The 2012 NGO Forum in St. Petersburg

In 2012 an international NGO Forum preceded a meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the first time.

From 22-24 June 2012, representatives of Russian and international non-governmental organizations met at an international forum of civil society activists in Saint-Petersburg to discuss issues related to the protection of World Heritage properties. The main objective of the three-day event was to draw the attention of the world community to various problems of great concern.

The NGO Forum included two separate programs with common plenary sessions. The first program was devoted to the natural heritage, the second one to the cultural heritage. Sharing experience of successful problem-solving in preserving the World Heritage, and building a system of effective interaction between NGOs and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee have been one of the main aims of the Forum on the Neva.

Among the participants of the event were members of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the World Heritage Center, international experts of IUCN and ICOMOS, representatives of international, national and regional NGOs, and other civil society activists. The resolutions of the Forum were presented to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and to the general public.

The organizers of the forum were:

  • Greenpeace Russia
  • Green Wave
  • Russian-German Bureau of Ecological Information
  • All-Russian Society of historical and cultural monuments protection (St Petersburg Department)
  • Centre for German and European Studies
  • Expertise Centre ECOM

Since 2015 there have been annual World Heritage Watch Civil Society Forums, always ahead of the Meetings of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee: 2015 in Bonn, Germany;  2016 in Istanbul, Turkey; 2017 in Krakow, Poland, and in 2018 in Manama, Bahrain.