05.05.2011 - UNESCO Venice Office

Educating on World Heritage. A Youth Forum for South-East Europe

© Georges Jansoone JoJan -Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Porec

The First South-East Europe World Heritage Youth Forum is organized from 21 to 26 May 2011 in Slovenia and Croatia by the UNESCO National Commissions of Slovenia and Croatia and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC), in close collaboration with UNESCO's Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) and UNESCO Venice Office. The Venice Office will be supporting the event through its MDG-F joint programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Forum will be opened by Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, the Ministers of Culture of Croatia and Slovenia, Mr Jasen Mesić and Ms. Majda Širca, the President of the National Commission of Croatia, Mr Vladimir Markovic, and the President of the National Commission of Slovenia, dr. Radovan Stanislav Pejovnik.

The Forum will gather young people, educators and representatives of heritage sites from SEE countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey. The Forum will be held at the two sites inscribed in the World Heritage List (Poreč in Croatia and Škocjan Caves in Slovenia), thus allowing both skills-training/restoration activities, specifically targeting young people (age group 13–18), as well as more theoretical ones, including the presentation of the World Heritage in Young Hands Kit in order to examine the potential for its inclusion into the school curricula of the concerned countries. The possibility of translating this Kit into national languages of the participating countries will be addressed both ahead of the Forum and during the event itself.

The main objective of the Forum is to establish links between schools, students and teachers in the three participating countries based on cooperation on World Heritage preservation issues; to provide students with basic skills for preservation of World Heritage sites; and, to provide training to educators from the participating countries on the local and global significance of World Heritage and the rationale for its inclusion in the school curricula.

In the long term, the Forum will seek to raise awareness among young people on the issues of preservation and promotion of cultural and natural heritage, introduce a cross-cultural perspective to educators and students, to enable the educators to develop and implement strategies that allow students to act to protect cultural and natural sites in their countries as well as in the wider world, to introduce WH education into school curricula, to increase mutual understanding and trust in the region.

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