Europa Nostra contributes to World Architects’ Congress in Seoul

On the occasion of the World Architects Congress 2017, organised by the International Union of Architects (UIA) from 3-10 September in Seoul, South Korea, Europa Nostra’s Council member Claus-Peter Echter presented the activities of Europa Nostra and contributed to the seminar ‘Understanding Architectural Heritage and the Role of UIA Architects in the World Heritage Sites’, held on 5 September. Both UIA and Europa Nostra are members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, an informal platform that now numbers 44 European or international networks active in the wider field of cultural heritage.

Claus-Peter Echter outlined the key findings of the ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ project, coordinated by Europa Nostra, which clearly demonstrates the positive impact of cultural heritage on the economy, society, culture and the environment, thus making cultural heritage a catalyst for sustainable development in Europe. The Executive Summary of the project’s final report is now available in 10 European languages, thanks to support from partners of Europa Nostra.

The Council Member of Europa Nostra also presented the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, which contributes to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage. The projects awarded are outstanding examples of creativity, innovation, social participation and sustainable development in the heritage field from across Europe. He also outlined Europa Nostra’s flagship programme, the ‘7 Most Endangered’, which helps finding sustainable solutions for the heritage sites selected.

Claus-Peter Echter informed the audience of Europa Nostra’s recent efforts to promote a more structured dialogue with civil society on World Heritage matters illustrated by the discussion ‘For a structured dialogue with civil society on World Heritage matters’, that took place on 5 July as a side event of the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland. Organised by Europa Nostra together with the host country represented by the National Heritage Board of Poland, the event sought to generate a dialogue – which may become a regular initiative – between representatives of civil society organisations and the World Heritage Committee. Exchanging knowledge, experience and passion of communities and citizens who are committed to the safeguarding and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage will benefit a better implementation of the World Heritage Convention. The discussion particularly focussed on how to better structure this dialogue through international and regional non-governmental organisations which federate and represent the concerns of civil society.

This event was attended by more than 50 representatives of the State Parties and representatives of the civil society, including several members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 (the Organisation of World Heritage Cities, ICOM and ICOMOS).

Europa Nostra stands ready to pursue this “Krakow initiative” by coordinating an informal working group composed of representative heritage NGOs and with due participation of the World Heritage Committee, World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to discuss and make some recommendations for a more structured dialogue with Civil Society on World Heritage matters.

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