Some key resources and examples of presenting and sharing World Heritage with current and future generations are provided below. These include educational programmes and resources,how to use the World Heritage emblem new ways to share the Outstanding Universal Value of a property with a global audience.
Sharing World Heritage with current and future generations is an important part of managing a World Heritage property. This can include presenting and interpreting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property for visitors and the broader community and providing educational resources and programmes. It can also involve engaging with a broad range of visitors, community groups and interest groups to ensure the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is understood, appreciated and transmitted to future generations.
The World Heritage in Young Hands educational kit was developed in 1998 and has been translated into 37 languages. The kit is designed for secondary school teachers and is the main teaching tool for UNESCO’s World Heritage Education Programme. It aims to introduce young people to the importance of preserving their local, national and world heritage. The kit includes six chapters and a variety of resource materials which can be downloaded from the World Heritage Centre website.
The Operational Guidelines explain that once a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List, the State Party should place a plaque, whenever possible, to commemorate this inscription. These plaques are designed to inform the public of the country concerned and foreign visitors that the property visited has a particular value which has been recognised by the international community. In other words, the property is exceptional, of interest not only to one nation, but also to the whole world.
The World Heritage emblem was designed by Mr Michel Olyff and symbolises the interdependence of cultural and natural properties: the central square is a form created by man and the circle represents nature, the two being intimately linked. The emblem is round, like the world, but at the same time it is a symbol of protection.
The emblem symbolises the World Heritage Convention, signifies the adherence of States Parties to the Convention, and serves to identify properties inscribed in the World Heritage List. It is associated with public knowledge about the Convention and is the imprimatur of the Convention's credibility and prestige. Above all, it is a representation of the universal values for which the Convention stands.
Use of the World Heritage emblem, or logo, is strictly regulated and determined by the World Heritage Committee, with guidelines for its use defined in Chapter 8 of the Operational Guidelines.
The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy is responsible for authorising use of the World Heritage emblem or logo in Australia.
Australia’s World Heritage properties are jewels in the crown of Australia’s tourism industry and provide a range of world class facilities, events and programs highlighting their Outstanding Universal Value or OUV and explaining what visitors can expect.
Increasingly, World Heritage properties are offering digital gateways and a social media presence for a global audience and prospective visitors to increase awareness of the OUV of the property:
The website for the Shark Bay World Heritage Area provides a wealth of information and virtual tours.
The Wet Tropics Management Authority is building capacity in presentation and sharing World Heritage by providing training and certification for tour guides to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
The Parks Australia website for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park includes a Visual Journey which collates images and videos from this World Heritage property taken by staff and by visitors. More is available via Pinterest where visitors can share their photos.
A digital user guide is also available for Lord Howe Island. The guide contains information on the World Heritage values, how the Island is managed and how to minimise impacts on the World Heritage property when visiting.
Many World Heritage properties in Australia have community outreach or education programmes that engage and inspire children and young people. Bush Trackers is an education programme encouraging children to engage with the environment in and around the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This programme highlights the natural and cultural splendour of the greater Blue Mountains through education initiatives and bushwalks.
OUV interpretation at Mt Field, Tasmania
At the Mt Field visitor centre, a new welcome sign provides an improved sense of arrival to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
In front of the sign, an area large enough for groups has been paved with local sandstone. A path leads to the second interpretive area which features sandstone and dolerite paving in the shape of the World Heritage Area emblem, echoing the full emblem on the sign at its centre.
A brushed aluminium sign in the centre provides detail about the history of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, including that Mount Field was added to the TWWHA in 2013. Completing the circle are panels that detail the OUV of the TWWHA.
- Managing Tourism at World Heritage Sites: a Practical Manual for World Heritage Site Managers (2002) UNESCO World Heritage Papers 1
- Mobilizing Young People for World Heritage (2002) UNESCO World Heritage Papers 8
- Partnerships for World Heritage Cities – Culture as a Vector for Sustainable Urban Development (2004) UNESCO World Heritage Papers 9