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Workshop on World Heritage, Sustainable Development and Civil Society

  • brussels school of international studies (map)
© Hani Terraces Administration of Honghe Prefecture/ Li Kun / Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (China), from the UNESCO website

© Hani Terraces Administration of Honghe Prefecture/ Li Kun / Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (China), from the UNESCO website

The UNESCO policy on the 'Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention' was adopted in November 2015. This policy aims to ensure that the conservation and management of World Heritage properties are aligned with broader sustainable development objectives (environmental sustainability, inclusive social development, inclusive economic development, as well as the fostering of peace and security). A number of meetings have been held and reports have been published on how to operationalize this policy. Yet, workshops involving civil society are still missing, which is problematic as civil society stands at the heart of this policy.

This workshop aims to identify concrete approaches and models to implement the UNESCO policy on sustainable development and World Heritage, through a workshop involving civil society. This workshop also aims to find innovative ways of involving civil society to help implement the policy.

This workshop will start with a session detailing the policy and World Heritage system for participants unfamiliar with its concepts.
The following thematic sessions on World Heritage and the pillars of sustainable development will then be organised:

  • Inclusive social development - how can World Heritage contribute to inclusion and equity? How can World Heritage properties enhance quality of life and well-being? How can the convention be a tool for a rights-based approach to heritage conservation and management? How can gender equality be achieved?
  • Inclusive economic development - how to ensure growth, employment, income and livelihoods? How to promote economic investment and quality tourism? How to strengthen capacity-building, innovation and local entrepreneurship?
  • Environmental sustainability - how to ensure that diversity, ecosystem services and benefits for people that contribute to environmental sustainability, are protected and enhanced within World Heritage properties? How to ensure that World Heritage represent a resource to strengthen resilience to natural hazards and climate change?
  • Fostering peace and security - how can World Heritage promote conflict resolution? How can World Heritage contribute to post-conflict reconstruction?

The workshop will take place at the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent's Brussels campus).

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