ICCROM's Capacity Building Sessions for ICOM Bodies and Members 

On 18 May, we celebrated the International Museum Day, recognizing the pivotal role museums play not only in preserving our cultural and natural heritage but also in fostering sustainable development globally. In a recent collaborative effort, ICCROM's initiative, Our Collections Matter (OCM), teamed up with the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and Curating Tomorrow to support museums worldwide in strengthening their contribution to sustainable development.  

Between February and April 2024, a series of six capacity-building sessions were conducted engaging 122 representatives of ICOM Bodies (National and International Committees, Regional Alliances, and Affiliated Organizations) and 104 prospective candidates for ICOM's forthcoming award on sustainable development practice representing museums from around the world. Participants delved deep into understanding the UN 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the "5Ps" of sustainable development (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership), and how they concretely connect with museums and their work.   

Connecting the dots between the SDGs and collections-based work

Connecting the dots between the SDG targets and collections-based work

During the sessions, Henry McGhie of Curating Tomorrow, a long-term collaborator with ICCROM's Our Collections Matter initiative, introduced the UN 2030 Agenda, the SDGs, and the SDG targets. To strengthen museums' positive impacts and lessen their potential negative impacts on people and the planet, the below six key actions connecting their collections-based work and sustainable development were highlighted: 

  1. Protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage, both within museums and more general  
  2. Support and provide learning opportunities in support of the SDGs  
  3. Enable cultural participation for all  
  4. Support sustainable tourism 
  5. Enable research in support of the SDGs  
  6. Direct internal leadership, management and operations to support the SDGs  
  7. Direct external leadership, collaboration and partnerships towards the SDGs  

A brand-new award for the recognition of sustainable development-oriented practices in museums  

The ICOM Award for Sustainable Development Practice in Museums stands as a testament to the commitment of museums worldwide to adopt sustainable development-oriented practices. The call for applications is open! Interested museums may refer to the ICOM website for details, eligibility, and any other latest updates.  

ICCROM's OCM Toolkit and Self-assessment Tool: Empowering museums to realize their full potential in achieving the SDGs

OCM toolkit

José Luiz Pederzoli Jr, Strategic Planning Unit Manager at ICCROM, introduced the OCM Toolkit, which contains over 500 open-access resources. Users can search for tools through the 5Ps, SDGs, SDG targets, or specific sustainable development-oriented actions. Examples of previous OCM field projects were shared to inspire session attendees on how the toolkit's resources can be applied in real-life situations and programmes. Interested members of the museum community can rewatch the capacity-building session here.  

Check out the OCM Self-Assessment Tool designed for anyone working within museums, libraries, and archives to evaluate how their collections-based work already contributes to achieving the SDGs, and to discover untapped potential to enhance this contribution.  

These capacity-building sessions catalyzed museums worldwide to adopt sustainable development-oriented practices, aligning their work with the global goals of creating an equitable, prosperous, and environmentally sustainable future for all. As we commemorate International Museum Day, let us celebrate the richness of our cultural heritage and our museums' commitment to building a better world for generations to come.