We help to preserve our World Heritage

We support UNESCO in obtaining complete and accurate information about the situation of World Heritage sites. We help local people to protect their sites and to derive an adequate benefit from them. And we alert the public about threats to the common heritage of humanity.

With over 190 groups and individuals worldwide, the World Heritage Watch network ensures that the world heritage is not sacrificed to political compromises and economic interests. We support UNESCO in getting complete and correct information about the situation of the sites. And we help local people to protect their sites and to benefit from them appropriately.

Some countries do not have the capacities to maintain their properties; for them we want to organize support. Others show little interest in their protection; they will be reminded of their obligations to the world community. In many places citizens are committed to the preservation of their sites since they are part of their history and their immediate personal environment. Above all, it is them whom we want to strengthen in their struggle against ignorance, neglect and destruction. We are guided by the idea that no country can develop without cultural heritage and without an intact nature.

Many of the people who work for the world heritage live near remote nature reserves or in developing countries. Others are excluded from meaningful decision-making. Often they do not have the possibilty to make themselves heard. It is their voices that we want to strengthen in the public, with UNESCO, and with their governments.

Civil society worldwide must demand the protection of the sites

World Heritage Watch objectives are:

  • To support UNESCO in protecting and safeguarding World Heritage properties.

  • To strengthen the role of civil society under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention;

  • To foster public awareness, information and education about, and to create a stronger identification with, the World Heritage;

  • To strengthen the implementation regime of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention;

World Heritage Watch

  • Brings up-to-date and detailed information relevant to the safeguarding of World Heritage Sites to the attention of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, its Advisory Bodies, the various bodies of the Convention, and the general public;

  • Builds a network and a forum for the exchange of information and experience of its members, in order to contribute to improved participation in the management and enhanced protection of World Heritage Properties;

  • Raises awareness about the values of World Heritage Properties, and alerts the general public about developments affecting World Heritage Properties.

  • Supports local communities who work for their World Heritage sites; and works for a stronger voice towards the World Heritage Committee and its Advisory Bodies.

Our goals for 2022

are to achieve full participation rights of civil society in the implementation of the convention, to make all processes transparent and, if not to solve the pressing problems of the convention, to put forward strategies for their solution. These include pushing back geopolitical interests, avoiding a banalization of the world heritage list due to too many nominations, adopting and enforcing strict guidelines for site boundaries and buffer zones, securing the funding of World Heritage Sites, banning pesticides in World Heritage Sites and making World Heritage Sites motors of sustainable development. We will take advantage of the 50th anniversary as a rare opportunity to realize the basic idea of ​​the convention – that the world heritage is the common heritage of all humanity, for which all humanity shares a common responsibility.