To promote capacity building within World Heritage Convention framework, the World Heritage Committee looks to ICCROM for cultural heritage, and to IUCN for natural heritage.

In 1994, the Committee and the Advisory Bodies began developing separate training strategies for cultural and natural heritage. Following expert meetings, needs assessments and reflection, the Committee approved the first Global Training Strategy for Cultural Heritage in 2000 at its 24th session in Cairns, Australia.  At that time, the Committee asked ICCROM and IUCN to develop a joint strategy for both cultural and natural heritage. The Committee approved this joint Global Training Strategy for World Cultural and Natural Heritage one year later at its 25th session in Helsinki, Finland.

This strategy focused on training professionals to better implement the World Heritage Convention, to better manage World Heritage properties, and to strengthen technical, scientific, and traditional skills for the conservation of cultural and natural heritage. The strategy also called for development of regional training strategies based on the results of the Periodic Reporting process in each region. 

Results of this strategy included:

  • The World Heritage Resource Manuals series
  • Regular training on preparing nominations, periodic reporting, and preparation of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value and other Convention processes
  • Technical and management training on cultural heritage themes at ICCROM, and on natural heritage themes at IUCN
  • Implementation of the AFRICA 2009 programme, a partnership between ICCROM, World Heritage Centre, CRATerre-ENSAG, CHDA, and EPA; Pacific 2009; and a number of thematic programmes related to World Heritage implemented by the World Heritage Centre.

A ten-year review of the strategy’s implementation determined that the training context had changed considerably since its launch in 2001. Many more actors are now involved in training for World Heritage, including universities and UNESCO Category 2 Centres.  New strategic issues have arisen, such as promoting sustainable development at World Heritage properties, promoting disaster risk reduction and mitigating the impacts of climate change. And with the popularization of the Internet, new methods of delivering information are available, facilitating wider and more consistent dissemination.