17.12.2012 - UNESCO Venice Office

UNESCO announces international conference on Venice and its Lagoon: The Future of a World Heritage Site

©Ipaat /San Giorgio Maggiore island in Venice from St Mark's Campanile

The City of Venice and the UNESCO Venice Office held a press conference on 7 December, to announce the organisation of a joint international conference within the framework of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, and the 25th anniversary of the inscription of “Venice and its Lagoon” on the World Heritage List.

The conference, titled "Venice and its Lagoon: The Future of a World Heritage Site", will take place on 21-22 February 2013, in Venice, at the Sala delle Colonne of Ca’ Giustinian, in the presence of high governmental officials, Giorgio Orsoni, Mayor of Venice, and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

Since the historic high water of 1966 and the UNESCO report of 1969, 40 years of efforts have been devoted to the protection of this World Heritage site. The Conference will especially aim to take stock of the achievements and lessons learned since the inscription of Venice and its Lagoon on the World Heritage List, while at the same time allowing for a broader discussion on the future challenges for the management of the site, as well as for its sustainable development.

The two-day event will include 3 working sessions.

Subsequent to the official greetings of the local and national authorities, the first session will discuss the regulatory frameworks and operational tools for the management of “Venice and its lagoon”; and present its new Management Plan, recently defined by the relevant institutions under the coordination of the City of Venice.

The second session will provide space for an international comparison between the experiences in the definition and implementation of management plans for 4 historical cities and coastal areas included on the World Heritage List: Venice, Amsterdam, Dubrovnik and Istanbul. A fifth city, Bangkok, not included on the List, will further enrich the session.

The third session will be devoted to a series of thematic debates on some of the main issues relating to the future of “Venice and its Lagoon”, ranging from the creation of the new metropolitan area, the challenges posed by climate change, to the role of innovation, knowledge sharing and technology in the sustainable development of the site.

The signature of the Agreement among the bodies responsible for the management of the site "Venice and its Lagoon" (Management Plan) will conclude the conference.

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