The conference Living with World Heritage, held in Røros, Norway from 13 to 16 May 2012, was part of Norway`s official contribution to the celebration of the World Heritage Convention`s 40th anniversary. Almost 140 persons from 28 countries participated.
The themes of the conference were sustainable development and the role of local communities, with a primary focus on the latter in both presentations and discussions.
An important goal was to create meetings and platforms for dialogue between experts on all levels, especially between people living with World Heritage properties and those working with the subject from an academic angle.
The meetings took place through several encounters with Røros` inhabitants, such as representatives from the municipality, museums, schools, tourist information, farmers and local and dance organizations. By presenting the Røros community as a general example on living with World Heritage, these meetings served both as social encounters and local case studies. Experience and information from other African and European cases were presented during the parallel sessions.
A 'Connecting World Heritage properties' exercise took place between January and May, creating a third platform for dialogue. At the conference the experiences and reflections from the World Heritage properties Richtersveldt, iSimangaliso, West Norwegian Fjords, Vega Archipelago and Røros mining town and the Circumference emphasized the importance of direct communication between people and properties over time.
For more information about the conference and the presentations, please see: www.livingwithworldheritage.com