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50th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2022

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 6 August 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.


Kindly complete the survey by typing answers directly into this form. Please email any queries to the following address: WorldHeritage50@unesco.org

In the interests of transparency, surveys will be compiled and made available online.

Thank you for your attention.

Information about respondent
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First Name
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Last Name
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Email
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Job Title
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Institution / Organization
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Please indicate whether you are a representative of the following
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Name of State Party
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Please choose ‘your’ World Heritage property
Questions
1. What do you consider to be the most valuable/ significant contribution of the World Heritage Convention since your country ratified the Convention,if applicable?
Served to identify and safeguard cultural and natural heritage through inscription on the World Heritage List
Promoted peace building processes and activities
Promoted cultural diversity globally and in the region
Promoted the development of laws, policies, and guidance for the conservation and management of different types of heritage
Enhanced capacities at local, national and regional levels for conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Contributed to sustainable development
Other
Please prioritize the options on a scale from 1 to 5 (with 5 as the most valuable and 1 as the least)
(This question is mandatory)
If other, please provide details
2. What do you see as the key impediments to more fully implementing the World Heritage Conventio?
Lack of knowledge of the World Heritage Convention and its procedures with respect to conservation practices and development initiatives
Lack of knowledge/training/experience in heritage conservation
Lack of human resources
Lack of financial resources
Inadequate governance and administration – lack of political support
Inadequate laws and regulations – lack of enabling legislation
Inadequate awareness and understanding of the importance of heritage among the general population
Other
Please prioritize the options on a scale from 1 to 5 (with 5 as the greatest impediment and 1 as the least)
(This question is mandatory)
If other, please provide details
3. What do you see as the key global challenges facing the world’s cultural and natural heritage today?
The impacts of climate change including climate-related disasters
Armed conflict and destruction of heritage in conflict
Ill-conceived economic and infrastructure development projects that result in loss and damage to heritage sites
Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization and urban development initiatives.
Implementing sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda as well as other major international agreements such as Africa 2063, Paris Climate Agreement, Sendai Framework, the SIDS Samoa Pathway, etc.
Strategies for recovering and ‘building back better’ in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
Other
Please prioritize the options on a scale from 1 to 5 (with 5 as the greatest challenge and 1 as the least)
(This question is mandatory)
If other, please provide details
4. What do you see as the opportunities and possible ways to more fully implement the World Heritage Convention?
Digital technologies and artificial intelligence
Integrating heritage into strategies for sustainable development
Enhancing governance and laws concerning heritage management and protection
Integrating heritage into strategies for climate action
Integrating heritage with strategies for recovery and ‘building back better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic
Sustainable tourism development
Other
Please prioritize the options on a scale from 1 to 5 (with 5 as the greatest opportunity and 1 as the least)
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If other, please provide details
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5. Are there significant gaps where you think the World Heritage Convention needs to be strengthened to better protect cultural and natural heritage at the moment?
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6. In your view, who should be further engaged to improve the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and better protect cultural and natural heritage?
Please check all applicable boxes
7. What do you consider to be the value of inscribing sites on the World Heritage List?
Increased protection of heritage
Increased funding for restoration, preservation, and training
Increased opportunities to create partnerships between government, the private sector, and NGOs to achieve conservation
National identity and national pride / Prestige
Increased revenues to local communities due to tourism and employment opportunities
Increased commercial and real estate value of properties in and around sites
Increased numbers of tourists to country/region
Other
Please prioritize the options on a scale from 1 to 5 (with 5 as the greatest value and 1 as the least)
(This question is mandatory)
If other, please provide details
8. What do you consider to be greatest impediment to inscribing sites on the World Heritage List?
Lack of knowledge of the World Heritage Convention and its procedures
Inadequate number of heritage sites having significant attributes
Inadequate capacities (financial and/or human) to prepare nomination dossiers
Concern over limitations on development projects and works in and around heritage sites
Inadequate governance and administration – lack of political support
Inadequate laws and regulations – lack of enabling legislation
Lack of support from the local communities due to inadequate awareness and understanding of the importance of preserving heritage
Inadequate resources to protect and manage World Heritage sites
Other
Please prioritize the options on a scale from 1 to 5 (with 5 as the greatest impediment and 1 as the least)
(This question is mandatory)
If other, please provide details
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9. What is your level of awareness of the “Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List”, adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 1994? (see https://whc.unesco.org/en/globalstrategy for more details)
Please choose only one of the following
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You have answered any of the 2 last choices above, how do you rate the overall usefulness of the “Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List” globally?
Please choose only one of the following
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10. Do you plan any activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention?
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If yes, please provide details
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11. Would you like to make a financial contribution and collaborate with the World Heritage Centre for an activity to mark the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention?
(This question is mandatory)
If yes, please provide details
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12. For the 50th anniversary, what themes should the celebrations focus on? What should the key outcomes of the celebration activities be?