• "Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented."

  • "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

  • "What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

  • "I can find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment."

  • "We won't have a society if we destroy the environment."

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UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger


The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC)

The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC)

The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) was founded on September 8, 1993 in Fez, Morocco. The Organization is composed of 238 cities in which are located sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These 238 World Heritage Cities have a combined population of over 130 million. Within the Organization, these cities are represented by their Mayors with the active participation of their heritage management specialists.

The OWHC's headquarters are located in Québec City, which hosted the First International Symposium of World Heritage Cities in July 1991.

The primary objectives of the Organization are to favor the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, to encourage co-operation and the exchange of information and expertise on matters of conservation and management as well as to develop a sense of solidarity among its member cities. To this end, the OWHC organizes World Congresses, conferences, seminars and workshops dealing with the challenges to be met in the realm of management and strategies pertaining to the preservation and development of historic cities.

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XIth World Congress of the OWHC - Sintra 2011: World Heritage Cities and Climate Change

XIth World Congress of the OWHC - Sintra 2011: World Heritage Cities and Climate Change

The World Congress of the OWHC is a unique forum - held every two years, it brings together politicians and professionals who are committed to the preservation of historic cities, particularly those inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Since the first meeting in 1991, this event has enabled participants to discuss topics of common interest, to share experiences, and to learn about new strategies for meeting the challenges associated with the conservation and management of World Heritage Cities. 

The theme of the XIth World Congress is World Heritage Cities and Climate Change.

World Heritage Cities are vibrant living environments with cultural heritage of outstanding universal value. In the face of climate change, however, World Heritage Cities are among the most vulnerable places on Earth to experience rapidly occurring changes.The site-specific nature of climate change impacts make World Heritage Cities ideal laboratories for monitoring changes and testing adaptation and mitigation measures to enhance their socio-economic well-being while ensuring the conservation of their heritage. 

SintraCity governments are at the heart of the action. Having conserved their rich heritage over time, World Heritage Cities hold the keys to understanding long-term evolution of a place from the past and on to the future.As guardians of the world’s heritage, World Heritage Cities face an additional challenge - any action taken at these iconic places can attract considerable attention and influence the adoption of good management practices elsewhere. This XIthWorld Congress aims to create a platform for dialogue and exchange of state-of-the-art knowledge on the issue of World Heritage Cities and Climate Change and its transfer into policy and action.

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