Stories for the Next 50

November 8, 2022 - November 10, 2022

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), ICOMOS Canada, and Parks Canada are organizing a virtual symposium on November 8th, 9th, and 10th entitled Stories for the Next 50: World Heritage at the forefront of climate resilience, sustainability and decolonization.

The aim of Stories for the Next 50 is to bring together experts, partners and stakeholders in the World Heritage Community to reflect on the relevance of World Heritage to local, national and international communities and discuss the opportunities and challenges it will face in the future. The symposium will explore how World Heritage plays an important role in sustainable development by strengthening climate resilience, cultivating local economic development, and contributing to the process of decolonization.

Session Details

The Community Value of World Heritage

Tuesday, November 8th, 11AM EST – 12:30PM EST

This session will explore the impact that the World Heritage Convention has on economic development, tourism, sustainable development, and community value.

Perspectives on Governance in World Heritage Management

Tuesday, November 8th, 2:30PM EST – 4:00PM EST

This session will look at the evolution in how these sites have been managed over the years and into the future, touching on Indigenous leadership, greater ecosystem conservation, and tourism management.

World Heritage in a Changing Socio-Cultural Landscape

Wednesday, November 9th, 9:30AM EST – 11:00 AM EST

This session will explore the role of heritage in a changing socio-cultural landscape? Particularly, we will look at the diversity of cultural expressions and sites as cathartic places for communities.

World Heritage & Climate Resilience

Wednesday, November 9th, 2:00PM EST – 3:30 PM EST

The 2021 IUCN World Heritage Outlook found that the greatest threat facing natural World Heritage Sites globally is climate change. In the context of climate change, the management and preservation of World Heritage offers strategies to raise awareness of its impacts on natural and cultural diversity, build resilience, learn from local and traditional knowledge systems, and test innovative approaches to adaptation and mitigation measures. However, heritage professionals will also face difficult choices as heritage is lost and difficult decisions will need to be made about what to conserve.

World Heritage & Sustainable Tourism

Thursday, November 10th, 10:00AM EST – 11:30AM EST

The inscription of World Heritage is an economic driver for communities all over the world, but it also comes with negative impacts. From increased pollution, to unaffordable housing, there is a need to develop sustainable tourism strategies that put community wellbeing first. This session will look at the theory and practice of sustainable tourism and provide examples of best practices in Canada and around the world.

Decolonizing World Heritage

Thursday, November 10th, 1:00PM EST – 2:30PM EST

Cultural heritage is a powerful tool to foster dialogue and inclusion, particularly when exploring issues relating to decolonization. Decolonizing World Heritage should ensure that community narratives are present in order to balance systems of power. This session will explore new approaches to management and governance that lead to decolonization and equitable and inclusive outcomes for all.

The Role of World Heritage in Promoting Sustainable Development

Thursday, November 10th, 3:30PM EST – 5:00PM EST

Culture was, for the first time, recognized as an enabler of sustainable development in 2015 when Agenda 2030 was adopted by the UN General Assembly. To ensure policy coherence UNESCO adopted the Policy Document for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention. This webinar will explore the capacity of World Heritage Sites to reinforce the bridges between global and local that are important for advancing sustainable development.