The World Heritage Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011) requested the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies, to elaborate a thematic paper proposing to States Parties general guidance regarding the management of their cultural and natural heritage of religious interest, and in compliance with the national specificities, inviting States Parties to provide voluntary contributions to this end.
A cycle of Regional Thematic Consultations towards the elaboration of the above-mentioned thematic paper will be launched at UNESCO Headquarters with the first meeting focused on South-Eastern and Mediterranean Europe. The States Parties of other regions are invited to contribute to the implementation of the Initiative by organising Regional Experts Thematic Consultation Meetings on sustainable management of the World Heritage properties of religious interest in their respective countries.
The States Parties are also invited to actively contribute to these consultations by identifying case-studies which illustrate the main challenges in governance, management and use of World Heritage properties of religious interest in your country.
These consultations will, among others, be based on the data analysis of results of the second cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise and will take into account a number of conclusions and recommendations drawn from the state of conservation reports and previous international meetings and activities related to this subject.
As part of the MOU signed in 2012, ICCROM in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) of Korea is launching a new programme to discuss different themes related to conservation and management of heritage focusing on Asia.
The first activity will be a Forum on Asian Buddhist Heritage: Conserving the Sacred to be held in Seoul, Korea form 4-6 December 2013.
While focusing on Asia in particular and contributing to regional capacity-building processes, the programme should also prove beneficial on a global scale.
The International Conference “Promotion, Protection and Preservation of Buddhist Culture and Heritage” be convened at Lumbini, the birthplace of the Lord Buddha in Nepal from 15 to 18 November 2014.
This Conference is related to the cycle of thematic and regional consultations on sustainable management of the World Heritage properties of religious interest contributing to the UNESCO activities on protection of heritage of religious interest and reinforcement of dialogue with religious communities.
Meetings with international experts and religious communities can provide crucial inputs in developing the most appropriate approaches in tackling challenging problems of heritage protection and generating understanding and mutual respect.
Thanks to the support of Bulgaria, the first thematic expert consultation meeting, focused on Mediterranean and South-Eastern Europe, will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 16 to 18 February 2016.
The main objective of this Expert Meeting is to contribute to the development, by the World Heritage Centre, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, of the thematic paper proposing to States Parties general guidance regarding the management of their cultural and natural heritage of religious interest in compliance with the national specificities, as requested by the World Heritage Committee.
The Thai National Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, the Thai Ministry of Culture, Nakhon Phnom Province of Thailand, and UNESCO Bangkok, will organize an international consultative workshop on the Conservation and Management of the World Heritage of Religious Interest for the Asia-Pacific Region, from 17 - 19 May 2017 in Bangkok and Nakhon Phnom Province of Thailand.
The three-day workshop is organized within the framework of the UNESCO Initiative on Heritage of Religious Interest and in response to the World Heritage Committee Decision 5D adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul, 2016), which urged the States Parties to contribute to the implementation of the Thematic Programmes and Initiatives. The consultative workshop aims to discuss the linkages between the World Heritage Convention and the heritage of religious interest, the importance of spiritual values of the religious heritage, and the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders concerned. The workshop will also discuss existing national or regional mechanisms and challenges for the effective protection and management of heritage of religious interest.
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the Armenian National Commission for UNESCO organized and hosted a Regional Thematic Expert Consultation meeting on sustainable management of the World Heritage properties of religious interest focused on Eastern Europe held from 18 to 22 April 2018 in Yerevan (Armenia).
The “Yerevan Recommendations” were unanimously adopted by the participants representing 9 States Parties (Armenia, Finland, FYR of Macedonia, Georgia, Greece, Holy See - State of Vatican City, Poland, Russian Federation, Ukraine), World Heritage Centre, Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS, IUCN) and religious communities of Armenian Apostolic Holy Church, Russian Orthodox Church.