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World Heritage Youth Forum (2000) First Pacific

This World Heritage Youth Forum from 23-28 November 2000 in Cairns, Australia, was the first such forum to be held in the Pacific region. This enabled a unique Pacific focus with students and teachers from 14 Pacific nations and East Timor participating in the Youth Forum and the simultaneous Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) Pacific region meeting.


  • Expand knowledge and awareness of the importance of World Heritage and the World Heritage Convention
  • Develop an understanding of the role of the World Heritage and processes for the identification and protection of World Heritage sites
  • Prepare a proposed strategy and plan of action to reinforce World Heritage Education in the Pacific and
  • Provide significant youth output to and dialogue with the World Heritage Committee


The Forum concentrated on the environment and World Heritage and the ways that young people can contribute to the conservation of places outstanding universal value.
Due to the connection between the World Heritage Committee meeting and the Pacific World Heritage Youth Forum, there was a great deal of sharing and two-way learning; World Heritage Committee members learnt about the views and concerns of young people and the students were able to benefit from the experience and knowledge of representatives from the World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Centre and the advisory bodies IUCN and ICOMOS. This was one of the most exciting elements of the Youth Forum.

During the Youth Forum the students learnt much about the many different cultures of the pacific region, about heritage places in their own lands and oceans and in those of their new friends. Special highlights of the Youth Forum were visits into the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and to Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Another highlight was meeting members of the World Heritage Committee and its advisory bodies, IUCN and ICOMOS, to discuss World Heritage and the World Heritage Conventions.

At the Youth Forum students increased their environmental awareness and became keen to lobby their governments to protect their peoples' natural and cultural sites. All of the students were very passionate about the need to protect their local heritage, and on the last day the Forum, a student delegation made a presentation to the 24th session of the World Heritage Committee in Cairns. This was a unique opportunity for the young people of the Pacific Member States to pledge their support for the protection of our world's heritage and put forward their specific recommendations and concrete plans of action for the future.

Action plan

Main objectives

  • To mobilizeyoung people to save World Heritage sites and important local sites and our environment in the Pacific
  • To encourage all Pacific Member States to sign the World heritage Convention and participate in its promotion 

Main lines of action

  • We need to be more aware of the importance of our heritage as well as our World Heritage. Therefore, it needs to be part of our education.
  • We think a Pacific version of the World Heritage Education Kit will help get World Heritage into our curricula.

Organisation of local preservation activities for young people

  • Visits to sites and special actions to clean and preserve them
  • Organise World Heritage Youth Forums and camps in each of our countries
  • Writing to our governments asking for their support for World Heritage

Pacific students networking

Setting up a network of Pacific Patrimonitos' Centres in our schools to:

  • Organize activities to promote local / World Heritage sites as well as local cultures and traditions
  • Produce Pacific Patrimonitos' Newsletter and web-site to share ideas
  • Take part in solidarity actions to equip Pacific schools with Information Technology and provide training


the Australian National Commission for UNESCO;


44 participants, of which
19 teachers and 25 students from: Australia, Cook Island, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and East Timor.

Countries represented

Australia, Cook Island, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, East Timor, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Tonga.

Mr Alec Grehn, Planting Coordinator, Student Association, James Cook University
Ms Wendy Maddocks, local resident Daintree National Park
Mr Allen Shearer, Daintree National Park conservation group representative
Lyall Naylor, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger
Mr Barry Duncan, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Janis Birkeland, Environment Australia

Guest speakers
M Mounir Bouchenaki
M Tor Hundloe
M Ken Wiltshire
M Robert Hill
M Rod Redford
Ms Edna Tait
M Mali Voi
M Hilton Noble

States parties 1
Date Start: Thursday, 23 November 2000
Date end: Tuesday, 28 November 2000