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UNESCO received several reports and satellite imagery released today by UNITAR-UNOSAT confirming the destruction of Palmyra’s tetrapylon and parts of the theatre’s proscenium. “This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity,” said UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova. “This new blow against cultural heritage, just a few hours after UNESCO ...
UNESCO led an emergency mission to Aleppo from 16 to 19 January to undertake a preliminary assessment of the extent of damages at the World Heritage site of the Ancient City of Aleppo, as well as the state of educational institutions in the city. The UNESCO team reported extensive damage at the Great Umayyad Mosque, the Citadel, mosques, churches, suqs, khans, madrassas, hammams, museums and ...
On 18 January 2017, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Francesco Bandarin, took part in the official launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid, Spain.  With the presence of Spanish and international dignitaries, representatives from international organizations and civil society, the event ...
Over the last several months, the World Heritage Centre has received numerous messages from citizens and NGOs expressing their concerns regarding the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down project including a proposed tunnel located within the boundaries of the World Heritage property “Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites”, and the adverse impact it may have on the property. It should be noted ...
As requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016 (Istanbul, Turkey), a joint World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) Reactive Monitoring mission is due to be undertaken in the near future as soon as the invitation letter from the Government of Pakistan (Province of Punjab) is issued. The World Heritage Committee at its 40th ...
An expert meeting for the preparation of the serial transnational World Heritage nomination “Silk Roads: Fergana – Syrdarya Corridor” took place in Kyzylorda (Kazakhstan) on 14 November 2016, as follow-up to the Almaty Agreement adopted on 24–25 November 2015 during the Fourth Meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the World Heritage Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads held in Almaty ...
Dear friends and supporters of World Heritage, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2016 was a year with many challenges: World Heritage sites were threatened by natural disaster, terrorist attacks and ill-advised infrastructure projects. Across the world, we saw cultural and natural heritage on the frontline of conflicts, fueled by ...
The 1972 World Heritage Convention is founded on the premise of international cooperation. It recognizes that some places are of irreplaceable value to humankind, and signifies the commitment of all nations to support their protection. This global covenant is uniquely suited to facilitate conservation of the world’s ocean, where connectedness is a fact of life. Recognizing that World Heritage ...
Last August, the UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage Managers Conference was held on board Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Endeavour, and we were honored to be joined by CEO and Ocean Elder Sven Lindblad. Over the course of the week, Lindblad met with the managers responsible for the day-to-day protection of our common ocean heritage of humanity, sharing the stories behind his commitment ...
The Director of the World Heritage Center deplores the attacks on conservation guards and conservation staff working in World Heritage sites. This week was marked by the deaths of two guards, Bruce Danny Ngongo, in Lobéké National Park (Cameroon), and Patrick Prince Muhayirwa, in the Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo). These two rangers were killed in the course of ...
On 13 December, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova participated, with the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, in the inauguration of the exhibition held at the Grand Palais devoted to Cultural Heritage in Conflict Situations, under the patronage of UNESCO. The inauguration was marked by a visit to the exhibition and included speeches by Ms Sylvie Hubac, President of the ...
The UNESCO office in Iraq has led a rapid assessment mission to the Nimrud archaeological site, located in Nineveh Governorate, Iraq, on 14 December 2016. The objective of the mission was to assess the overall state of conservation of the site, in particular the extent of damage resulting from the deliberate destruction by ISIL/Daesh over the past 2 years. In addition, the mission aimed to ...
The 13th Bamiyan Expert Working Group Meeting met at the Technical University of Munich, Germany (1-3 December 2016), and released important recommendations for future safeguarding actions at the Bamiyan World Heritage site, Afghanistan. The Governor of the Bamiyan province, the Deputy Minister of Culture of Afghanistan, accompanied by high-ranking officials from the Government of ...
In line with UNESCO’s efforts since 1988 to encourage research on the Silk Roads as routes of interchange and dialogue of cultures, the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust (FiT) project “Support for the preparation for the World Heritage Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads in South Asia” was developed in May 2013 and completed in August 2016. Upon completion of this project, two reports ...
As we celebrate International Mountain Day and the rich diversity and identity of the world’s mountain cultures, we acknowledge the deep connection of communities and individuals to these majestic and unique areas, where many natural and cultural World Heritage sites of outstanding universal value can be found.    These sites entail not only diverse geological features and ecosystems, but ...
On 3 December, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, delivered concluding remarks at the International Conference for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas, organized at the initiative and in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and the President of France, Francois Hollande. This Conference, held under the patronage of UNESCO, took ...
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, today presented the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) 2016 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award, for her contribution to conservation. The ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace in London. Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF, said that “Irina leads the way and shows us that protecting natural areas and ...
The UN Biodiversity Conference COP13 will be held during 4-17 December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico. It is the highest governing body of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which brings together representatives of the countries party managers and key players to promote the implementation of the Convention. Since the CBD came into force in December 1993, the COP has held 12 regular ...
Following Decisions of the World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Centre expects a total of 60 state of conservation reports on World Heritage properties which are due to be received by the deadline of 1 December 2016. The Director of the World Heritage Centre confirmed that a number of these reports have already been submitted, for example from Donana National Park (Spain), Osun ...
From 7 to 13 November 2016, the archaeological department of the University of Zimbabwe hosted a regional workshop on rock art conservation with participants from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The workshop received financial support from the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa and the French Embassy in Zimbabwe. The workshop discussed rock art conservation concepts, ...
Inaccessible since its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008, the Le Morne Mountain, symbol of Maroons and resistance to slavery, opened its footpaths to the public in July 2016. This new development comes as a follow-up to the recommendations of the Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission, carried out by the World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS in February 2016 and to the World Heritage ...
Among the numerous events organized as part of “Aqua Granda 1966-2016”, UNESCO is directly contributing to the exhibition “From the emergency to the restoration of cultural heritage: Stories and images from the archives of the city” at the Marciana National Library in Venice, Italy. The exhibition will run until 27 November 2016. The Aqua Granda 1966-2016 exhibition at the Marciana National ...
Following the confirmation by Iraqi authorities of the liberation of the archaeological site of Nimrud, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has reiterated her support to the people of Iraq and the need to unite for the protection of heritage in the country. ‘This liberation is highly significant for the Iraqi people and the international community. We are now at the beginning of a ...
The 5th Annual Coordination Meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage related category 2 Institutes and Centres took place in Dehradun, India on 22 November 2016. The UNESCO Category 2 Centre (C2C) on Natural World Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region (NWHMT) at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) hosted the meeting on its campus. Four coordination meetings have ...
“The Value of Heritage”
Thursday, 24 November 2016
Unite4Heritage is proud to present the video "The Value of Heritage" that raises awareness about the importance of safeguarding heritage for future generations. This video was produced by the UNESCO Beirut Office in the framework of the Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage project, funded by the European Union and supported by the Flemish Government and the Government of ...
A recent fire that devastated a neighbourhood of the Ancient City of Damascus raised the alarm about the need to protect the old city, inscribed on the World Heritage list, from future catastrophes and sparked discussions about post-conflict action in Syria. In April, a fire erupted in al-Asrooniya area, a commercial neighbourhood located between the Citadel of Damascus and the Great ...
Within the framework of the Heritage Education Program, the Directorate of Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy (Ministry of Education and Culture, Directorate General of Culture) conducted the World Heritage Camp Indonesia (WHCI) 2016 from 8 to 14 November. The seven-day forum was held across three World Heritage Sites in Indonesia – Sangiran Early Man Site, Prambanan Temple Compounds, and ...
The 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held from 7 to 18 November 2016, began a mere three days after the Paris Agreement, adopted at the 21st Conference in 2015, came into force. Leaders from around the world met in Marrakech, Morocco to chart a course for collective action on climate change. The conference focused on ...
Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of Korea, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU), an international conference on World Heritage Interpretation was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 2 November 2016.  The conference was attended by more than 100 participants including 14 Ambassadors of Permanent ...
Within the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Initiative was launched in 2008 in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) to mobilise and involve young people and youth organizations in World Heritage preservation and promotion. Since then, over 3500 volunteers have ...
The European Commission and the European Parliament in collaboration with UNESCO, organized a photo exhibition on 15 November 2016 to celebrate the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Europe inscribed in 2015 and 2016. The new World Heritage sites join the EU’s network of over 300 sites. The exhibition was an opportunity to showcase the EU’s commitment to supporting World Heritage in the lead up ...
In addition to Chile's World Heritage sites, the map includes 17 sites that the Chilean government has submitted to the Tentative List to be potentially named World Heritage in future. The map will soon be available for free. The map that UNESCO has launched to commemorate its 71st anniversary seeks to raise awareness of the diversity and location of Chile’s different types of heritage. The ...
The National Centre for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG), the Ministry of Sports and Culture of Rwanda and UNESCO organized an international experts meeting on the World Heritage Convention and Memory Sites from 7 to 9 November 2016 with support from the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF). The three-day workshop included visits to Murambi and Nyamata memorial sites, which are two of the four ...
An exciting addition to the network of Nordic World Heritage sites saw the light of day on 23 September 2016 with the founding of the Nordic World Heritage Association. The founding document was signed at the Thingvellir World Heritage Property (Iceland) and brought together representatives of the five Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, including Greenland, Iceland and ...
The Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, in collaboration with the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago and the Tourism Development Company organized in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) on 1st and 2nd November 2016, the Second Workshop on the World Heritage Convention. This international workshop was conceived with the support of the World Heritage Centre together with the ...
World Heritage sites and their associated museums are working with both local communities and international heritage professionals not only to preserve, but to help people maintain and reinforce their relationship to their shared cultural and natural heritage.  Together they are facing threats and challenges like conflict, climate change and funding shortages. An International Conference on ...
On 3 and 4 November, fifty years after the 1966 Venice flood and the International Safeguarding Campaign launched by UNESCO, the Director-General, Irina Bokova, undertook a visit to Venice, Italy. This visit was an opportunity to mark the longstanding cooperation with Italy and to express UNESCO’s support to its government and people after the country was struck by a series of powerful ...
On 24 and 26 October 2016, at the invitation of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo, represented by the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature - ICCN), met with Permanent Delegates from  Uganda, Central African Republic and South Sudan, at UNESCO Headquarters to discuss the state of ...
The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Mechtild Rössler, has expressed her profound sympathy to the government and people of Italy after the devastating earthquake that struck the country Sunday last. “It was with great concern and sadness that I learnt of the devastating earthquake that struck Central Italy Sunday last, and I would like, at the outset, to express the World Heritage ...
On 28 October 2016 UNESCO World Heritage Centre and IUCN World Heritage Programme representatives met with H.E. the Ambassador and an expert delegation of senior officials from Bangladesh to chart a way forward in addressing core conservation challenges to the Sundarbans, the world's largest unbroken mangrove system. Earlier this month, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN released a report of ...
The World Heritage Committee continued its work from 24 to 26 October 2016 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, thus completing its 40th session which began in Istanbul, Turkey from 10 to 17 July 2016. The Committee finished its deliberations, including discussions concerning the budget and revision to the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention. The Committee also ...
“Cultural heritage is significant in the present, both as a message from the past and as a pathway to the future. Viewed from a human rights perspective, it is important not only in itself, but also in relation to its human dimension,” Karima Bennoune says. As UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, she decided to address the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as an ...
Seven marine sites sign historic agreement
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
The Eastern Tropical Pacific region is a vast swath of open ocean, coasts and islands that stretches from the west coast of Mexico to the northern tip of Peru. Its rich waters support some of the world’s most productive fisheries, and are home to wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. The region’s spectacular scenery and wildlife have made it a global tourism destination, and seven ...
Culture has the power to make cities more prosperous, safer, and sustainable, according to UNESCO’s Global Report, Culture: Urban Future to be launched in Quito (Ecuador) on 18 October. The Global Report presents evidence on how development policies in line with UNESCO’s conventions on the protection and promotion of culture and heritage can benefit cities. The Report will be released at an ...
The Sundarbans in Bangladesh is part of the world’s largest mangrove forests, home to the famous Bengal Tiger and a hotspot for dolphins, turtles, and birds. Millions of people depend on this labyrinth of tidal rivers for food, homes, and flood protection.   The Sundarbans were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997, and will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. In March ...
Beth Maclang has spent the last three weeks at Mammoth Cave National Park learning about the operation of the park. Maclang is visiting MCNP as a World Heritage Fellow. She is the superintendent of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park on the island of Patawan in the Philippines. “I’m just trying to observe,” she said. Like MCNP, Puerto Princesa is a national park with a ...
National Focal Points for World Heritage in Europe are invited to complete the online form and provide information on steps taken so far toward the implementation of the Helsinki Action Plan for Europe. Each question corresponds directly to one of the 34 specific actions outlined in the Action Plan. National Focal Points are invited to provide quantitative information relating to each ...
In Memoriam: Lawrence S. Hamilton
Monday, 17 October 2016
The World Heritage Centre has learned with great sadness of the recent passing of Larry Hamilton, a pioneer in nature conservation whose impact touched all the corners of the globe. Larry was an exceptional educator, advisor, and pioneer of courses in forest ecology, watershed studies, interdisciplinary collaboration, and international resource issues at Cornell University’s Department of ...
“As I have stated on many occasions, and most recently during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee, Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is in recognition of this exceptional diversity, and this cultural and religious coexistence, that it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. “The heritage of ...
Over the past nine years, the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Initiative has grown tremendously due to increasing interest and appreciation for World Heritage protection, preservation and promotion of World Heritage sites. Celebrating 10 years of the initiative, the World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce the Call for Projects for the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Campaign 2017. Join ...
Professionals from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia are the beneficiaries of the sub-regional workshop on “Managing Disaster Risks in UNESCO Designated Sites” that will take place in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 10-13 October 2016. The event is organised by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), in support of the World Heritage ...
Since South Sudan’s ratification of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in March 2016, UNESCO has been working closely with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to support the development of the newest African country’s first Tentative List of potential World Heritage sites.  A ‘Tentative List’ is a detailed inventory of natural, cultural or mixed (both natural and cultural) ...
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has recognized Ahmed Al-Faqi Al-Mahdi guilty of war crime and has sentenced him to 9 years in prison for his responsibility in the deliberate destruction in 2012 of nine mausoleums and the secret gate of the Sidi Yahia mosque in UNESCO’s World Heritage site of Timbuktu (Mali). “The decision of the International Criminal Court is a landmark in gaining ...
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