The "2023 World Heritage Interpretation and Presentation International Forum: Inviting Wider Participants to World Heritage Protection"

29 Nov 2023

WHIPIC successfully hosted the “2023 World Heritage Interpretation and Presentation International Forum: Inviting Wider Participants to World Heritage Protection” (referred to as the International Forum) on November 15, alongside the two-day “2023 Youth Capacity Building Training for World Heritage Interpretation and Presentation” Programme from November 13 to 14.

This forum was themed “Inviting Wider Participants to World Heritage Protection,” and was attended by around 100 audience members who gathered and stayed until the end of the event.

The inaugural session, themed 'The Need for Wider Stakeholders in the World Heritage System,' featured Mr Joseph King (Senior Director, ICCROM) discussing strategies to enhance the involvement of diverse stakeholders and underscored the significance of heritage interpretation within the World Heritage system. He emphasized the role of conveying value through heritage interpretation. Following an overview of the international system, Professor Neel Kamal Chapagain (Ahmedabad University) introduced the concept of community and theoretical models for participatory heritage interpretation, emphasizing that for a more inclusive interpretation, recognition of communities and their active participation should be sequential. Ms Sojeong Kang (WHIPIC) concluded the first session by presenting definitions derived from research on the conceptual theory of heritage interpretation and presentation, laying the groundwork for authentic stakeholder participation.

During the second session, focusing on the detailed topic of “Efforts and Challenges of Inviting Participants at the Local, National and International Level,“ Dr. Erika Meneghin (Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture) discussed practical capacity-building procedures and measures necessary for community participation. She shared insights from the Rolli Lab project, focusing on Italy's World Heritage Site 'Genoa: the Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli,' and the 'Ivrea, Industrial City of the 20th Century, HEY Ivrea!‘ as an example of community-involved capacity building.

Mr. Munyaradzi Mashamaire (National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe) presented the case of a Zimbabwean archaeological site, providing a perspective on capacity building at the national level through African cases. He highlighted the tasks required for interpreting and presenting inclusive heritage from the viewpoint of actual stakeholders.

Ms. Haeree Shim (WHIPIC) showcased capacity building cases for heritage interpretation and presentation in which the WHIPIC participated. She shared future strategies for deepening capacity building, discussed the centre's direction, and outlined plans for future development.

A special session featuring future heritage experts included a presentation by the Team Heritage in Motion (National University of Singapore) on their interpretation strategy for the Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto. The Team Heritage in Motion, awarded as the best strategy for the '2023 Youth Capacity-Building Training : International Workshop for for World Heritage Interpretation Planning' held on November 14, was invited as youth presenters for the 2023 International Forum. They received high remarks for suggesting creative directions to enhance Sawahlunto's sustainable value for the younger generation and local communities. Their proposed interpretation strategies aimed to facilitate harmonious coexistence with the World Heritage Site for various stakeholders residing in Sawahlunto.

In the final session, "New Priorities, Breaking Barriers and Improving Capabilities,' Dr Joon Kim (Institute of Honam Studies, Chonnam National University) emphasized the interdependence between Getbal, Korean tidal flats and local communities. He stressed that to enhance its World Heritage value, it's crucial to recognize other heritage values as well, especially that is shared and understoond by the local community. 

Dr. Olwen Beazley (New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service), collaborating with Ms. Verna Papin, a representative member of the Mutthi Mutthi tribe in Australia's Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage, discussed promoting an inclusive interpretation of the site and ways to involve stakeholders directly.

Lastly, Dr Hyun Kyung Lee (Sogang University) presented the case of Gwanghwamun Square, examining various interpretations surrounding heritage and the conflicts around. It was emphasized that approaching conflict as a people-centered, positive process is essential for diversifying heritage interpretation and breaking down barriers between the public and experts.

During the 2023 International Forum, presenters engaged in discussion sessions after each presentation, interacting with the audience on topics such as the interpretation of World Heritage, developing stakeholder awareness, the role of the international community in capacity building, and future strategies for addressing thematic challenges in World Heritage. These sessions were dedicated to fostering genuine stakeholder participation.

※ The 2023 World Heritage Interpretation and Presentation International Forum recording will be available in December on the International Centre's YouTube channel.


International Centre for the Interpretation and Presentation of World Heritage Sites

2107, Hannuri-daero, Sejong-si, Republic of Korea

T. +82 44 251 1000    E.

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