RSS Feed

Declaration of Young Experts Forum 2015

“Enriching, eye-opening and intense” – these are just a few words with which the 32 participants described the Young Experts Forum 2015 (YEF). After twelve days full of discussions, networking and involvement the young heritage experts presented their ideas and their commitment to a sustainable future of World Heritage at the Opening Ceremony of the 39th World Heritage Committee Session on 28 June 2015.


According to the theme of the forum – “Towards a Sustainable Management of World Heritage Sites” – the young experts put forward the importance of World Heritage education, community involvement and youth engagement, among others. By emphasizing the necessity to create reliable and lasting structures amongst young experts to share valuable knowledge and experiences, the young experts commit themselves to build a network in order to make World Heritage fit for the future.

Declaration of the Young Experts Forum 2015

The declaration is the result of the Young Experts Forum 2015, held in conjunction with the 39th Session of the World Heritage Committee. In their declaration the young experts point out the significance of enhancing World Heritage education and of engaging local community since it facilitates a stronger sense of responsibility and devotion. Having experienced within the YEF the advantages of volunteer work as a tool of community involvement, the participants recommend to implement such approaches in management plans.

Future network

For realizing their ideas, this year’s participants commit themselves to build a network of young heritage enthusiasts. In order to link the community of young experts with heritage professionals and to facilitate the network, the young experts ask for a youth representation within the National Commissions for UNESCO.

The first step for more youth representation within World Heritage is already accomplished. After a convincing presentation of the benefits of young people’s involvement, some of the participants became part of their respective delegations. That way, they had the chance to show the positive impact that young experts can contribute to the future of World Heritage.

Towards sustainable development

Eventually, the forum showed to be a pool of knowledge and potential. Working at World Heritage sites, in museums or cultural institutions, studying architecture or biology, the participants contributed to a diverse pool of knowledge and experience of the forum. This pool was enriched by the multi-layered programme consisting of workshops, field trips, hands-on work in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and of a model of the World Heritage Committee. Since the participative approach of the programme enabled the participants to exchange, to network and to connect ideas for own future-oriented projects, the Young Experts Forum contributes to a sustainable development.

In order to continue this year’s discussions, the German Commission for UNESCO will publish a manual about the organization of the Young Experts Forum. The organisers – the German Commission for UNESCO as cooperation partner of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the Ministry of Education, Science, Lifelong learning and Culture of Rhineland-Palatinate – are looking forward to the upcoming contributions of the young experts “towards a sustainable management of World Heritage sites”.

Further Information: 

Follow the Young Experts Forum on Twitter:#39whcYEF

Download the Declaration in English and French