Parks Canada

Parks Canada
Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Canadian Commission for UNESCO
32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee

32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee

June 25, 2008 15:00 ET

Thirty Young People From 16 Different Countries to Participate at the Youth Forum for the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 25, 2008) - The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU), in collaboration with Parks Canada (PC), has announced the participation of 15 young Canadians and 15 young people from around the world in the Youth Forum for the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee, which will be held this summer in the city of Quebec.

"This unique intercultural experience will enable these youths to discover the diversity of the world's natural and cultural heritage," said David A. Walden, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. "These young people are future decision-makers and our main goal is to integrate them into World Heritage Committee activities. After all, long-term conservation of these exceptional sites depends largely on their desire to protect them."

The youth component, which is taking place from June 21 to July 10, 2008, aims to offer youths aged 18 to 25 who have demonstrated interest and strong commitment regarding heritage management issues the chance to get involved and influence their peers.

"It is great to see the interest by youth from Canada and around the world to protect and preserve our natural and cultural heritage," said Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird. "Our Government has made protection of our natural and cultural treasures a top priority. By involving the next generation of young people who are committed to working to preserve that heritage, we are building a real legacy for future generations."

Young participants will take part in various training workshops in Ottawa, visit some of Canada's World Heritage Sites (Rideau Canal, Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Gros Morne National Park and the Historic District of Old Quebec) and produce a video to be presented at the opening ceremony of the 32nd Session. Participants will also be active members at the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee and will share their experiences with their peers through the National Film Board (NFB)'s CitizenShift site.

The youth component of the32nd Session is a joint project between Parks Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. On behalf of the Government of Canada, Parks Canada is responsible for applying the World Heritage Convention to countries and organizing the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee. The Commission supports UNESCO's activities in Canada and works closely with Parks Canada.

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO operates under the aegis of the Canada Council for the Arts. It serves as a forum for governments and civil society, and seeks to mobilize the participation of Canadian organizations and individuals in UNESCO's mandated areas, including education, natural and social sciences, culture, communication and information.

The Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted in1972 by the UNESCO General Conference and currently, 177 countries have ratified it, including Canada (in 1976). The Convention developed the World Heritage List to acknowledge that certain natural or cultural sites are of sufficient importance for the international community as a whole to assume responsibility for them. The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than 800 properties considered to have outstanding universal value; 14 of which are located in Canada.

To discuss with participants and learn more about the youth component of the 32nd Session, visit: http://citizen.nfb.ca/six-billion-people-one-common-heritage

For more information on the youth component of the 32nd Session, visit the official event site at: www.canada2008.ca

Contact Information

  • Canadian Commission for UNESCO
    Cynthia Lacasse
    Program Officer, Youth
    613-566-4414, extension 4550
    or
    Canadian Commission for UNESCO
    Alysouk Lynhiavu
    Public Affairs Officer
    613-566-4414, extension 4532