As part of an ongoing UNESCO World Heritage Fund International Assistance project  “Capacity building and implementation of the World Heritage Convention in South Sudan”, UNESCO Juba Office in close collaboration with the South Sudan Ministry of Culture, Museums and National Heritage organized a three-day training workshop aimed at strengthening capacities of World Heritage stakeholders under the theme “National Consultation and Awareness raising on South Sudan’s Tentative World Heritage Sites” from 7-9 October 2020 in Juba, South Sudan.

Over 30 participants attended the workshop, including representatives from Fauna and Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, civil society organizations, Ministries of: Culture, Museums and National Heritage; Higher education Science and Technology, General Education and Instruction, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Environment and Forestry, as well as academia, international partners and media houses.

The main objective of the workshop was to strengthen the technical and institutional capacities and expertise of relevant national stakeholders regarding the World Heritage Convention, and facilitate discussions to enhance the protection and management of the natural and cultural properties on South Sudan’s Tentative List. Participants also addressed the preparation of a first World Heritage nomination file for South Sudan.

The workshop aimed to improve the stakeholders’ knowledge and understanding of the World Heritage Convention and the benefits that World Heritage properties can provide to sustainable development in South Sudan. Various presentations highlighted the process for nomination of a property and the importance of stakeholder engagement and coordination mechanisms in the management and protection of World Heritage.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Julius Banda, UNESCO Head of Office and Country Representative to South Sudan, advocated for working together to strengthen synergies among stakeholders and to build the partnership needed to pursue the nomination of the potential World Heritage sites in South Sudan. He called on participants to broaden partnerships by bringing together communities of experts, development partners, UN agencies, civil society organizations and local communities.

Mr. David Batali Oliver, Director General of Planning and Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry on behalf of his Undersecretary, expressed his gratitude to UNESCO for organizing the technical workshop and encouraged the stakeholders to develop a clear roadmap and action plan to nominate sites from South Sudan onto the World Heritage List. “Awareness raising is crucial to inform our public so that they know and understand that they can contribute to the protection and safeguarding of these sites” Mr. Oliver added.

During her keynote address, Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi, the Minister of Culture, Museums and National Heritage underscored all of the work to be done if South Sudan is to enter into the history books through the World Heritage List. “With this workshop, we must acknowledge each of our roles as government ministries, civil society organizations, development partners, international organizations, communities and academia,” said Minister Dudi. “Our heritage has the potential to rally all South Sudanese together around one national identity and pride,” she added.

South Sudan ratified the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 2016 and currently has three properties included on its Tentative List inventory of potential World Heritage properties:

  • Deim Zubeir - Site de la route de l'esclave
  • Sudd wetland
  • Boma-Badingilo Migratory Landscape

For more information on the World Heritage Convention, please see: whc.unesco.org