Supporting Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in World Heritage Site Management through Rights Based Approaches

World Heritage sites are established under the World Heritage Convention; they are key places for the conservation of cultural and natural values of the world. IUCN is the official Advisory Body to the World Heritage Committee on natural and mixed World Heritage sites, and as such evaluates new site nominations and monitors the state of conservation of inscribed sites. As many of these sites overlap with traditional lands, the involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities in the establishment and management of World Heritage sites is paramount. Issues such as land rights, free, prior and informed consent, access to resources and benefit sharing mechanisms are of crucial importance. Indigenous peoples and local communities therefore represent key actors in the protection of these outstanding places. Ensuring the respect of the human rights of the local populations gives them long-term security and promotes lasting stewardship of their common heritage. IUCN has engaged with the other Advisory Bodies to the Convention, ICOMOS and ICCROM, and with UNESCO, to mainstream rights-based approaches in operative World Heritage management. 2012 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Convention and the them selected is "World Heritage and Sustainable Development: The Role of Local Communities in the Management of World Heritage". This is an important opportunity to advance such an agenda. This Knowledge Cafe will convene participants from the indicated organizations and from indigenous and local communities, as well as the human rights community, to explore options and strengthen partnerships committed to this agenda.

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