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40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee


Istanbul, Turkey hosted the 40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee July 10-20, 2016. Hashtag: #40whc

The World Heritage Committee examined proposals to inscribe 29 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its 40th session, which will be chaired by Ambassador Lale Ülker, General Director for Overseas Promotion and Cultural Affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The sessions were held at the Istanbul Congress Centre.

The Committee examined the nomination of nine natural, 16 cultural and four mixed sites — properties that are outstanding both for their natural and cultural characteristics. It will also examine the state of conservation of 108 sites already on the World Heritage List and of 48 sites on the World Heritage in Danger List.

#40whc meetings were webcast via livestreaming. Keep an eye on the Provisional Timetable and Provisional Agenda. You can watch previous video recordings.

The following nominations will be examined:

Natural sites:

  • Mistaken Point (Canada)
  • Hubei Shennongjia (China)
  • Techno-volcanic Ensemble of the Chaîne des Puys and Limagne Fault (France)
  • Lut Desert (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Western Tien Shan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan)
  • Archipiélago de Revillagigedo (Mexico)
  • Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay—Mukkawar Island National Park (Sudan)
  • Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (Thailand)
  • Mountain Ecosystems of Koytendag (Turkmenistan)

Mixed sites (natural and cultural):

  • Pimachiowin Aki (Canada)
  • Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape (Chad)
  • Khangchendzonga National Park (India)
  • The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Lanscape of the Mesopotamian Cities (Iraq)


  • Antigua Naval Dockyard and Related Archaeological Sites (Antigua and Barbuda)
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan,Switzerland)
  • Stećci—Medieval Tombstones (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia)
  • Pampulha Modern Ensemble (Brazil)
  • Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (China)
  • Roman Urbanism of the Zadar Peninsula with the Monumental Complex of the Forum (Croatia)
  • Archaeological Site of Philippi (Greece)
  • Excavated Remains of Nalanda Mahavihara (India)
  • Persian Qanat (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  • Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia)
  • Archaeological Site and Historic Centre of Panamá City [Significant boundary modification of the Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá] (Panama)
  • Antequera Dolmens Site (Spain)
  • Phu Phrabat Historical Park (Thailand)
  • Archaeological site of Ani (Turkey)
  • Gibraltar Neanderthal Caves and Environments (United Kingdom)
  • Key Works of Modern Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright (United States of America)

Sites proposed for Danger listing:

  • Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
  • Talamanca Range—La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park (Costa Rica/Panama)
  • Lower Valley of the Omo (Ethiopia)
  • Old Towns of Djenné (Mali)
  • Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)
  • Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Uzbekistan)
  • Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (Thailand)

Key Links

Twitter: @info_whc

Online Coverage: 40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee

  • How do we watch the 40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee?
  • How can we access the recorded live videos from the 40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee?
  • What will be the legacy of the 40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee?
  • Behind the scenes, how is the 40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee different than the 39th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee?


Buzzword Bingo: World Heritage

#40whc Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 10.04.08 AM

What’s next at the World Heritage Committee. Livestreaming online #40whc

Key Links

Online Coverage: 40th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee





Embedded Tweets

Istanbul Declaration on the Protection of World Heritage
http://40whc2016.istanbul/assets/pdfDocs/istanbul-declaration-12-07-2016.pdf (PDF)
Today on July 11th, World Heritage Committee Member States adopted the Istanbul Declaration on the Protection of World Heritage during the 40th Session of the UNESCO Committee, being organised in Istanbul under the chairmanship of Turkey. The Declaration, prepared with the iniative of the Chair of the Committee, Turkey, was unanimously adopted by the Committee Member States. By the so-called Istanbul Declaration, referring to the importance of cultural and natural heritage, States Parties are invited to take measures and act together against the destruction of common heritage of humankind, in cooperation with UNESCO and in correspondence with relevant UNESCO cultural conventions. The Istanbul Declaration is as follows: We, members of the World Heritage Committee, gathered in Istanbul today on 11 July 2016 on the occasion of its 40th session, declare the following: Fully aware of the paramount importance of cultural and natural heritage for people’s values, identities and memory, as well as for sustainable social and economic development; Fully determined to harness cultural heritage as a force for dialogue and mutual understanding, to foster a sense of common history and the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity, as the lasting foundation for peace, in the spirit of UNESCO Constitution; Bearing in mind the task entrusted to UNESCO by its Constitution, to ensure conservation and protection of the world’s inheritance of books, works of art and monuments of history and science; Mindful of UNESCO’s acquis on the protection of cultural and natural heritage; Recalling the relevant United Nations Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions, especially UNSC 2199 (2015) and 2253 (2015); Welcoming the references to culture in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that recognize and reinforce the important role of culture and cultural diversity in peaceful and inclusive societies and sustainable development; Reaffirming the commitment made by the 2015 Bonn Declaration on World Heritage in order to strengthen the international protection of cultural and natural heritage; Welcoming the 2016 Ngorongoro Declaration on Safeguarding African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development; Expressing serious concern about the destruction of and particularly the growing number of deliberate attacks against cultural heritage worldwide; Emphasizing that cultural diversity is essential and contributes to the richness of the common cultural heritage of humankind, and therefore must be respected, celebrated and protected; Deeply distressed by the increase of illegal excavations, as well as looting and illicit trafficking of artefacts which poses serious threat to World Heritage; Recognizing also the negative impact of factors such as climate change, environmental hazards and increasing social and economic pressure on heritage properties; Reiterating our commitment to the Global Coalition for #Unite4Heritage campaign launched by the Director-General; Fully cognizant that the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is the most effective international instrument for the protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage that are increasingly threatened with destruction not only by the traditional causes of decay; Also recognizing the increasing constraints impeding the proper implementation of the Convention, such as the lack of financial and human resources which threatens the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund; *** Invite all States Parties to consider innovative and effective solutions in a determined way to better address the evolving needs in heritage preservation; Strongly encourage all States Parties to contribute financially both by budgetary and extra-budgetary means to secure without further delay full and sound implementation of the Convention; Remind all States Parties of their obligation to safeguard cultural and natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value at national and international levels and to take all appropriate legislative measures in that direction where necessary; Call upon States Parties to integrate the protection of cultural and natural heritage in their policy making processes and security strategies; Call for a relevant and significant international assistance mechanism providing a more coherent expertise and resources sharing approach, as intensified international cooperation lies in the heart of the Convention; Call on States Parties to exercise proactive policy supported by decisive initiatives towards protection and restoration of cultural and natural heritage sites, especially those included on the List of World Heritage in Danger; Invite States Parties to reflect on how to better increase synergies between UNESCO’s culture conventions; as well as continue on-going collaboration to enhance synergies between biodiversity conventions; Unanimously commit ourselves to promote and implement the objectives of this Declaration.a


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World Heritage

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


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