organized in conjunction with the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee 


India, as Host Country of the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ICCROM and IUCN, under the World Heritage Leadership Programme, are pleased to announce that the 6th edition of the World Heritage Site Managers' Forum (WHSMF24) will be organized in conjunction with the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee, with the theme: 

"Heritage and communities: inclusive and effective approaches for the sustainable management of World Heritage properties." 

Call for applications: 6th World Heritage Site Managers' Forum

World Heritage site managers and members of World Heritage site management teams from across the globe are eligible to participate in this year's Forum, which aims to create opportunities for the empowerment of site managers in expanding their networks and exchanging knowledge and experiences at an international level. 

Host: India 

Organizers: Archaeological Survey of India, attached Office of Ministry of Culture, Government of India; Aga Khan Trust for Culture; UNESCO World Heritage Centre; and ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership Programme 

Venue: New Delhi, India 

Dates: 18 – 25 July 2024 

Language: English (interpretation will be provided in French during plenary sessions only) 

Partner: ICOMOS  

Theme and topics  

Heritage and communities are inherently intertwined. The World Heritage Convention encourages community participation in preserving cultural and natural heritage, urging State Parties to implement policies aimed at integrating the cultural and natural heritage into the community's life. As such, communities should actively engage in the decision-making, monitoring and evaluating World Heritage properties. Presently, there are 1 199 World Heritage sites across 168 countries, which hold significant potential to alleviate poverty and improve sustainable livelihoods, thereby enhancing local community well-being. The upcoming Forum will serve as a platform to engage with communities and draw insights from successful frameworks where they contribute to managing World Heritage properties. The theme,  "Heritage and communities: inclusive and effective approaches for the sustainable management of World Heritage property", emphasizes the importance of collaborative and sustainable management practices. 

  • Understanding the achievements, challenges and opportunities of the World Heritage Convention 

  • Leveraging the role of communities at all levels of protection and management of World Heritage 

  • Enhancing capacities to manage change through resilience thinking and impact assessment in the context of World Heritage 

  • Strengthening sustainable tourism and development through effective management and heritage-based entrepreneurship 

  • Integrating innovative technologies for the conservation of World Heritage 

  • Fostering peer learning and networking of site managers regionally and globally 

Objectives of the Forum  

The major objectives of the 2024 edition of the WHSMF24 are to: 

  • Promote international cooperation of World Heritage site managers and coordinate worldwide actions in favour of the protection and conservation of humankind's historical heritage through activities and interventions aimed at raising the awareness of States Parties to this heritage 

  • Reinforce and support the international network of site managers that defines, improves and promotes conservation principles, standards, research, responsible practice and innovation about the protection of worldwide heritage. 

  • Assist site managers through appropriate guidance to harness the potential of World Heritage properties and heritage in general. 

  • Contribute to sustainable development, notably through the active involvement of local communities at all levels of protection and management of World Heritage and increase the effectiveness and relevance of the World Heritage Convention. 

  • Strengthen the enabling environment by advocating policies, strategies, frameworks and tools that support sustainable development as an essential vehicle for protecting and managing cultural and natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value 

  • Directly expose the site managers to the issues discussed during the World Heritage Committee sessions on the state of conservation (SOC) reports 

Who can apply? 

  • World Heritage site managers, and persons working within the site management from all natural, cultural and mixed World Heritage properties, may apply. 

  • Only one (1) participant per World Heritage property. An exception will be made for transboundary or transnational properties, for which only one (1) person per State Party involved may be accepted. 

  • Priority will be given to applicants from World Heritage properties whose state of conservation reports are included for discussion at the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee.  

  • Site managers who have not yet had the opportunity to attend previous editions of the World Heritage Site Managers" Forum will be given preference. 

  • Selection will also be guided in view of balancing regional, age and gender distribution of participants as well as typologies of World Heritage properties represented. 

  • The working language of the Forum will be English. Interpretation will be provided in French during the plenary sessions of the Forum only. 

Conditions: travel, accommodation, living expenses and attendance 

  • The selected participants should commit themselves to attend the whole duration of the Forum.  

  • Selected participants will be responsible for their round-trip travel costs to and from New Delhi, India, as well as their accommodation and living expenses during the entire Forum. Information on specific hotels near the venue of the WHSMF24 or the location of the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee will be provided to the Forum participants for their individual reservations.  

  • Selected participants are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from their institutions and other sources, such as governmental institutions, employers and other funding agencies. 

  • The Host Country has secured limited funds to fully support the participation of some of the selected site managers, notably from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS)1 to attend the Forum. Please note that this grant is not automatically awarded. You will only be notified of your grant status only when the selection result is sent to you. 

Application process  

Please note, that the following information will be requested as part of the application process:  

  • Applications should be completed and submitted in English or French only. Applications in languages other than the above-mentioned will not be considered. 

  • Applicant should provide a description of responsibilities and duties performed by the applicant at the World Heritage property (max. 500 characters).  

  • A professional curriculum vitae in PDF format (max. 2 pages). 

  • An electronic version of your valid passport in JPG or PDF format. 

Site managers are invited to submit their application through the online application form of the 6th World Heritage Site Manager's Forum.

The deadline to apply is 25 April 2024 at 23:59 CEST. Participants will be informed directly of the selection process result from 15 May 2024

For more information, please contact the Forum organizers by email at wh-smf@unesco.org