On 2 and 3 March 2023, the Foundation Partners of the World Heritage Leadership (WHL) programme – ICCROM, IUCN and the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway – met in Rome to kick off Phase 2 and shape future work on World Heritage capacity building. 

WHL Steering Committee meets in Rome, 2023

Last week, ICCROM hosted the first in-person WHL programme Steering Group meeting since the beginning of the pandemic. Focal points from ICCROM, IUCN, the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway, the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage and the Norwegian Environment Agency gathered to discuss Phase 1 results and plan the programme’s second phase. 

WHL Steering Committee meets in Rome, 2023The Steering Group reviewed the WHL programme’s achievements and impacts of Phase 1 – with over 100 capacity-building activities delivered and around 5 000 site coordinators, national focal points and heritage practitioners engaged in the past six years.

“ICCROM is delighted to have another six years of cooperation under the framework of the WHL programme. We thank the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway for renewing this cooperation and support of the programme, and IUCN for this essential cooperation on nature-culture. With thousands of participants from 137 countries, WHL is today a flagship capacity-building programme of the World Heritage Convention.”

Dr Webber Ndoro, Director-General, ICCROM

In the coming months, the WHL programme has several World Heritage resources in the pipeline, including three manuals – the Managing World Heritage manual, the Enhancing Our Heritage Toolkit 2.0 and the manual on Disaster Risk Management and Building Resilience of World Heritage properties – and a new World Heritage capacity building online platform!

This year will also be full of capacity-building activities, including the implementation of four editions of the ‘Managing World Heritage: People Nature Culture’ (PNC) course in English, Spanish and French; two international workshops on Impact Assessment in a World Heritage context; and two workshops on disaster risk management and climate change. The Programme is working with Category 2 Centers for World Heritage to implement regional courses and organize Training of Trainers sessions to build and expand the roster of resource people who will contribute to building capacities in various languages on World Heritage management (PNC), impact assessment and disaster risk management. 

WHL contributes to the implementation of the new Joint Programme of Work on the Links between Biological and Cultural Diversity, which is co-led by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity Conservation, IUCN, UNESCO in cooperation with ICCROM, ICOMOS and other relevant partners, as recently adopted at the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in December 2022. 

The government of Norway has long supported ICCROM’s work, partnering to implement key activities, such as the International Course on Wood Conservation, the Africa 2009 Programme and the ongoing collaboration under WHL