Written by Hannah Roehlen
Sustainable development is the buzz word these days. What’s more, it is a concept we cannot ignore if we wish to provide a safe future to the next generation. In the context of these recent developments, our YHE board members Hannah Roehlen (Germany) and Ritika Khanna (India) were invited to represent the voices of young heritage experts throughout the Expert Workshop “World Heritage and Sustainable Development – From Policy to Action”, organized by the German Federal Agency of Nature Conservation (BfN), in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies IUCN, ICRROM and ICOMOS international.
During the 39th Session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Bonn, the World Heritage Centre embraced the concept of sustainable development into the context of the World Heritage Convention, by adopting the “Policy to integrate a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention”. Within the policy the WHC calls States Parties torecognize and promote World Heritage sites' inherent potential to contribute to all dimensions of sustainable development by ensuring that their conservation and management strategies are aligned with broader sustainable development objectives.
While this is, without a doubt, a groundbreaking and most timely decision, it remains to be seen how the policy can be translated into "living tradition" through the various world heritage procedures - be it the nomination of new sites, the monitoring of possible sites or the management of listed properties. In order to answer some of the open questions from a very practical point of view, the German Federal Agency of Nature Conservation (BfN), in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies IUCN, ICRROM and ICOMOS international, has now organized an Expert Workshop “World Heritage and Sustainable Development – From Policy to Action. Making sustainable development policy operational in the World Heritage Convention”.
Throughout the four daylong event at the Island of Vilm, Germany, site managers, and representatives from states parties and advisory bodies discussed ways to transform the policy into a “living practice” within the various World Heritage Convention processes. Our YHE board members Hannah Roehlen (Germany) and Ritika Khanna (India) were invited to represent the voices of young heritage experts, calling for a greater youth involvement at different decision making levels. The implementation of the policy will help to enhance World Heritage as a global leader and standard-setter for best practice, also by helping to promote innovative models of sustainable development.
Written by Laura Roman
After several smaller but fruitful weekend meetings in May, the Young Heritage Experts had scheduled a Board meeting in Berlin in October 2016. YHE Board Members Aleksandra Koziel, Rui Maio, Hannah Roehlen and Laura Roman met to discuss the current progress of our network and to develop strategic plans for the future. Under the professional guidance of Mr. Bert Ludwig (European Heritage Volunteers) who generously took on the role of the moderator during the discussions, the Board had reached several short-term and long-term goals for the future development of the Young Heritage Experts network.
Although intense, the discussions proved to be essential in two ways – expectations of each present Board Member were voiced clearly and consensus was reached over responses to pressing challenges in a democratic way. The meeting confirmed the dedication of Young Experts to the further development of the network and sparked enthusiasm for future projects. We would like to wholeheartedly thank Mr. Bert for his mentorship and support, and we look forward to sharing new heritage-related projects with you soon.
Written by Felipe Gutiérrez
Two of our experts (Rui Maio and Felipe Gutiérrez), participated last year in the 5th International Conference YOuth in COnservation of CUltural Heritage YOCOCU held in Madrid, Spain.
YOCOCU is an association of senior and young professionals, students and researchers called to develop all together new ways and methods of knowledge required for the conservation, restoration and valorization of cultural heritage. These methods are often the result of a balance between two contributions: the experience and the creativity.
YOCOCU wants to foster the role of youth in the field of research on conservation and restoration, in all the disciplines related to cultural heritage, from the most traditional to the most modern perspectives, all kind of materials and heritages. YOCOCU wishes to constitute a meeting point between young and senior professionals, being the formers the true protagonists of this event.
YOCOCU aims to:
a) promote conservation and valorization of cultural heritage
b) give a voice to young professionals, to provide them with tools and opportunities to show their participation in the development of the sector.
c) match senior conservators with junior professionals
In this opportunity, YOCOCU 2016, encourages professionals and researchers to show their work on some topics not always considered in depth such as contemporary art and industrial heritage, as well as education and heritage.
Rui participated in this conference with an oral presentation about “The preservation of Namibia’s' vernacular architecture towards a sustainable development of local communities.” and a poster about “Multi-hazard risk mitigation as a tool towards the sustainable development of local communities and the preservation of Namibian vernacular cultural heritage.” Both of them were prepared together with another of our experts, Elao Martin.
Written by Hannah Roehlen
Since 2011 Syrian heritage has endured continuing waves of destruction and systematical targeting, leading to a loss of heritage sites, cultural traditions and knowledge. Supported by the German Commission for UNESCO, 23 young international experts have now founded a network focusing on young people’s role in safeguarding cultural heritage in danger. Our board members Laura Roman (Croatia) and Hannah Roehlen (Germany) were invited to join the constitutional meeting in order to share their personal experiences on founding a Young Experts Network, as well as to give advice on the various challenges, but also the rewards of such an enterprise. “To safeguard heritage not only for today, but also for the future, it is essential to mobilize young people to get actively involved in heritage conservation and management, as well as to strengthen their network amongst each other” explains Hannah, board members of YHE. Laura adds “Facilitating and strengthening synergies between young people working in the field of heritage is the number one priority of our YHE network. Meeting our Syrian colleagues was an inspiring experience. We hope to hear more from their network in the future”. For more information on the vision and mission of the network, take a look at: http://www.unesco.de/kultur/2016/ein-netzwerk-junger-experten-fuer-die-bewahrung-des-syrischen-kulturerbes.html
Written by Hannah Roehlen
Almost a year into the network's existence, the strategic work on YHE continues to grow. Our Board Members Rui Maio, Laura Roman and Hannah Roehlen met in the World Heritage City “Town of Bamberg” to develop new ideas and projects for youth involvement in the context of the World Heritage Convention. Projects to be implemented in the upcoming year include a new Call for Articles centered on “Multilayered Heritage” and “Heritage in Conflict”, as well as a new social media awareness raising campaign called “Did You Know”, which will share interesting facts about World Heritage sites.
Written by Laura Roman
The 9th UNESCO Youth Forum welcomed youth participants from all around the world in October 2015. Young Global Citizens were brought together to engage in discussions and workshops during three productive days; in hopes that exchanging ideas among them will bring us closer to finding solutions for a Sustainable Planet. Our member, Laura Roman, attended the Youth Forum, representing the YHE Network.
During her speech, Sina Wohlgemuth generously took some time to present the Young Heritage Experts to the audience. We are very grateful to Sina for her support and hope to see more youth engaging with heritage as young global citizens and guardians of our common world heritage.