Civil Society Forum in Bonn 2015

On 25-26. June 2015 World Heritage Watch organized the International NGO Conference “The World Heritage and the Role of Civil Society” in Bonn, Germany. It followed the first NGO Forum on World Heritage 2012 in St.Petersburg.

The objectives of the conference were:

  • To review the situation of selected World Heritage sites from the perspective of civil society, particularly with regard to negative anthropogenic environmental influences.

  • To inform the German and international public of the progress and challenges in implementing the World Heritage Convention from the perspective of civil society.

  • To demonstrate the extent of the contributions of civil society for the protection of World Heritage.

  • To formulate possibilities for the participation of civil society in implementing the World Heritage Convention.

  • To take steps towards the formation of national and international civil society networks on World Heritage.

Conference Concept

The conference was attended by 115 representatives of civil society organizations and indigenous peoples from 33 countries. The participants came from all continents, covered all major problem areas of the world heritage, and took into account the whole range of different types of World Heritage sites.

List of Participants

In the presentations, the situation of 39 World Heritage sites were evaluated; in addition 9 presentations covered the general situation of world heritage sites, and 10 lectures presented the work of NGOs to the World Heritage in an overview. The talks have highlighted not only the variety of opportunities for participation of civil society in implementing the World Heritage Convention, but also gave a representative overview of different types of civil society actors.

Two Statements to the World Heritage Committee were adopted, presented the next day to the President of the World Heritage Committee and read later in the session; and in addition, 11 other resolutions were adopted.

The following Statements and Resolutions were adopted on the Conference:
Two Statements were made to the World Heritage Committee, which were handed to the WHC President, Prof. Maria Boehmer:

Statement I On Civil Society Participation
Statement II On Indigenous Peoples

A Final Document was adopted which summarizes the issues and concerns expressed during the sessions of the Conference: