The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is an important international treaty that has for almost 50 years played a major role in expanding heritage legislation worldwide and identifying and promoting the protection of a growing list of the World’s most unique sites – both cultural and natural. Sadly, today however, this instrument risks to collapse under its own success. OURWORLDHERITAGE seeks to counter this destructive trend and renew the original spirit and mission of the World Heritage Convention, by engaging citizens, civil society groups and professional and academic organizations. 
With the call that “Together, we can shape the future of World Heritage!”, and acknowledging that “to be sustainable, development processes should fully reflect the contribution of heritage conservation”, the OurWorldHeritage Sustainability Team invited stakeholders to submit case studies illustrating the challenges and solutions for integrating heritage and sustainable development, to explore the key concepts of sustainability in World Heritage: People, Planet, Prosperity, and Peace. 
As a result of the Call for Case Studies, 124 case studies were submitted, from 50 countries of the 6 world regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Arab States, Europe, Latin America and North America. In this first round, 52 sites from both the already declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and that on the National Tentative Lists are participating. The selected Case Studies further participated in a Self-Assessment process based on 4 criteria: Environmental Sustainability, Inclusive Social Development, Inclusive Economic Development and Governance.

As OurWorldHeritage Sustainability Team, we are pleased to invite you to participate in this Plenary Session that concludes a set of three sessions, aimed at presenting the results of the Case Studies project developed by the OWH Sustainability Team.
This session will present the global conclusions resulting from this process of self-assessment of the sustainable management of heritage in more than 50 sites, already declared a World Heritage Site or on the Tentative List. Members of civil society, NGOs, independent researchers, academic institutions and site managers have participated in this evaluation, accompanied by regional Guest Experts and members of the Sustainability Team.
The main challenges will be discussed, as well as good practices and lessons learned, with the intention of recognizing patterns and deepening the diagnosis of the sustainable management of our World Heritage and, fundamentally, debating and constructing policy recommendations for the future.
We will also be joined as special guests by experts from ICOMOS, IUCN and ICCROM, who will enrich the reflection with their experience as Advisory Bodies.

Ege Yildirim, Lucia Pesci and Jana Das  Chaudhuri (Members of the OWH Sustainability Debate)

Ege Yildirim, Independent Heritage Planner (Coordinator of the OWH Sustainability Debate)

Jana Das  Chaudhuri, Heritage Management Specialist; Founder, Institute of Heritage Research (Member of the OWH Sustainability Debate Team)


  • Lucia Pesci, Vice-President, FLACAM (Foro Latinoamericano de Ciencias Ambientales) (Co-Convener of OWH OWH Sustainability Debate)
  • Alessio Re, Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture, Genoa, Italy
  • Liyuan Qian, Southwest Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China
  • Lucy Mandillah, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega Wibuye, Kenya 
  • Susan Ross, Architect and Associate Professor, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (OWH Sustainability Team)
  • Juliana Strogan, Conservator and Heritage Manager, Rjukan-Notodden, Norway (OWH Sustainability Team)
  • Ambassador Hellen Gichuhi, Permanent Delegation of Kenya to UNESCO (joining in personal capacity)
  • Gabriel Caballero, Focal Point for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, International Council on Monuments and Site (ICOMOS)
  • Nabegh Ghazal, Syrian Society for the Consevation of Wildlife/ BirdLife International (member of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN))
  • Rohit Jigyasu, Project Manager: Urban heritage, climate change and disaster risk management, ICCROM, Rome
  • Ruben Pesci, President, FLACAM (Foro Latinoamericano de Ciencias Ambientales) (Co-Convener of OWH OWH Sustainability Debate)

Moderator intro: Ege Yildirim
Synthesis outcomes of all regions: Lucia Pesci, Case Studies Coordinator
– Case study 1: Alessio Re, Genoa Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli (Europe, NGO/academic, cultural site) 
– Case study 2: Liyuan Qian, Huascaran National Park (Latin America, academic, natural site)
– Case study 3: Lucy Mandillah, Kakamega Tropical Forest, Kenya (Africa, academic, mixed site)
– Representative Guest expert: Susan Ross, OWH Sustainability Team
– Representative Guest expert: Juliana Strogan, OWH Sustainability Team
– Diplomatic perspective representative: Ambassador Hellen Gichuhi
– ICOMOS Expert: Gabriel Caballero
– IUCN Network Expert: Nabegh Ghazal
– ICCROM Expert: Rohit Jigyasu
– Q&A with moderator and rapporteur
– OWH Team Concluding Remarks: Ruben Pesci