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Managing World Heritage sites for the next 50 years: Outcomes of the third online session of the 5th World Heritage Site Managers’ Forum

Thursday, 13 July 2023
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Participants engaging in a discussion in identifying the factors affecting their World Heritage properties (13/07/2023) | UNESCO/Kaanan Thakkar

The final online session of the World Heritage Site Managers' Forum centered around the crucial role of people in managing and preserving UNESCO World Heritage sites. With a focus on "Managing World Heritage - the People," the session brought together site managers, heritage professionals, and experts from around the world to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and future directions of safeguarding these exceptional properties.

Presentations during this session, held today on 13 July, covered a range of topics related to World Heritage management, including community engagement, governance structures, decision-making processes, and reconciling national systems with World Heritage requirements. The speakers highlighted different approaches to involving diverse communities and emphasized the significance of values, attributes, and contextual factors.

The session also explored various management responses to address pressing issues such as disaster risk management, climate change, and tourism. Participants were encouraged to reflect on their own World Heritage properties and share the measures implemented in their respective countries to tackle these challenges.

With a total of 118 attendees, the session aimed to develop the base for the Forum statement that would reflect the needs and aspirations of the global heritage community for the next 50 years. The discussions revolved around identifying the responsibilities of people, institutions, and systems, enhancing management planning, and finding effective solutions through collaboration.

The successful conclusion of the online component marks a significant milestone for the World Heritage Site Managers' Forum, setting the stage for future in-person components. This unique platform continues to promote collaboration, knowledge exchange, and capacity-building, ensuring the effective management and preservation of our shared World Heritage for generations to come.