18 April 2018 is the International Day for Monuments and Sites with the theme: Heritage for Generations.

If our heritage is what we leave behind for future generations, we need to prepare young people to protect it—and the best way is through education.

The World Heritage Education Programme gives young people around the world the chance to learn about their heritage, and to be a part of preserving it, through forums, animated films, volunteer action camps, seminars and workshops for teachers, and educational tools. It enables tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to continuing threats facing our World Heritage.

To date, through the World Heritage Volunteers Initiative, more than 3500 volunteers have taken part in 359 action camps—this is in more than 142 World Heritage sites in 61 countries.  Thirteen animated short film episodes of “Patrimonito’s World Heritage Adventures” have been produced. The “World Heritage in Young Hands Kit” has been translated and adapted to national needs in 37 languages, and nearly 1250 teachers and educators have been trained through seminars and workshops at the national, regional and international levels.

If you want to learn more about youth programmes and see how to participate, see the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme webpages.

If we want to protect our heritage, we have to know about it. Education is the first step in protecting our shared heritage, now and in the future.

Mechtild Rössler
Director
UNESCO World Heritage Centre