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“Towards a Sustainable Management of World Heritage Sites”

As part of the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee the German Commission for UNESCO – as cooperation partner of the Federal Foreign Office –and the State of Rhineland-Palatinate organized the Young Experts Forum 2015 – in cooperation with the NGO European Heritage Volunteers. The Forum is part of the World Heritage Education Programme of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and was financed by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

What and Why?

Prior to the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee, a Young Experts Forum took place from 18 to 29 June 2015 in the World Heritage Cultural Landscape “Upper Middle Rhine Valley” and in Bonn, former capital of Germany. Young heritage experts from all around the world aged between 20 and 30 were invited to exchange ideas and provide input on how to manage World Heritage Sites sustainably.

The objectives of the Young Experts Forum 2015 were …

  • … to develop a deeper understanding of the World Heritage Convention and of the workings of the World Heritage Committee by analyzing the implementation of the Convention at three different German World Heritage sites (Upper Middle Rhine Valley, the Frontiers of the Roman Empire and Aachen Cathedral) and by simulating the workings of the Committee in a Model;
  • … to face the challenges and potential impacts of a sustainable management of World Heritage sites during workshops and practical hands-on work at a World Heritage site; 
  • … to empower the young experts to develop their own sustainable initiatives in their country in order to make World Heritage fit for the future by offering a follow-up on the activities and ideas initiated during the Forum;
  • … to improve the visibility and recognition of the Young Experts Forum within the World Heritage Committee. The participants have elaborated a declaration which they presented to the Committee at the Opening Ceremony of the 39th session. Moreover, the young experts were part of the delegations of their country during the first plenary day of the Committee Session.

Programme Elements

  • Inputs from and discussions with international heritage experts, field trips to World Heritage sites, workshops about various aspects of a sustainable management of World Heritage sites
  • Practical hands-on work in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley in terms of conservation and maintenance of World Heritage Sites
  • Model of a plenary debate of the World Heritage Committee including the drafting of a declaration and its presentation during the official Opening Ceremony of the Committee Session by the young experts, as well as the participation in the delegations for at least one day

The participants

Prof. Dr. Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office and President of the 39th Session of the World Heritage Committee, the German Commission for UNESCO and the State of Rhineland-Palatinate invited young people interested in topics related to World Heritage who are:

  • aged from 20 to 30;
  • citizens of one of the 21 States Parties of the current World Heritage Committee (Algeria, Colombia, Croatia, Finland, Germany, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia, Turkey, Viet Nam) and of Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Tunisia and Ukraine;
  • involved in heritage related fields such as World Heritage Studies, (Landscape) Architecture, Urban Planning, Archaeology, Art History, Museology, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, International Politics, Geography, Tourism: students; researchers; activists; young professionals in NGOs, associations, cultural and natural organizations, museums, at heritage sites, committed to bring in their own expertise;
  • motivated to be engaged in a network of young experts of World Heritage and eager to implement the outcomes of the forum in their home countries.

Deadline for applications expired on 23 March 2015 (9:00 am CET)

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