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World Heritage Youth Forum (2001)

Karslkrona, Sweden
3-8 September 2001


The 10th World Heritage Youth Forum Theme was: " Both sides of the coin - how the dark and light sides of my World Heritage can become keys to understand the present and the future"

The Youth Forum aimed at deepening the understanding of World heritage and to make the students aware of the dark and the light sides of their World Heritage sites. The concept behind the Forum was to try to fond methods to give World Heritage a role as a vital element in the big story of mankind and earth and thus to see World Heritage in itself as a pedagogical tool aiming at deeper understanding of complexity and joint responsibility. In order to be fully aware of what lies in the cultural heritage and in World Heritage we have to recognize that war, oppression, walls to keep people in - or out, prisons, environmental degradation etc. all are part of our heritage.


Sites of Memory
Man's inhumanity to man has been a significant aspect of our history. This memory of the dark side of man's history and the suffering of the victims is recognized in very few World Heritage sites. In order to make people aware of the evil we are capable of inflicting on each other we make the following recommendation: that UNESCO seek ways and means of encouraging the establishment of more sites of memory to honour the victims and to teach human kind that there is a dark side within all of us.

Empowerment of youth
We believe that in order for education efforts to be most effective, students must be involved as active partners in the planning, implementation and evaluation of education programmes. We are grateful for the arrangement of a youth forum in conjunction with the next UNESCO General Conference. To sustain this initiative we suggest that the ASP and other schools networks be mobilized on a permanent and on-going basis as "partners in dialogue" with the Secretariat, particularly with regard to the development of projects, such as the World Heritage Education Project, which specifically targets youth.

Inclusion of World Heritage Education in national curricula
UNESCO should lobby with Ministries of Education to include, formally, World Heritage Education into the national curriculum of each State Party and Member State. Particular emphasis should be placed on the development of additional teaching materials (supplementary to the Kit) which suggest ways in which World Heritage Education can be incorporated into the various mainstream disciplines in the existing curriculum (i.e. math and heritage; science and heritage; art and heritage; computers and heritage.) This will enable and empower teachers and students to work on World Heritage Education at the school level, without conflict of interest with other subjects in the curriculum.

Translation of the Kit
States Parties should be requested directly by the Committee, as part of their obligation under the Convention, to translate, with their own resources if possible, the World Heritage Education Kit into national languages and to engage in teacher training in the use of the Kit.

Link education and conservation
We suggest that education and conservation of World Heritage sites should be more closely linked. Students and visitors to sites should be informed of conservation issues and solutions. Site mangers should be assisted to redouble their efforts at educating all users of World Heritage sites in the significance of the heritage and the need to take action for its long-term preservation. We believe that education is equal to preservation in the long run.

Subregional workshops
Sub-regional meetings and workshops should be organized in which teachers and students have the opportunity to work directly with World Heritage site managers (and also museum education specialists.) Sub-regional workshops emphasize the aspects of the heritage which neighbours share and thus encourage a greater solidarity in the preservation of a common heritage, than can be expected to be accomplished from national workshops alone.

World Heritage Volunteers
We suggest that within the framework of the ASP Network and the World Heritage Education Project, a mechanism be established which will allow students the opportunity to undertake on-site skills training, or to perform volunteer activity - possibly on an school-to-school exchange basis -- or in some other way to participate actively in World Heritage conservation on-site. At the same time, volunteers students could act as "community educators" informing their host communities about the heritage in their home territories.

Heritage education in cyberspace
We appreciate the efforts made to date to make the World Heritage Centre's web site attractive and user-friendly to youth, and we welcome and look forward to use the newly-developed inter-active web page which will allow us to communicate directly with one another and with UNESCO on World Heritage issues. In particular, we welcome that the World Heritage Education Kit has finally been made available on-line, in a version which can be downloaded anywhere in the world. In recognition of the rapid growth in ITC and the importance of this sector to youth, we encourage that additional efforts be placed in the development of heritage education in cyberspace. One possibility is that students and schools involved in the World Heritage Education Project could act, on a rotating basis, as site webmasters.

Visibility of World Heritage
Public visibility of World Heritage sites is at present inadequate. We suggest that more and more focused work could be done to make the World Heritage emblem into a symbol well known worldwide. It should be perfectly clear to anyone who visits a World Heritage site that this is something special, and why. The World Heritage emblem should be used conspicuously in road signs, flags brochures, taxis, buses, etc.

Oral narrative and intangible traditions
Increased attention should be given to the valuable contribution of oral narrative and other forms of intangible cultural traditions as an integral part of conservation and interpretation of World Heritage sites.

A World Heritage Day
We suggest that all ASP schools designate and celebrate an annual "World Heritage Day" in order to raise awareness of our common, shared World Heritage and the need for action at every level - including the levels of local community, schools and the individual -- to preserve heritage sites.

Long-term commitment at the national level
UNESCO should encourage States Parties and Member States to develop long-term national plans to develop, support and sustain World Heritage Education and for the involvement of young people at sites of World Heritage. This would include such long-term action as teachers' training; inclusion of World Heritage Education into the national curriculum; and the development of educational tools to interpret to students the World Heritage Convention, its mission and goals.

Funding and staffing
We suggest that the World Heritage Committee in cooperation with States Parties explores the possibility of finding additional extrabudgetary funding for the continuation of World Heritage Education Project in the medium term. We also acknowledge the support given to date by the General Conference to World Heritage Education activities and request that this support be continued in the form of staff dedicated to World Heritage Education. However, for World Heritage Education to have an effect in the preservation of the World Heritage and in giving heritage a "life in the community," UNESCO and the Committee's commitment to World Heritage Education must be a permanent and sustainable one. Therefore, we encourage the permanent incorporation of World Heritage Education into UNESCO regular programme and budget at the earliest possible opportunity.

The World Heritage Committee should consider requesting States Parties to report periodically on the national implementation of Article 27 of the Convention, with particular regard to heritage education and the implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Project in their respective countries.

Recommendations to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention:

Art exhibition
Schools should be invited to present art work based on World Heritage sites. UNESCO should select the best for inclusion in a touring art exhibition.

Postage stamps
UNESCO should issue a special edition of postage stamps commemorating the World Heritage Convention. States Parties may wish to consider doing likewise.

"The Race is On to Preserve Our World Heritage"
To commemorate the 30th anniversary and to raise awareness of World Heritage, UNESCO should organize a series of marathons (running, bicycle, wheelchair) around and between World Heritage sites. Routes could be around single large sites, between sites within one country, or between sites of neighboring countries. Linked together, the series of marathons could ideally stretch around the world.

World Heritage Cultural Olympics
Organization of a "Word Heritage Cultural Olympics" including drama, dance, film, competitions, etc.

World Heritage Caravan. A train or a bus (or boat) should be organized, travelling between World Heritage sites around the world. Passengers should rotate continually, depending on the country/region through which this "World Heritage Caravan" travels


During the World Heritage Youth Forum in Karlskrona, all students and teachers elaborated recommendations concerning the national future of World Heritage Education and made suggestions for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2002. These recommendations were directed to the teachers and students themselves, to their school, to their headmaster, to the Ministry of Education, to theis National Commission for UNESCO respectively and to be distributed by each national delegation after they returned home.
They also made international recommendations to UNESCO and to the World Heritage Committee meeting in Helsinki, December 2001. These recommendations concern Young People's Participation in World Heritage promotion and preservation at the international level.


Ms kerstin Lundman, Swedish National Commission for UNESCO
Mr Ivan Wenster, Dorector, Department of Culture, Karlskrona
Mr Jan Arlehall and Mrs Louise Löfgren, World Heritage project in Karlskrona
Mrs Ewa Hanneke, Project Coordinator of the Youth Forum
Mr Torbjörn Lindstedt, Co-ordinator, WH Project in Karlskrona

Participants and observers

159 Students and teachers from 29 countries
82 students from: Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom

77  teachers from: Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom

7 Speakers: Mr. Richard Engelhardt, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and Pacific;
Mr Lars Farago;
Mrs. Julie Christiane hage, Consultant for Cultural Communication and Education, Council for Children and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Denmark;
Professor Leo Schmidt, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus;
Lady Polly Feversham;
Mr Marek Stokowski, Curator of Education, Muzeum Zamkowe w Malborku;
Mr David Walmsley, Education Officer, English Heritage, Historic Properties North

3 Observers:
Mrs Maria Carlgren, Vitlycke museum, Västerby
Mrs Anita Larsson Modin, Vitlycke Museum, Västerby
Mrs. Sally Gear, UK UNESCO Secretariat

Countries represented

Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom.

States parties 1
Date Start: Monday, 3 September 2001
Date end: Saturday, 8 September 2001