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International World heritage Education Workshop on “Mobilizing Young People for World Heritage” and Skills-Development Training Course in animated cartoon techniques

In connection with the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention, the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre invited Gruppo Alcuni (Italy), a communication group specializing in animated cartoons, to host the 4th International World Heritage Education Workshop on 'Mobilizing Young People for World Heritage' in Treviso/Venice (Italy), The program included plenary sessions, working groups and preparation for the presentation made by the young people at the Venice Congress session on 16 November 2002.


  1. present and discuss the impact of participation in major World Heritage Education events
  2. examine and elaborate new and effective ways and means to mobilize young people in the promotion and preservation of World Heritage
  3. take part in training sessions on the production of animated cartoons aimed at sensitizing young people to the importance of safeguarding World Heritage
  4. present the results of the Workshop and the major achievements of World Heritage Education to the International Congress in Venice

Countries represented

Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa and Spain.

Summary of the Results

(1) Educators and Students Shared their Recent Experiences in World Heritage Education

Participants agreed on the vital importance of including WHE in classroom teaching and in the curricula for the following reasons:

  • World Heritage Education (WHE) allows young people to take pride in themselves, in their country and in their culture; it helps to reaffirm their identity as well as to learn about other cultures, ways of life, similarities, and to respect cultural diversity;
  • WHE allows young people to learn more about the achievements of humanity through the ages, as well as about significant periods in history;
  • WHE implies the protection and promotion of local, national, regional and World Heritage;
  • World Heritage is a concern shared by all peoples and countries and to learn about it means learning about solidarity and co-operation at all levels.
  • However, participants also felt that it is still difficult to include WHE in classroom teaching due to already very demanding official curricula.

(2) Proposals for Effective Means of Mobilizing Young People in the Promotion and Preservation of World Heritage

  • Organize Teacher Training
    (i) Distribute the UNESCO World Heritage Education Kit to teacher-training institutions and involve them in WHE
    (ii) Organize high-level teacher-training courses with teacher trainers, curriculum developers and World Heritage specialists
  • Reach Ministers of Education
    (i) UNESCO should send a copy of the revised second edition of the World Heritage Education Kit World Heritage in Young Hands to all ministers of education with an accompanying letter drawing attention to Article 27 of the Convention (underlining the need for educational and information programmes)
    (ii) Ensure the inclusion of WHE in the agendas of regional conferences of ministers such as the one planned by the Council of Europe to be held in Greece in November 2003.
  • Produce New Multimedia WHE Resource Material on Specific World Heritage Sites
  • Guidelines were proposed for the production of a CD-ROM as a new multimedia WHE resource material. The content of the material to be prepared on each site should include:
  • A short cartoon as part of Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures series, indicating the geographical location of the site, the reasons for its inscription on the World Heritage List, threats facing the site and actions that young people can take;
  • A brief professional video of the site showing its importance and unique features;
  • Practical guidelines for teachers, including information about the site, its history and values;
  • Elements of intangible heritage; threats facing the site; and preservation actions to be taken.

Each section should be presented in an interactive way, with a multidisciplinary approach. Classroom activities with emphasis on participatory and creative methods of learning, as well as out-of-school activities including visits to nearby heritage sites, role-play activities, festivals, round-table discussions and games, should be organized. Illustrations, photographs, drawings, bibliographies and student art work are also recommended.

Prior to the international diffusion of the CD-ROM by UNESCO, the completed material should be validated by educators and World Heritage specialists and tested in selected ASPnet schools.

The following proposals were also put forward by the young participants:

  • produce a young people's illustrated version of the World Heritage Convention
  • Organize a World Heritage Annual Youth Summit
  • Hold more international youth encounters involving parents, government officials and experts
  • Launch a Patrimonito campaign and Patrimonito clubs with Skills-Development activities
  • Use the media to raise awareness of WHE
  • Set up World Heritage library corners
  • Advertise World Heritage preservation on food and beverages in environmentally friendly packaging
  • Use sporting events to promote World Heritage
  • Create more promotional material with the Patrimonito logo.

(3) Use of Animated Cartoons in Sensitizing Young People to the Importance of Safeguarding World Heritage

  • Production of a New Cartoon Series, Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures, and a Poster

The workshop explored the production of cartoons and their use as a communication medium for the young. In 2002, following a storyboard competition organized by UNESCO, the first episode of the cartoon series Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures was produced, based on the storyboard of one of the participants, Ruben Carlos Borrajo del Toro, a 14-year-old from Cuba. To introduce the series, a trailer was also made.

UNESCO emphasized its long-standing co-operation with Gruppo Alcuni in the field of communication with the young via cartoons, and stressed their role as a most powerful means of transmitting important messages to children, young people and adults. Visual and virtual communication is a major feature of twenty-first-century society. The production of the new cartoon series would allow young people to learn more about the value of World Heritage sites, their contribution to our universal civilization, the intangible heritage that surrounds them, as well as about the threats facing World Heritage sites and what young people can do to help safeguard them.

During the discussion all participants, educators and students alike, agreed that cartoons can serve as a powerful tool in mobilizing young people in support of World Heritage in the classroom as well as through television, thereby also reaching the general public. They all agreed that cartoons can be very useful because:

  • they can transmit important messages
  • they are easy to understand
  • they represent a universal language and do not need words
  • they are flexible and unlimited in what they can convey
  • they are enjoyable and entertaining
  • they are for everyone - young children, adolescents, parents, adults
  • they can mobilize young people, the future decision-makers, to take concrete action in favor of World Heritage
  • they can involve young people in making storyboards for future cartoons, which can be a very meaningful learning process
  • all young people can identify with Patrimonito.

During a hands-on session with the students, a 'by the young for the young' poster was designed, prompting students to become Patrimonitos themselves, and introducing Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures. The poster will be produced by UNESCO and distributed to over 7,000 ASPnet schools around the world.

The workshop noted with satisfaction the positive effect of international student encounters and underlined their potential.


The objectives of the workshop were broadly achieved. All participants made good inputs, contributions and comments. Each country reported on its recent World Heritage Education achievements, reflecting a wide range of activities.

Educators and students alike were introduced to the basics of cartoon-making, practised hands-on activities and were able to grasp the great potential of animated cartoons as a tool to raise awareness of World Heritage among both young and adults. The trailer and the first episode of Patrimonito's World Heritage Adventures series were launched and presented at the World Heritage 2002 Congress by two Patrimonitos on the very day of the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, 16 November 2003, in the presence of the UNESCO Director-General, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, and some 500 participants.

The workshop attracted the attention of the Italian media, both written press and national television. A press conference held in the Sala degli Affreschi, Treviso, on 12 November 2002, was attended by the President of the Municipal Town-planning Committee, Mr Sandro Zampese; the Councillor for Health and Human Services, Mr Ermes Zanoni; the Director of the Tourist Board Association, Mr Pio Grollo; Gruppo Alcuni International Relations, Ms Giovanna Masobello; Gruppo Alcuni Director, Mr Sergio Manfio; and UNESCO World Heritage Centre Programme Specialist, Ms Vesna Vujicic-Lugassy.

The journalists asked about UNESCO activities in the field of cultural and natural heritage. They were interested in the role of young people in the process of World Heritage preservation and promotion and, in particular, the educational and awareness-raising value of animated cartoon techniques.


21 participants from Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa and Spain.

Observers from United Kingdom and Denmark.


UNESCO World Heritage Centre
UNESCO Amman Office
The Jordanian National Commission for UNESCO
The department of Antiquities
Members of Alcuni
The International Centre for the Study of Cultural Property (ICCROM).

World Heritage Properties 1
States parties 1
Date Start: Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Date end: Friday, 15 November 2002