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Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism For more than 70 years, UNESCO has been working to foster scientific knowledge and cooperation on biodiversity and ecosystems, such as tropical forests, oceans, mountains. In recent years, the effect of human activities -- magnified by population growth and global climate change -- has reduced deeply biodiversity in ecosystems around the world. We need to ...
Just as natural diversity is vital to sustain ecosystems, cultural diversity is the lifeblood of vibrant societies. Cultural diversity provides fresh ideas and perspectives that enrich our lives in countless ways, allowing us all to grow and thrive together. A culturally diverse classroom is not only more inclusive, it boosts student learning and achievement. A culturally diverse workplace is ...
Celebrated each May, this year’s International Museum Day theme, “Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museum”, highlights the essential role of museums as promotors of the free flow of ideas and knowledge, contributing to a more informed society. As part of its International Museum Day celebrations, UNESCO is hosting a roundtable on the Reproduction of Art and Cultural ...
In the framework of the “UNESCO Documentation and Advisory Services” (UDAS) project, UNESCO Beirut launched on 8 May 2017 a Third Consultation Workshop for “Baalbek and Tyre Archaeological Project” (BTAP). The workshop was organized under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and in collaboration with the Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA) and the Council for Development and ...
World Migratory Bird Day 2017
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
With the slogan “Their Future is Our Future – A Healthy Planet for Migratory Birds and People”, the World Migratory Bird Day 2017 on 10 May aims to highlight the interdependence of people and nature, and more specifically people and migratory birds, as they share the same planet and the same limited resources.  For more than ten years now, World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) has raised awareness ...
The CEO of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, the environmentalist Andrew Zaloumis, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 KfW-Bernhard-Grzimek-Preis for his outstanding commitment and visionary management of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage site in South Africa. The award is presented every two years to honour individuals and organizations for their commitment to protecting ...
“On this International Day, I call upon all African stakeholders, States, civil society and local communities to assume the protection of the unparalleled richness of Africa’s heritage.” “Supporting local communities – and especially young people – to promote and develop the abundant cultural and natural resources means paving the way for long-term, inclusive and socially cohesive ...
Following several reports and discussions with the Iraqi authorities, UNESCO has confirmed the liberation of the archeological site of Hatra, located in the Governorate of Nineveh in Iraq. The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has reiterated her support to the government and people of Iraq and expressed the readiness of UNESCO to help protect and promote Iraqi heritage as a force for ...
Over 80 young people from 65 countries have adopted an international Declaration affirming their desire to promote peaceful coexistence and sustainable development through recognition and celebration of the Silk Roads. At an International Youth Forum held in Changsha and Quanzhou, China, from 17 to 22 April 2017, participants agreed to expand their engagement in protecting and preserving ...
International Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22 April to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for by the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future ...
The 2017 International Day for Monuments and Sites is dedicated to the theme “Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism”, chosen in relation to the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. In designating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable ...
At their best, World Heritage marine sites are like time capsules that provide a glimpse into the oceans of our parents and grandparents. Thanks to the expert care of managers and support from the global community, we can still experience the prehistoric Komodo Dragon, the dugongs of Dungonab Bay, or the pristine volcanic island of Surtsey. Our partners at The Polynesian Voyaging Society ...
The World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) 2017 campaign: Heritage in our hands will take stock of the progress made over the past ten years to mobilize youth to preserve and promote World Heritage by reaching out to their peers and their communities.  Over the past ten years, the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Initiative has tremendously grown due to the increasing interest and appreciation for ...
4 April 2017, Monaco -- The Arctic Ocean urgently needs protection as melting sea ice is opening up previously inaccessible areas to activities such as shipping, bottom trawl fishing and oil exploration, according to a scientific report launched today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in partnership with the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and ...
New York, 24 March 2017 - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova addressed today’s public briefing of the United Nations Security Council on “Maintenance of international peace and security: destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage by terrorist groups and in situations of armed conflict,” where the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2347 for the protection of ...
Water is one of the key resources required to sustain life. It has led to the development and generation of significant material culture in the form of objects, technology and places. How to obtain it, how to store it, how to harness its power and conserve it has motivated human endeavor in a myriad of ways.  It has also been the catalyst for the development of significant cultural practices ...
Post Title: Cultural Heritage Specialist Organisation: Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) Location: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Closing Date: 18 April, 2017 Applications: All interested applicants should submit their CV to info@arcwh.org Background of ARC-WH:The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage was established as a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO to ...
Forests  play a critical role in the balance of world climate as well as in vital carbon capture and retention. Forests cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface and in addition to providing food security and shelter, forests are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and are homes of indigenous peoples. While forests contribute to many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ...
In memoriam: Sylvio Mutal
Thursday, 16 March 2017
The World Heritage Centre expresses its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sylvio Mutal, who passed away on 18 February 2017. Mr Mutal had a full and rich career spanning more than 40 years as a Practitioner and Executive Manager of the International Development Cooperation. After an education in Istanbul (Turkey), London (UK), Leiden (Holland) and Santiago de Chile ...
Cultural heritage has been targeted in attacks or suffered collateral damage in armed conflict. Recent destruction in World Heritage sites such as Aleppo, Syria or Hatra, Iraq brought this this into the background and alerted the international community.  One way to mitigate damage is for armed forces to be aware fully of cultural heritage sites and monuments, archaeological sites, and ...
For the third year running, the Wadden Sea World Heritage organized a stand on sustainable tourism at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show. Partnering with the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme, the Wadden Sea World Heritage offered a rich and diverse programme around the motto “People Protecting Places” at the fair grounds from 8 to 12 March 2017. The ...
UNESCO brought together Syrian stakeholders and international experts to evaluate damage to historic monuments including the citadel, madrasa al-sultaniya, grand serail, and souk of the Ancient City of Aleppo, a World Heritage site, and to strategize Aleppo’s recovery during a Technical and Coordination Meeting convened by UNESCO in Beirut, Lebanon from 2-3 March, 2017. The meeting also ...
Members of the Lumbini International Scientific Committee (ISC) gathered at Lumbini, Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal), a World Heritage site, from 17 to 19 February 2017, to review project activities and coordinate initiatives carried out by the Government of Nepal, development partners, and donors. International and national experts in archaeology, conservation, urban planning, the ...
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day highlights women in the changing world of work, and sets our collective sights on the objective of making gender equality a reality by 2030. Gender equality is an important priority for UNESCO’s work on heritage, creativity and cultural diversity. The equal participation, access and contribution to cultural life of women and men are human ...
The stakes are higher every day. Crimes against wildlife have been increasing over the past years, fuelled by conflicts and the trafficking of wildlife and wildlife products. The impact is devastating on the populations of both iconic and lesser-known species. Despite a range of decisions and actions, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and Natural World Heritage sites have not been safe from these ...
While several sources confirm the recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra from violent extremists, the Director-General of UNESCO calls for securing the archaeological site over the long term and redoubling efforts to protect Syrian heritage as a whole. "The protection of the archaeological site of Palmyra is both a major cultural issue and an imperative for security, peace and the recovery ...
In collaboration with ICCROM, ICOMOS, AWHF and EPA, the Africa Unit of the World Heritage Centre organized a meeting of exchange and reflection on ways to strengthen involvement of local communities in the management of cultural heritage properties through concrete actions. The meeting took place at the Royal Palaces of Abomey World Heritage site in Benin on 2 and 3 March 2017.  This ...
A two-day International Coordination Conference on the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Liberated Areas of Iraq ended at UNESCO’s Headquarters on Friday, laying the ground for an emergency, medium and long term action plan to preserve the country’s rich, diverse millennial archaeological sites, its museums, religious heritage, and historic cities. The Iraqi government officials and some ...
The Republic of Mauritius received International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund to elaborate a Local Economic Development Plan for Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage property. The grant followed a request from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the State Party of Mauritius to take necessary action to prevent the demolition of historical buildings in the Buffer Zone of the ...
Over the last 16 years between 2001 and 2016, the Netherlands supported the World Heritage activities through the Funds-in-Trust agreement. In January 2017, the agreement was extended for another 4 years, which will enter its 5th cycle of the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust. A total amount of € 1.5 million (€375,000 annually) will be contributed for the 2017-2020 cycle.  The Netherlands ...
2016-2017 World Heritage Map Published
Friday, 10 February 2017
The latest version of the World Heritage map, produced by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and National Geographic Maps with the generous support of Poland, can now be ordered from the World Heritage Centre website. The featured image on the Map presents the Historic Centre of Kraków in Poland, country hosting the next session of the World Heritage Committee in July 2017. This ...
The First Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) Partnership Meeting on “Future of Cultural Heritage and Diversity with International partners” was held on 8 February 2017 in Paris. Ms Mechtild Rössler presented a keynote speech on “The Challenges of Heritage Conservation and Volunteering Best Practices”. The event brought together more than 200 international and ...
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February, marking the date in 1971 when the Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar, drawing attention to the importance of wetlands. The theme for 2017 “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction” is selected to raise awareness and to highlight the vital role of healthy wetlands in reducing ...
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Panasonic Corporation have released the 2017 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 ...
On 31 October 2016, the Government of Timor-Leste officially deposited its instrument of ratification of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage with the Director-General of UNESCO. Timor-Leste has become the 193rd State Party to the World Heritage Convention on 31 January 2017, when the Convention entered into force for this country. To date, 44 ...
The call for applications for the business skills training programme for protected areas in Africa is now open until 24 February 2017. Each year, the Earth Skills Network (ESN) provides funded training in: business planning and effective management practices and, personal development of leadership capabilities, with 12 months of mentoring from an ESN corporate member with significant ...
Last year was one of extremes for marine World Heritage. We broke new ground with our High Seas report that identifies a path forward for World Heritage protection in this final ocean frontier. The World Heritage Centre’s Marine Programme expanded the network to include two new sites—Archipiélago de Revillagigedo (Mexico) and Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, received the Mayor of Venice, Mr. Luigi Brugnaro, at UNESCO Headquarters, in the presence of representatives of the Italian government, to discuss the protection of the city of Venice and its Lagoon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. This meeting follows the Director-General's visit to Venice on 3 and 4 November 2016, on the occasion of ...
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 ...
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