Osaka, Japan, 22-29 November 1998
The objective of the youth Forum was to build a "Bridge to the New Millennium" by promoting: Peace, Restoration & Preservation, Natural Environment and Coexistence.
The Forum suggested to UNESCO to "Create the ‘World Heritage Movement' with youth and children for the New Millennium".
We gathered here in Osaka, Japan, brought together by the common idea of peace and understanding to discuss the value and present state of world heritage as well as finding ways to preserve it for the future.Why is World Heritage important for us, young people?
Our heritage is the whole planet Earth. Human art as well as the art of nature is here to remind us of our existence as human beings. It is a common property handed down from our forefathers, and shows us the identity of communities and counties, as well as individuals. Heritage makes us proud, unique and united.
Our identity depends on peace. We know that war can destroy the cultural heritage, and when that is done, the history and identity of the nation is lost. Without history or heritage, there is no identity. In order to protect our heritage it is important to establish peace in all parts of the world, and to spread ideas of peace and co-existence between human beings and the natural environment.
What we have recognized
We are aware of the fact that we need to have knowledge before we can act. Education is the key. The more we know about our heritage sites, the more we appreciate them and do our best to take care of them. If we can help youth to learn about these special heritage sites, perhaps they will understand the importance. Warnings like Hiroshima will forever be an example of the cruelty of war and the ignorance of people. We need to be taught our history so we do not make the same mistake which have happened in the past and are still happening.
Unfortunately many of us, young people today, have difficulty learning about and understanding our heritage because of conflicts, wars and economic problems in our countries.
We need to understand the value and present situation of heritage to take action for its preservation and find solutions for the various problems, which each community is facing today. We believe that if people are aware of the problems in full detail then they are in a better position to decide whether to take action or not. Full knowledge and passion for these sites leads to fair decisions and/or conclusions being made.
By working with teachers we can broaden the knowledge of students in schools to make them more aware of the significance of our world heritage sites and how to preserve and promote them.
Action for the future
Thus we, the youth of the world have seen that it is our duty to do all that is in our power to preserve World Heritage by:
Active involvement in awareness campaigns in our schools and in the communities, such as making newsletters that discuss issues concerning World Heritage;
Taking part in preservation projects of world heritage sites, such as organizing clubs for interested participants to discuss local, national and global issues;
Through the media, communicate to other youths the importance of world heritage sites and their preservations;
More cooperation between teachers and students to incorporate the voice of youth into the school's system ;
Instead of discussing the problem all the time, when we return to our countries we will tell the rest of the youth the significance of World Heritage and organize a group where they can come and help in the preservation of World Heritage in their areas by taking on different tasks;
Organize annual trips to local World Heritage sites in our countries for youth. We will have fieldwork, hands on activities for them so they feel they are helping in the preservation/conservation of World Heritage.
The youth of today are leaders of tomorrow. The future is in our hands, but we still need assistance from the older generations. Communication and cooperation between nations is vital for the preservation of World Heritage.
The time to take action is now.
We, the teachers from 16 different countries, participants of the 2nd International World heritage Youth Forum, Osaka, Japan, November 1998 support the students Pledge.
We base our pledge on the recommendations of the previous World Heritage Youth Fora:
These Youth Fora underlined the importance of teachers working cooperatively in teaching WHE and also to use UNESCO clubs and extra-curricular activities especially if the curriculum is already loaded;
The preparation and production of teaching materials on the countries exceptional places of interest;
Spreading the idea of WHE by organizing further meetings, summer camps, and related activities both on the national and the international levels.
In addition to the above recommendations the Osaka Forum has highlighted the importance of the need for WHE and the Culture of Peace. This is of utmost importance with regards to the year 2000, which has been proclaimed as the Culture of peace. We pledge to commit ourselves to spread the Culture of Peace through all means possible, especially on a local level. We will teach the need to "Act Locally and Think Globally". We well spread the lesson learned in Hiroshima: "Let All the Souls Here Rest in Peace. For We Shall Not Repeat the Evil." - Without peace our youth will have nothing to inherit. Being introduced to the kit; "World Heritage in Young Hands" we recognized that it will be a very important tool in the link between WHE and the development of a culture of peace. Furthermore the "Kit" also emphasizes the links between WHE and Tourism, WHE and Environment, WHE and Identity. We pledge to emphasize also these issues in our teaching.
We have committed ourselves to disseminate the "Kit" throughout our respective countries using all means possible, especially the national UNESCO Commissions and our respective education departments. We have committed ourselves to ensuring the "Kit" is used across the curriculum, as it suggests. Above all we will ensure that the "Kit" will be used to teach WHE using the best methods available to use to make learning about the world heritage an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Through the "Kit" we will:
encourage students and teachers to participate actively in preserving heritage sites;
help educate all people to recognize the importance of identity as unit in the middle of diversity, but especially the importance of respect for other cultures and traditions;
encourage everyone to behave in an ecologically sustainable way, in order that future generations inherit a better world. We understand the utmost importance of spreading the culture of ecologically sustainable behavior.
We teachers will cooperate and network within ASPnet using all technologies available to use al local, regional national and international levels.
Owing to the role that education plays regarding our heritage we promise to systematically evaluate our activities in order to ensure that our promises have been fulfilled.
The Forum took place in Hiroshima (22nd and 23rd of November),Yakushima (24-26 November), in Nara (27-28 November), in Osaka (29th November) and in Kyoto (30th of November).
In Hiroshima a film and slides concerning the Atomic Bomb during the World War II and Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, were presented by local senior high school students. A total of 150 students had worked together to prepare the presentation.
In Yakushima local groups of Women's Association and students presented in English the history of nature and the current conditions in Yakushima. They participated in the program, to discuss how to preserve "Yakushima Cryptomerias" (Japanese cedars in Yakushima).
In Nara local senior high school students showed Nara to all the Youth Forum participants with an explanation of Buddhism. The participants studied the historical background and current conditions of the cultural assets in the ancient city, and learned how the communities were making efforts to preserve them.
In Osaka the hosting schools and NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations) organized display booths at the World Heritage Square, to introduce World Heritage sites and NPOs' activities. It offered the visiting local high school students opportunities to experience how to relate to the World Heritage and NPOs in a more concrete manner.
The International Youth Forum representative attended the World Heritage Committee Kyoto Conference Opening Ceremony. A World Heritage exhibition was held at the conference site in collaboration with a university in Kyoto. The International Youth Forum representatives attended the conference opening ceremony on November 30th and presented the outcome of the Youth Forum, which took place in the previous week in four different cities of Japan.
69 participants: 40 students and 16 teachers from: Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cuba, , Ecuador, Egypt, Japan, Lebanon, Malawi, Norway, Romania, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Observer: AN Yu
Volunteers: Kumiko Endo, Toyoko Kamatsuki, Yuko Yamaguchi, Keiko Manzen, Hiroko Uenozono, Ryoko Wada, Momoko Wada, Yumiko Yamamoto, Satomi Tanaka, Sayoko Naito, Michiko Hamai, Michiyo Hotta, Mie Tokunaga.
Countries represented: Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Japan, Lebanon, Malawi, Norway, Romania, Senegal, Zimbabwe
World Heritage Centre UNESCO
Associated Schools Project Network UNESCO
Japanese National Commission for UNESCO;
Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Japan;
Agency for Cultural Affaires, Japan;
Municipal Organizations: Hiroshima Prefectural Government; Kagoshima Prefectural Government; Nara Prefectural Government; Osaka Prefectural Government; Nara City Government; Osaka City Government; Kamiyaku Town Government; Yaku Town Government; Ikaruga Town Government; The Overseas Construction Association of Japan, Inc.; Hiroshima Prefecture Board of Education; Kagoshima Prefecture of Education; Kamiyaku Prefecture of Education; Yaku Town Board of Education; Nara Prefecture Board of Education; Nara City Board of Education; Ikaruga Town Board of Education; Osaka Prefecture Board of Education; Osaka City Board of Education.
Osaka Junior Chamber, Inc.
co-sponsors: Kodansya LTD; Secom Co., LTD; Dainihon Syogi Company Limited; Saraya Co., LTD; Kinden Corporation; Oguraya Yamamoto; Cosmo Oil Co., LTD; Ohmori MFG Co., LTD; The Kansai Electric power Co., LTD; Cosmo Trade&Service Co., LTD; Osaka Gas Co., LTD; Nichimen Corporation; Nippon Telegraph and telephone West Corporation; Maxray Inc.; The Tokyo Marine and Fire Insurance Co., LTD; Fuso Pharmaceutical Industries LTD.; INAX Corporation; The Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance Company; Honest Co., LTD; Ezaki Guriko Co., LTD; Secom Information System Co. LTD; Sanyo Eledtric Co., LTD; Asahiya Syoten LTD; Wadahachi Kamaboko Seizou Co., LTD; Wadahachi Co., LTD; Table Factory; Iwasa Company; Suezawa Sangyo Co., LTD; Ueno Fine Chemicals Industry, LTD; Toto LTD; Itoki Co., LTD; Osaka Ryokufu kanko; Nihon Anodizing Co., LTD; Mazroku Co., LTD; Hatsuta Seisakusho Co., LTD; Cuore; Konoike Construction Co., LTD; K.K. Shintaku; Uokuni Sohonsya Co., LTD; Union Co., LTD; Union Partner's Club; Naigai Energiring Inc.; Nisshin Steel Co., LTD; Tsugi Culinary Institute; Konishi Co., LTD; Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc.