States Parties to the Convention, Site Managers, National Focal Points, and, Civil Society Organizations, as well as other stakeholders including the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Advisory Bodies, and
States Parties to the Convention, Site Managers, National Focal Points, and, Civil Society Organizations, as well as other stakeholders including the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Advisory Bodies, and UNESCO Field Offices are requested to submit their completed survey to the World Heritage Centre by 25 July 2021 at the latest.
2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, adopted in 1972. With near universal ratification by 194 States Parties, the Convention is now one of the most ratified international conventions in history. The 1121 cultural and natural World Heritage properties located in 167 countries across the globe testify to the immense cultural and biological diversity of the world, as well as to the power of heritage to bring people together around common values and aspirations. While there is much to celebrate, this anniversary is also a moment to recognize all that has been accomplished over the last 50 years, as well as to identify challenges and missed opportunities and reflect on ways to improve the Convention’s implementation.
The world today is different than it was when the Convention was adopted. And in 10, 20 or 50 years, the world will be more different still. Today, human actions have driven us to a precipice in the form of climate change. Armed conflicts in different parts of the world have resulted in destruction and damage – intentional and otherwise – to valuable heritage sites. Oceans, forests and other natural heritage sites are threatened by diminishing biodiversity, pollution, deforestation, and desertification. In cities and urban areas, uncontrolled and rapid urbanization is weakening heritage preservation at the expense of rampant development. These challenges make sustainable development and the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda all the more urgent and necessary, in order to align heritage conservation with the needs of local communities. Above all, we are confronted today with a world that has been redrawn by the COVID-19 pandemic, where we must ‘build back better’ and find paths to a ‘green recovery’ even while we struggle to comprehend fully its impacts. Hence, the 50th anniversary is also an important moment to reflect on how to ensure the relevance of the Convention in the face of these prevailing challenges. What do we need to do today to ensure that the World Heritage Convention, and World Heritage places, continue to inspire younger generations and provide them with a foundation for a better future?
As we reflect on these themes and make plans for an eventful 2022, we would like to hear your views and proposals.
Complete and submit the survey here.
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