New website dedicated to World Heritage Capacity-Building

26 July 2021

The World Heritage Committee, during its Extended 44th session, has officially taken note of the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Capacity-Building Strategy (2011-2021). To mark this celebration, World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce that a dedicated capacity-building webpage has been made available to centralize all ongoing and future World Heritage capacity building activities:

Understanding, managing and conserving World Heritage properties requires up-to-date knowledge and well-honed skills. To help build the capacity of all stakeholders in World Heritage whether they are practitioners, institutions, communities or networks the World Heritage Centre has created a number of tools and activities to improve approaches to managing cultural and natural heritage.

The original Global Training Strategy was launched in 2001 and was succeeded by the World Heritage Capacity Building Strategy (WHCBS) in June 2011, highlighting a conceptual shift from training to capacity building for cultural and natural heritage (Decision 35 COM 9B).

The Strategy was developed by the World Heritage Centre in collaboration with ICCROM, IUCN, ICOMOS and other capacity-building partners, such as World Heritage Category 2 Centres under the auspices of UNESCO in various regions of the world. The work was made possible by contributions from the World Heritage Fund and the Swiss Government, which also provided professional expertise.

Since the adoption of the WHCBS, the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and capacity-building partners have been working to implement capacity-building activities at both the regional and international levels to address the needs of heritage practitioners, institutions and other networks and communities. They have also developed specific regional strategies to strengthen World Heritage-related capacities. Reinforcing the capacity-building pillar of the Convention continues to be a priority to equip States Parties with the relevant expertise to protect and manage their sites, as well as to ensure a representative, credible and balanced World Heritage List. Many States Parties have integrated key provisions into national legislations, policies and strategic frameworks including, in some instances, cross-cutting domains of importance for sustainable development.

The Committee reviews the progress accomplished with the implementation of the WHCBS at its annual sessions. As the 10th anniversary of the WHCBS has come in 2021, the World Heritage Committee has requested an evaluation, which it will review at its 45th session in 2022. The World Heritage Centre and ICCROM have also proposed to define guidelines with a view to updating the WHCBS, which may be presented to the Committee for review at its 46th session in 2023, if funding allows.

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