Netherlands Funds-in-Trust

The UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (NFiT) co-operation to support the World Heritage Centre was established in 2001 by the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences with the aim of reinforcing the implementation of the 1972 "Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage".

Under this Funds-in-Trust arrangement the Government of the Netherlands made available an amount of €1.8 million over a period of four years (2001-2004). In 2013, the NFiT Co-operation Agreement was extended 4th time for the period of 2013-2016.


Projects and programmes under the NFiT cooperation are structured according to the Strategic Objectives adopted by the World Heritage Committee (5Cs), in pursuance of regional and thematic balances, and the sustainability of support given in terms of project follow-up or spin-off. Support would be also considered for a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and/or heritage in conflict situation, when feasible.

  • Credibility: Technical assistance to Tentative List and Nomination preparations, primarily in under-represented regions, and Thematic Studies and Expert Meetings in particular on under-represented categories of heritage;
  • Conservation: Technical assistance to preparation of Conservation Management Plans, and to projects of Sustainable Development of inscribed properties and sites, in particular in under-represented regions of the world;
  • Capacity Building: Support to Training Seminars and National Workshops, Technical Assistance to Professional and Institutional Building;
  • Communication: Dissemination of information, education, public awareness raising, sites presentation;
  • Community:  Enhance the role of Communities in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

Furthermore, under the NFiT special attention will be reserved for the category of mutual heritage or common cultural heritage: the heritage that is perceived by the Netherlands and other countries or regions concerned as common cultural heritage. This heritage extends beyond the remnants in former colonies and could include cultural properties originating from other international ventures by the Netherlands as well.

Under this Funds-in-Trust arrangement, no restrictions are applied to allocating funds to particular regions of the world or to the nationality of consultants to be used for missions or implementation of projects. As a result of this relative freedom, over the past four years a fairly equal distribution of projects and sites that were selected for sponsoring has taken place over the regions of Africa, Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.

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