NGO Forum Paris 2020

Call for Papers

In conjunction with a meeting of Advisory Bodies of the World Heritage Committee, and in partnership with our network of indigenous peoples’ and civil society organizations, World Heritage Watch is organizing the

8th International NGO Forum on World Heritage

in Paris, France, in January 2020
The Forum will discuss cases of World Heritage Sites where there is a concern for their protection and safeguarding which should be brought to the attention of the World Heritage Committee and the general public. Presentations shall provide information about the sites which

  • is new and relevant for the protection and safeguarding of the site; and/or

  • has not received adequate consideration by the State Party or UNESCO; and/or

  • reflects the perspective of the local population at the site and/or civil society actors;

in order to help the World Heritage Committee and its Advisory Bodies to have a more comprehensive assessment of the site and thus arrive at better decisions during its session.
Papers on any World Heritage Site are welcome, but priority should be given to sites

  • which will likely be on the agenda of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s 44th Session (see Annex below), or

  • which should be put on the agenda with urgency.

In addition to sites which are inscribed on the World Heritage List, the Forum will also consider sites which are nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List, which are on a Tentative List or should be placed on a Tentative List.

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Papers should be as specific, concise and detailed as possible. Where applicable, they should refer as much as possible to prior decisions of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and should make clear suggestions as to which action should be taken by whom. For general orientation we also suggest that you consult the Final Document of the WHW 2015 Bonn Conference, and the list of sites on the agenda of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Meeting, both of which can be found on the WHW website.

Any and all persons of any occupational background – except officials involved on national or international level in decision-making on world heritage sites – are invited to submit papers.  Representatives of non-governmental organizations, indigenous peoples, local initiatives and professional associations related to conservation and/or the empowerment of civil society or indigenous peoples will be given priority when papers are selected for presentation on the Forum.
In addition to presentation on the Forum, World Heritage Watch may also arrange access to the media and an additional presentation on a side event during the UNESCO WH Committee Meeting.

Please send your full paper in English language by 15 December 2019 to
By sending their paper authors agree to its possible publication in the World Heritage Watch Report 2020 which will be published in spring 2020.

Authors may send their reports under pseudonym or anonymous if they should feel that this is necessary to protect themselves from repercussions.

Formal guidelines:
Papers must be submitted in Word format. They must not be longer than 3 pages of text written in Arial 11pt, 2,5cm margins, single-spaced, with minimum formatting (bold, italics, underline). No abstract needed. References and illustrations (maps, photos, graphics) may be added to the three pages of text.

Each photo or map must be sent in a separate file (jpg of not less than 1MB or pdf) as an attachment to the email. Do not send your photos from a smartphone since they will be automatically reduced in size during the transfer.

In addition, please also send us a portrait photo (jpg, min. 1MB) and a short biography (max. 10 lines Arial 11pt of written text – no lists, no bullet points) explaining your profession and livelihood, membership in a civil society organization (if any), and the type of your involvement in the UNESCO World Heritage.
Please see the WHW Reports for examples. They are available for download on

NOTE: Papers not observing these guidelines will be returned.
Papers will be selected for presentation and publication until 1 January 2020. In case your paper will be selected, you will receive an official invitation, and World Heritage Watch will try to support your travel expenses. No honorariums will be paid for the papers and presentations.
Berlin, 15 October 2019
Stephan Doempke
Chairman of the Board, World Heritage Watch