Capacity Building Workshop on the Management of UNESCO designated sites: World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves”, Turin, Milan (EXPO 2015) and the Piedmont region

In the period from 16 to 21 October 2015 project manager Svetlana Belova participated in the pilot edition of the International Academy on Sustainable Development - Capacity Building Workshop on the Management of UNESCO designated sites: World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves”. More than 40 managers of those sites from different parts of the world from South America to China took part.

The workshop was organized by the Centro Studi Silvia Santagata – Ebla (CSS-Ebla), in cooperation with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (UNESCO Venice Office), and with the invaluable support of the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and of the ILO International Training Centre and under the patronage of the City of Turin. The Academy was part of the activities promoted by the UNESCO Venice Office within the framework of EXPO 2015. These included the “Behind Food Sustainability” exhibition, which explored the role of cultural and natural diversity in fostering food sustainability in UNESCO designated sites. The exhibition, to which the project Golden Altai also contributed, served as a source of inspiration and backdrop in preparing the present workshop and as a starting point for the involvement of UNESCO designated sites from all over the world.

The main aim of the initiative is to provide an unique opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and territorial good practices on the sustainable management of cultural and natural sites at an international level, and to contribute to advancing the professional and institutional capacities of UNESCO designated sites’ managing authorities and operators, with a special focus on the relationship between territorial management, communities and opportunities for local development. The programme included training activities that were held in Turin (UN Campus) as well as visits and meetings with local stakeholders in the World Heritage sites: Vineyard landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato and the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy, and the Monviso Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. The launch of the workshop took place in the context of the World Forum on Local Economic Development, while the closing day included a seminar with a visit to EXPO 2015 in Milan.

Results of this activities

  •   Experience of the project "Golden Altai - the wealth for local development" was shared with 40+ managers of UNESCO designated areas and UNESCO office staff. The project presentation was well received and highly appreciated by international specialists. For its practical and innovative management approaches the area of Katon-Karagai biosphere reserve was admitted to an international community of "Best management practices of UNESCO designated areas" and received a certificate.
  •   the workshop achieved an important result - it has established mutually-benefiting cooperation    (integral international network) of managers of UNESCO designated areas. The cooperation is based on common interests in the theme of preservation of cultural and natural heritage and local development, and will be continued through social networks and further Academy edition;
  •  workshop contributed to increased capacity of the project manager to implement project activities and to influence local decision makers to engage in the development and promotion of special tourist products for guests of the planned World EXPO 2017 in Astana. As a result, the idea of special tour "Golden Altai" for EXPO guests was born and now is in the process of implementation.