10.07.2018 - UNESCO Office in Harare

Zimbabwe’s representative at the 2018 World Heritage Young Professionals Forum shines

Rodney Bunhiko (holding a file) presenting the Declaration to the World Heritage Committee on behalf of the young professionals

Rodney Bunhiko, a young professional in the heritage protection field, represented Zimbabwe at the 2018 World Heritage Young Professionals Forum held in Manama, Bahrain from 17-27 June 2018. Bunhiko led 29 other young professionals from across the globe in co-presenting the outcomes of the Forum to the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee on 26th June 2018.

Held under the theme, “Protecting Heritage in an Ever-Changing World”, the Forum provided a platform for the young professionals to learn “the everlasting conflict between preserving the past and moving on towards the future.” It also appraised the professionals with knowledge about the importance of World Heritage, especially transmitting its values and also highlighted the potential of World Heritage in contributing to sustainable development. They further looked at issues faced by World Heritage and how they can be managed.

“I am motivated and inspired to do more in World Heritage protection,” said Bunhiko.

“I wish to lead the young people in Zimbabwe in preserving our heritage which is of outstanding value. The Forum connected and equipped me with better knowledge and understanding of world heritage protection in this ever-changing world,” he added.

The 30 selected participants visited the World Heritage sites of the Pearling and Qal’at al-Bahrain, and they participated in experts’ presentations on historical changes which could affect heritage, climate change, sustainable development, the role of technology, and on the future of the Convention. The Forum also served as a platform for the participants to meet with local communities to gather their insights on culture and their view of heritage.

The young professionals had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities on traditional construction techniques as well as to extend their knowledge on the pearl trade traditions of Bahrain by playing ‘Pearlpoly’, a variation of Monopoly especially created for the Forum. Through a World Heritage Committee simulation, the young professionals also discovered and appreciated the work of the World Heritage Committee by discussing the state of conservation of a fictitious World Heritage property.

Key among the outcomes of the Forum was particular recognition that the involvement of the youth and local communities is vital for the sustainability of the 1972 Convention and successful long-term conservation of heritage.

A graduate of Great Zimbabwe University and part of the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa team, Bunhiko was the only participant from southern Africa.

Read more about the Forum’s outcomes here. 




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