German UNESCO Commission
International Network of Young World Heritage Experts launched

Ideas for a sustainable heritage management

Three months after the 39th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, participants of the Young Experts Forum 2015 have initiated the online platform "Young Heritage Experts". The aim is to act as a think tank and deliver an unprecedented international networking platform for young experts and activists around the topics of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In their final presentation on 28 June 2015, the young experts explained the World Heritage Committee in Bonn: "We believe it is time to create new structures for young experts to share valuable knowledge and experiences from youth led initiatives and to better connect with the World Heritage Community."

The platform not only spreads best practices and lessons learned from different World Heritage projects. It also includes updates to conference and workshop facilities in the World Heritage area as well as information about volunteer work. The founders of the "Young Heritage Experts" platform are also planning to develop an online magazine and a newsletter for World Heritage initiatives by and for adolescents and young people.

Further, the Young Experts already published a Declaration towards a Sustainable Management of World Heritage Sites, which amongst other things says: "considering the threats currently facing cultural properties in countries affected by armed conflicts and the damages caused to natural properties, we reconfirm youth participation in heritage management and support the creation of measures towards promoting their initiatives at the national level. Understanding that sustainable management is the key strategy to ensure continuous recognition and appreciation of our common treasures, we learned the significance of engaging youth and local community in sustainable management of the World Heritage sites. Individuals and communities at multiple levels share the responsibility for our heritage sites by exchanging knowledge and experience, and developing stronger international network cooperation. (...) Compared to any other age group, the young generation of today has the best capacity to understand and maximize the potential of modern networking platforms. (...) It will greatly help young heritage experts if the States Parties could provide a forum in relevant national agencies to effectively carry out our work. The enthusiasm and creativity young people bring to the National Commissions will contribute to addressing the issues of sustainability mentioned in the present Declaration. We ask the World Heritage Committee to encourage the States Parties to promote local community including youth engagement as an integral part of the management plans and monitored in the periodic reporting.

Find out more on the platform "Young Heritage Experts".
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