The second phase of the Business Skills for World Heritage programme, designed to develop the business management skills of UNESCO World Heritage site staff, is about to start. The participants of the first team met on 27 August in Borneo (Malaysia), where the training will take place.

Teams from six World Heritage sites will be partnered with business mentors from global energy company Shell. Together they will develop business solutions to improve the management of these areas of outstanding natural value. International environmental NGO Earthwatch will provide the training expertise and facilities. The training programme is part of a five-year collaboration between Shell, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Earthwatch. It will take place in the stunning setting of the rainforests of Malaysia.

The selected World Heritage sites that will benefit from this collaboration in 2010 are Manas National Park (India), Ha Long Bay (Vietnam),  Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia) The Sundarbans (Bangladesh), Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park (Vietnam) and The Sundarbans (India). Each site will send three participants who will be partnered with a Shell mentor. After this eleven-day programme, the Shell mentors and the World Heritage site staff will continue their relationship over 12 months as they develop and implement business planning processes.