 28 April 2018.  This ...
Barclays has announced their first public policy that will prevent the bank from financing projects in World Heritage sites and Ramsar Wetlands, following WWF’s call for the world’s banks to stop financing damaging activities in the planet’s most precious places. Despite being awarded the highest levels of protection by the United Nations, almost half of all natural and mixed World Heritage ...
SPECIAL EVENTS IN HOST CITY ST PETERSBURG The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock announced the programme for the 2018 edition of International Jazz Day, with events in Saint Petersburg (Russian Federation), a World Heritage site and this year’s Global Host City, and over 190 countries around the world. A series of educational and ...
Empowering the Commitment to World Heritage.  The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is pleased to publish the selected projects for the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Campaign 2018. What is the WHV Initiative? The WHV Initiative was launched in 2008 to encourage young people to undertake concrete actions and to play an active role in the protection, preservation and promotion of World Heritage ...
UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay and Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa of Bahrain today signed an agreement recognizing the Kingdom of Bahrain as the host of the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, Bahrain, 24 June - 4 July). This will be the second time that Bahrain hosts the World Heritage Committee since 2011 when Shaikha Mai Chaired the 35th session at UNESCO ...
#RevivetheSpiritofMosul, UNESCO flagship initiative. The United Arab Emirates, UNESCO and Iraq today signed a historic agreement whereby the Emirates will provide $50,4 million to contribute to the rebuilding of the cultural heritage of Mosul.  Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, has welcomed the partnership. “This is a historic partnership, the largest and unprecedented ...
In recent years, big strides have been made toward protecting bigger shares of the ocean. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 6,97% of the ocean is now covered by marine protected areas. Yet many challenges remain. UNESCO’s World Heritage Marine Programme was invited to participate in the Monaco Blue Initiative to share and update on how the world’s ...
Earth Day 2018: End plastic pollution
Thursday, 19 April 2018
Rubbish and pollution are a problem at many World Heritage sites. Increased tourism means that more people are leaving trash at the world’s most iconic sites, so we need to learn to visit sites without leaving a trace behind. Marine pollution is also a problem at many World Heritage sites, where waste—including plastics—wash up on the beach. Birds, turtles and marine mammals get entangled in ...
18 April 2018 is the International Day for Monuments and Sites with the theme: Heritage for Generations. If our heritage is what we leave behind for future generations, we need to prepare young people to protect it—and the best way is through education. The World Heritage Education Programme gives young people around the world the chance to learn about their heritage, and to be a part of ...
UNESCO and World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) signed an agreement to cooperate by developing activities in order to raise awareness and mobilize young Scouts to participate in World Heritage conservation and promotion. As a main result of this agreement, WOSM produced the “World Scouting-UNESCO World Heritage Recognition Programme Guidelines” in collaboration with the UNESCO ...
Specially conceived for young people between the ages of 18 and 28, #MyAfricanheritage is an Instagram contest aiming to promote the exceptional cultural and natural heritage of the African continent. Each participant will post a photo of an African site inscribed on the World Heritage List along with a brief description of the site’s significance to the participant and his/her personal ...
The Geneva Declaration ‘Human Rights and Culture Heritage: Committed Cities Working Together’ was adopted in Geneva, Switzerland on 26 March 2018, marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration aims to clarify cities’ obligations in the area of cultural heritage rehabilitation, particularly in relation to intentionally destroyed cultural heritage. ...
The Kenyan National Commission for UNESCO organized a three-day workshop from 26 to 28 March 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya in order to increase youth engagement in the conservation and promotion of World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage. As a State Party to three important UNESCO Conventions in the field of Culture, Kenya has made the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, today condemed the deadly attack perpetrated on 9 April against the staff of the Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during which six guards and their driver lost their lives. “I condemn this deadly attack on six guards of the Virunga National Park and their driver. I call on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take all the ...
The conservation of wetlands does not only contribute to the safeguarding of biodiversity, it can also support the safeguarding of their cultural and spiritual values. The workshop “The Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Wetlands Supporting the integration of nature and culture in their governance and management” organised by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) in ...
The International Meeting of experts on the Conservation and Revitalization of the Kasbah of Algiers, a World Heritage Site, organized by the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO jointly with the Algerian Ministry of Culture, took place from 20 to 23 January 2018 in Algiers, Algeria. It gathered 200 participants, including key actors of the conservation of the Kasbah of Algiers, international ...
From the 13th to the 15th of March 2018, the World Heritage Policy Compendium Working Group met for the second time at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The meeting was organised in follow-up to the first meeting of the group (December 2017, Paris) and on completion of the Policy Compendium Online Consultation, which was carried out in February and March 2018. The Policy Compendium initiative, ...
In February and March 2018, the World Heritage Centre carried out an online consultation with key World Heritage stakeholders on the first draft of the World Heritage Policy Compendium. The consultation gathered feedback and comments from key World Heritage stakeholders including States Parties to the World Heritage Convention. For the first time, the online consultation included also UNESCO ...
‘Mainstreaming youth perspective and involvement in conservation and sustainable development of African World Heritage’ The 3rd African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum 2018 under the theme of ‘Mainstreaming youth perspective and involvement in conservation and sustainable development of African World Heritage’ will take place from 30 April to 3 May 2018 in the World Heritage site of the ...
Water is essential to life; no living organism can survive without it. We need water for human survival, and water is critical for sustaining healthy ecosystems, which provide a wide range of benefits to people. World Heritage sites include a large variety of landscapes, from wet tropical rainforests to arid deserts. Mountains inscribed on the World Heritage List provide water to thousands ...
2017-2018 World Heritage Map Published
Thursday, 22 March 2018
The latest version of the World Heritage map, produced by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and National Geographic Maps with the generous support of the Kingdom of Bahrain, can now be ordered from the World Heritage Centre website. The featured image on the map presents the Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy World Heritage property in Bahrain, country hosting the next session of the ...
State of Conservation of Aldabra Atoll
Thursday, 22 March 2018
The World Heritage Centre has taken due note of concerns expressed by numerous citizens and NGOs regarding the recent agreement signed between Seychelles and India to establish a naval base on Assumption Island, located some 27 km from Aldabra Atoll World Heritage property (Seychelles). UNESCO appreciates the commitment of these stakeholders to the safeguarding of this World Heritage ...
Forest ecosystems are home to the vast majority of the world’s terrestrial species, but they are also under the greatest pressure from human activities. Ranging in size from the Vallée de Mai, Seychelles (18 hectares), to Lake Baikal, Russian Federation (8.8 million hectares), World Heritage forest sites have a total surface area of over 75 million hectares, or 1.5 times the surface area of ...
Women's Day is an occasion to celebrate the power of women, and the often overlooked role they play in society. World Heritage preservation is no different from any other sector - women play a crucial role in conservation, and their influence is increasing. Women are the caretakers of the sacred site the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Uganda). Female rangers protect Virunga National Park ...
This new UNESCO publication examines World Heritage and sustainable development in Africa. It addresses not only the challenges of safeguarding World Heritage in the Africa region but also the process of integrating the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into African regional and national policies as well as the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063: the Africa We ...
A Capacity-Building Seminar was held in Vilnius, Lithuania from 18 to 20 October, 2017, for Managers of Eastern European sites. The practical Capacity-building Seminar took place over two days, during which were presented three thematic lectures given by international experts from World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS, ICCROM, accompanied by three leading practical workshops and individual case ...
The UNESCO Deputy Director-General, Getachew Engida, officially launched the BIOsphere and Heritage of Lake Chad (BIOPALT) project at the International Conference on Lake Chad, held on 26 February 2018. The BIOPALT project aims to increase knowledge of Lake Chad, restore wetlands, rehabilitate wildlife migration corridors and promote sustainable income-generating activities in Abuja, Nigeria. ...
Natural World Heritage sites are home to a great many species, which makes taking care of these sites even more important. This year for World Wildlife Day, we celebrate the 'big cats', predators who play a primordial role in the ecosystems in which they live, and many of whom are under threat. Of the 36 wild species of cat that exist in the world, 35 occur in at least one World Heritage ...
World Heritage Young Professionals Forum 2018 ‘Protecting Heritage in an Ever-Changing World’ As an integral part of the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, and in the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities will host the World Heritage Young Professionals Forum 2018 under the theme of ‘Protecting Heritage in an ...
The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and UNESCO signed a new agreement this week to supplement the financing of UNESCO’s Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) with US$2 million. “More than ever, we need to respond quickly and efficiently to assess, secure and safeguard threatened heritage, said UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay “The Heritage Emergency Fund is a key tool for doing this and I ...
In January 2018, a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission took place at the World Heritage property “Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia” (Federated States of Micronesia). The mission was requested by the World Heritage Committee to ‘agree on a Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger ...
Over the last six months, the World Heritage Centre (WHC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have received numerous reports expressing concern about the decision of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to move forward with the construction of a hydropower dam at Stiegler's Gorge, located within the Selous Game Reserve World Heritage property. The ...
Cyclone Gita, which accelerated into a category five storm, struck the Pacific country of Tonga, battering the Parliament House and other buildings, and parts of southern Fiji. Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre, would like to express her condolences to the families who have endured losses during the storm. Two sites, Lapita Pottery Archaeological Sites and The Ancient ...
UNESCO Commits to Safeguarding Lake Chad
Thursday, 22 February 2018
UNESCO will bring a preservation project focusing on research and the dissemination of knowledge, the rehabilitation of wetlands and wildlife corridors, and the promotion of sustainable income generating activities to the International Conference on Lake Chad, which will take place in Abuja (Nigeria) from 26 to 28 February. Known as BIOPALT, the French acronym for biosphere and heritage of ...
On the occasion of the International Conference on the Reconstruction of Iraq, held in Kuwait City from 12 to 14 February, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay today announced the launch of a flagship initiative to revive the spirit of Mosul. The objective, to coordinate international efforts in this direction. A starting point for a broad strategic plan to promote the spirit of peaceful ...
The World Heritage Centre has launched an online consultation with key World Heritage stakeholders on the first draft of the World Heritage Policy Compendium. The consultation, which is taking place in February and March 2018, will gather feedback and comments from key World Heritage stakeholders on the draft Policy Compendium, currently being developed by a Working Group of cultural and ...
In February 2018, a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission will take place to the World Heritage property “Historical Monuments of Mtskheta” (Georgia), as requested by the World Heritage Committee to assess current conditions at the property. The World Heritage property of the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1994 and on the List of ...
On the heels of one of the hottest years on record, the protection of our precious ocean gems is more urgent than ever. Fortunately, we are seeing a rising tide of activism to meet the challenge. Over the past year, governments, non-profit leaders and experts from across the planet are increasingly working together to safeguard World Heritage marine sites. Download the Report Over the past ...
The Earth Skills Network (ESN) is a unique collaboration between Earthwatch, UNESCO, IUCN and the business community. It connects leaders from the business and conservation community through mentoring and skill-sharing opportunities. The Earth Skills Network provides funded training in: business planning and effective management practices and, personal development of leadership ...
Léon Rajaobelina is considered a pioneer in the preservation of African natural world heritage, in Madagascar and throughout the continent. He was active in the defense of protected areas and biodiversity throughout his life and worked for International Conservation for twenty years, eventually becoming a Regional Vice-President.  During this period, in 2005, he contributed to the creation ...
“Wetlands for a sustainable urban future”Message from Mechtild Rössler, Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, for World Wetlands Day 2018 In focusing on the theme “wetlands for a sustainable urban future”, this year’s World Wetlands Day sheds light on the importance of wetlands for cities. Today, 50% of the world’s population live in urban areas. Forecasts expect the urban population ...
On 25 January 2018, a joint workshop between UNESCO and FAO’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) was organized with the World Heritage Centre at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to share experiences and explore areas of cooperation in the field of agricultural heritage. The workshop brought together cross-sectoral actors contributing to the safeguarding of heritage with ...
The African World Heritage Fund is a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO and an inter-governmental organization based in South Africa with a specific mandate of implementing the UNESCO 1972 Convention concerning the protection and promotion of world cultural and natural places in Africa. The organization seeks to appoint an Executive Director in Johannesburg, South ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Panasonic Corporation have released the 2018 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 World Rowing Federation, FISA, is the first global sports body to pledge a commitment to protecting World Heritage sites. The commitment has developed out of World Rowing’s Clean Water partnership with WWF International and is part of WWF’s global campaign to strengthen the protection of natural World Heritage sites. World Rowing recognizes that large sporting events can have a negative ...
The World Heritage Centre currently receives numerous messages from civil society concerning the state of conservation of the World Heritage property Pirin National Park. The competent authorities of the Republic of Bulgaria as well as the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Body IUCN are fully informed of the concerns raised. At its 40th session in 2016, the World Heritage Committee ...
On 21 and 22 January 2018, European Ministers of Culture met in Davos, Switzerland, to adopt a Declaration promoting the concept of a high-quality Baukultur in Europe. This step forward is congratulated by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, particularly as urban heritage on the World Heritage List exceeds 40% of the total sites. The adoption of the Declaration, which specifies guidelines for ...
In an effort to improve tourism management at World Heritage sites, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre convened an expert meeting on the development of a new and innovative tool for tourism and visitor management. Experts participating in the meeting hosted at the UNESCO HQ in Paris 15-16 January 2018 included representatives from UNESCO, the Advisory Bodies (IUCN, ICOMOS, ICCROM), site ...
In a historic decision for marine conservation efforts, the Government of Belize has adopted a full oil moratorium for all Belize offshore waters, including the entire Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site.  The Belize reef system is the second largest reef system in the world, with approximately 200,000 Belizeans dependent on the reef for their livelihood. “The World ...
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