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Today, UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre released the first global scientific assessment of climate change impacts on World Heritage coral reefs. Soaring ocean temperatures in the past three years have subjected 21 of 29 World Heritage reefs to severe and/or repeated heat stress, and caused some of the worst bleaching ever observed at iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, deplores the destruction of the Al Nuree Mosque and Al Hadba Minaret in Mosul. “The Al Hadba Minaret and Al Nuree Mosque in Mosul were among the most iconic sites in the city, and stood as a symbol of identity, resilience and belonging. When Daesh targeted the mosque and minaret a few month ago, the people of Mosul formed a human chain to protect ...
The World Heritage Committee will assess the nomination of 34 sites for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its 41st session, which will be chaired by Jacek Purchla, founder and director of the International Cultural Centre in Krakow, the Polish city that will host the session from 2 to 12 July. This year’s nominations for inscription on the World Heritage List number seven ...
At its 41st session to be held in Krakow, Poland, from 2 to 12 July 2017, the World Heritage Committee will examine the state of conservation of 154 World Heritage properties.  The full reports on these properties are now publicly available through the World Heritage Centre’ State of conservation Information System at the following Web address: http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc As part of the ...
From 17 to 19 May 2017, thanks to the support of the Thai Government, the International Consultation Workshop on World Heritage of Religious Interest focused on Asia-Pacific Region was organized within the framework of the UNESCO Initiative on Heritage of Religious Interest. The meeting was attended by the States Parties’ representatives from Kingdom of Bhutan, People’s Republic of China, ...
New York, NY – 8 June. HSH Prince Albert of Monaco II was the first to sign The Ocean Pledge launched by youth from UNESCO World Heritage Marine sites at the United Nations. He was joined by, Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO as well as Adrian Grenier United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment. The pledge, which reads ‘I pledge to protect the ocean for future ...
The World Heritage Centre has taken due note of the concerns expressed by various stakeholders concerning the Western Sydney Airport project, located in the vicinity of the World Heritage property ‘Greater Blue Mountains Area (Australia) and appreciates their commitment to the safeguarding of World Heritage. In the framework of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, and in line with its ...
Connecting People with Nature It may seem hard to believe now, but, fifty years ago, it was thought the best way to protect nature was to make it off-limits to the human population… Today, we know better. We now know that the closer the relationship between people and their natural environment the more likely people are to appreciate the importance of nature and its biodiversity, heritage ...
From 29 to 31 May 2017, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES) of Jamaica, in cooperation with UNESCO Kingston and the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, hosted a three-day Symposium and workshop on the impacts of climate change on World Heritage in the Caribbean under the theme "Rallying for the protection of culture and heritage in SIDS under a sustainable ...
From April to May 2017, the World Heritage Centre carried out a Testing Phase of the revised format of the Periodic Reporting questionnaire. Over 40 State Parties volunteered to test the revised questionnaire for content and usability. Feedback collected during this exercise is being used in the finalization of the revised questionnaire, prior to the presentation of its format to the World ...
From 24 to 26 May 2017, in La Paz, Bolivia, in the framework of the project “Support to the reinforcement of the participative management structure of the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System” and with the financial support of UNESCO/ Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage, the Ministry of Cultures and Tourism of Bolivia, organized the international workshop for ...
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 museums”, 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 ...
In the framework of the implementation of Decision 40 COM 7A.1 adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session (Istanbul, 2016), a Technical Advisory Mission was conducted by UNESCO World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS International, in support of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, from the 8 to the 11 May 2017. The World Heritage Committee inscribed the City of Potosí on the World ...
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 Mosque ...
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 ...
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 ...
With almost 1.2 billion people travelling abroad each year, tourism has become a powerful economic sector, a passport to prosperity, dialogue and peace, and a transformative force improving millions of lives. Tourism and World Heritage are natural partners. Almost all World Heritage sites are or become tourist destinations-some are among the most iconic places on Earth. The key objective of ...
Destruction of cultural heritage has reached unprecedented levels. In light of this, and culture’s unique contribution to peace and sustainable development, the ratification, implementation and visibility of UNESCO’s six Culture Conventions are more important than ever. This was the focus of the Second Meeting of the Chairpersons of the Committees of UNESCO Culture Conventions at UNESCO ...
On 19 September 2016 at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Architectural and Heritage Centre), Paris, the representatives of seven States Parties, Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan and Switzerland were presented with the certificates of inscription on the List of World Heritage of the serial property “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding ...
The sacred gate of the mosque of Sidi Yahia in Timbuktu, which bears testimony to cultural traditions dating back to the 15th century CE, was officially reinstalled on 19 September in a ceremony organized by the inhabitants of the World Heritage site. The gate, regarded as sacred, had been pulled out and damaged on 2 July 2012 by armed extremists who occupied the city. The restoration and ...
A joint reactive monitoring mission by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) to assess the state of conservation of the World Heritage property “Wood Buffalo National Park” will take place from 25 September to 4 October 2016, at the invitation of Canada, and in keeping with the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in ...
In May/June 2016, the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with its partners, organized a travelling exhibition displayed on the railings of UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and, subsequently, at the international conference in Arusha on the theme of African World Heritage Safeguarding as a Driver of Sustainable Development. For the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee held in ...
The more than 1,800 UNESCO designated sites around the world – World Heritage sites, biosphere reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks – are impacted by climate change, and can play a significant role in understanding, adapting to and mitigating these impacts. These were the key messages from the opening day of the 2nd Huangshan Dialogue, a global forum on UNESCO-designated sites and sustainable ...
It is with great sadness and concern that the World Heritage Centre learnt of the impact of the heavy rains and windstorms of 23 August 2016 that affected local communities, historic buildings and the villages of Albreda and Juffureh at Gambia's World Heritage site of Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites. The storms caused destruction of property, including the loss of part of the roof of ...
The Nature-Culture Journey of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress concluded with a call for commitments, “Malama Honua - to care for our island Earth”. It recognizes the nature-culture links as vital for addressing contemporary conservation challenges. The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, which took place in Honolulu, Hawai’i from 1 to 10 September 2016, was attended by some ...
New guidelines launched at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress aim to support the management of areas recognised simultaneously under several international designations, all of which have environmental conservation at their heart. The publication, “Managing MIDAs – Harmonising the management of Multi-Internationally Designated Areas: Ramsar Sites, World Heritage sites, Biosphere ...
Meet the Heritage Heroes
Sunday, 4 September 2016
The winner of the Heritage Heroes award was announced on 4 September 2016 at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, USA. The Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Dr Mechtild Rössler, congratulated the Heritage Hero nominees from Virunga National Park (DRC), Western Caucasus (Russian Federation) and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India). Mr. Bibhuti Lakhar was the people’s ...
On 1 September, the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova participated in the IUCN World Conservation Congress opening ceremony, in the presence of several Heads of State of the Pacific Islands, Ms. Sally Jewell, US Secretary of State of the Interior and Senator of Hawaii, Mr Shatz. Irina Bokova held several bilateral meetings with Heads of State and Conservation leaders, where she ...
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, welcomed the establishment by the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama, of the largest nature reserve in the world, by expanding the marine reserve Papahānaumokuākea, in Hawaii (USA), listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2010. "This decision is a powerful symbol of determination to protect the environment. It is a way to strengthen ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will undertake a mission to Honolulu (USA) from 1st September to 3rd September to participate in the World Conservation Congress organized by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), an advisory body to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The main purpose of IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii is to bring together leaders ...
25 August – The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has expressed her profound sympathy to the government and people of Myanmar after the devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck central Myanmar, including the ancient city of Bagan, causing loss of life and extensive damage to nearly 200 historic monuments and iconic pagodas. “I wish to express my sincere sympathy following the ...
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