OurWorldHeritage was launched on the 48th birthday of the World Heritage Convention, Monday the 16th of November, 2020 during a live global broadcast.

Many thanks to all who made this possible, including our distinguished moderator and speakers: international journalist Zeinab Badawi, former UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, and panelists Jad Tabet, Cyril Kosmos, Nelly Robles, Aruna Bagchee and Charlotte Karibuhoye.

You can rewatch the full event online on YouTube or Facebook (the discussion begins at ~5:22)

OurWorldHeritage is in the Press:

(For journalists, a press release is also available for download.)

The OurWorldHeritage
Launch Broadcast Features:


Zeinab Badawi was born in the Sudan – her family moved to London when she was two years old. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and for an MA in history (awarded with a distinction) at SOAS, London University. Zeinab has worked extensively in the British media for four decades and is now best known for her work in the BBC’s international division at BBC World News TV and BBC World Service Radio on programmes such as ‘Hard Talk’, and ‘Global Questions’ as well as a major 20-part tv series on the history of Africa which she produced and presented through her own production company for BBC World News. Zeinab is the current Chair of the Royal African Society (Patron: HRH the Duke of Cambridge), a member of the International Advisory Board of Afrobarometer and of MINDS – the Mandela Institute for National Development, a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces, BBC Media Action (the charitable arm of the BBC), the Royal Opera House, and Hampstead Theatre in London. She is also a member of the Rhodes Commission Zeinab has previously served on the board of the British Council, the National Portrait Gallery, the Institute of Historical Research, the Overseas Development Institute and she has been Chair of Article 19. Zeinab has received many awards including honorary doctorates from SOAS and the University of the Arts London, the President’s Medal of the British Academy for her services to broadcasting and education and the United Nations Association-UK Sir Brian Urquhart award for distinguished service to the UN. Zeinab has four children. 

with panelists:

Director General of UNESCO 2009-2017, Paris, France

Irina Bokova, born in Sofia (Bulgaria), has been two terms Director-General of UNESCO from 2009 to 2017. In this capacity, she was actively engaged in the efforts to promote culture as a driver for Sustainable Development on the UN Agenda 2030, which was adopted in 2015. She was particularly active in the defence of Cultural Heritage in the conflict areas of Mali, Syria and Iraq, and in denouncing extremists’ destruction of heritage as a tool of war, which lead to the adoption of several milestone resolutions on linking maintenance of peace, security and the protection of Cultural Heritage by the UN Security Council. In 2016, she was included on the list of most influential women by Forbes. In May 2020, she was elected as International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Currently she is, among other activities, a board member of the Ban Ki Moon Centre for Global Citizens, member of the Concordia Leadership Council in New York, lecturer on Cultural Diplomacy at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) SciencePo, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Geneva.

President of the Order of Architects and Engineers, Beirut, Lebanon

Jad Tabet (Lebanon) is President of Lebanese Order of Engineers and Architects, President of the Arab Union of Architects, member of UNESCO High Level Reflection Group for Strategic Transformation, and former member of UNESCO World Heritage Committee (2001–2005 and 2013–2017). As an architect and planner working between Beirut and Paris, his practice extends over several dimensions of design and research, spanning across the fields of the historic urban landscapes, design of public space, the rehabilitation and revitalization of traditional urban fabrics, strategies for sustainable community growth, as well as social housing and public facilities.

Founder and Director of Wild Heritage, Berkeley, USA

Cyril Kormos (USA) is the Founder and Executive Director of Wild Heritage (Berkeley, California). Cyril has worked on issues related to protected areas, in particular natural and mixed World Heritage sites for several decades. He was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (2015–2016), a Lui-Walton Innovator’s Fellow at Conservation International (2016–2018), and was named a National Geographic Explorer in 2018. He is also a member of the Executive Committee at Wild Europe. 
Cyril has edited considerable books, including A Handbook on International Wilderness Law and Policy (Fulcrum Publishing) and several books in the CEMEX Conservation Book Series, including Earth’s Legacy: Natural World Heritage, A Geography of Hope: Saving Primary Forests, and Nature’s Solutions to Climate Change. He has also published extensively in scientific and policy journals. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.Sc. in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School. 

National Institute of Anthropology and History, Oaxaca, Mexico

Nelly Robles (Mexico) is an archaeologist from Oaxaca, Mexico, who earned her PhD from the University of Georgia, USA. She is the author of several books on Oaxaca Archaeology, Conservation of Archaeological Heritage, and History of Archaeology. Her principal achievement is her leadership on Archaeological Resources Management in Mexico. She is the author of the management plans for World Heritage sites such as Monte Albán, Teotihuacan, Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Valley of Oaxaca, and the Tehuacan-Cuicatlán Valley: Originary Habitat of Mesoamerica. She was the President of the Archaeology Council of Mexico, and a National Coordinator for Archaeology at the National Institute of Anthropology and History, where she continues working.

Administrator and Public Policy Advisor, Pune, India

Aruna Bagchee (India), has worked as administrator and public policy advisor for different levels of government. She has a special interest in the conservation of World Heritage, reinforced by several years of experience working with governmental and international agencies in the area of policy formulation and institution building. She was the Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Tribal Development for the Government of the State of Maharashtra (1989–1997), the Joint Secretary in the Minister of Mines, Government of India (1997–2002), and a Senior Government Adviser in the UK Government Department for International Development (2002–2010), based in Delhi and Jakarta. She is a member of INTACH (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and has chaired the Commission for the Revision of the Indian World Heritage Tentative List. She holds a master degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Director, West Africa programme-MAVA Foundation, Dakar, Senegal

Charlotte Karibuhouie (Burundi) is responsible for implementing the MAVA Foundation’s strategy in West Africa, monitoring projects and relations with Foundation partners in the region, and managing the Dakar office. Prior to joining MAVA, Charlotte worked for ten years with FIBA as the coordinator of the AMP program. She oversaw the establishment of the first regional MPA network in Africa, the Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa (RAMPAO). Charlotte is also involved in various groups of conservation experts at international level, including the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) where she is Deputy Regional President and Marine Coordinator for West and Central Africa. She holds a master’s and doctoral degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Goettingen, Germany.