The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU) have signed a Partnership Agreement which provides a strategic framework for future cooperation for the conservation of World Heritage sites in Europe.

Signed in July 2009 by Francesco Bandarin, Director of the World Heritage Centre, and Mr Fritz Brickwedde, Secretary General of DBU, the agreement aims to support effective and preventative conservation measures at natural World Heritage sites and cultural landscapes through developing innovative management and monitoring tools and promoting education through the World Heritage in Young Hands initiative.

The parties have identified areas where their joint efforts can support national authorities in protecting World Heritage sites, particularly in countries of the Eastern European region. "With the focus on Eastern Europe the DBU's commitment contributes significantly to enriching the conservation work for World Heritage in that region of the world," explained Bandarin. "Our joint agreement ensures the long-term support of the work already carried out in the field."

The agreement is based on documents of the General Conference of UNESCO relating to the protection and conservation of cultural and natural sites, in particular through effective application of the World Heritage Convention.