Outcomes of ICOMOS 2019 Advisory Committee meetings for the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group
The 2019 ICOMOS Advisory Committee was very fruitful for the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGsWG), as there were several lively meetings where much discussion took place, ideas were collected and exchanged. The Working Group thanks ICOMOS Morocco for hosting these meetings.
On October 15, the Working Groups for Our Common Dignity: Rights-Based Approaches (RBA) and for the SDGs, coordinated through Bente Mathisen and Ege Yildirim, had a joint session. An in-depth presentation of the SDGsWG was made to the participants, which was valuable in terms of mainstreaming the Rights and Sustainability headings in heritage colleagues' agendas. Andrew Potts, coordinator of the Climate Change and Heritage WG, as well as SDGsWG members, also made remarks during this session on the convergence between Climate Change and the SDGs. The Working Groups had also made a joint effort in recent months, to establish a regular slot in the Advisory Committee agenda, from now onwards. It really paid off, and hopefully the tradition will continue. Some good questions were received during the session, such as how to monitor progress on the SDGs, and the cultural-natural heritage connection.
The Recommendations of the SDGs report were adopted by the Advisory Committee on 16 October. The Recommendation states, in its main paragraph: "The Advisory Committee thanks the SDGWG (...), and requests the WG and all ICOMOS bodies and members to continue to advance the ‘7 Priority Actions’ adopted in the previous year, taking as reference the ICOMOS Action Plan ‘Cultural Heritage and Localizing the SDGs’" and “recommends that ICOMOS expands its vision and scope of activities beyond SDG11.4 to include more of the full set of SDGs."
The Secretary General of ICOMOS, Peter Phillips, also announced in his report that ICOMOS increased its visibility in the United Nations meetings, as part of fulfilling Resolution 21 of ICOMOS 19th General Assembly, and one of the “Key achievements for 2018-19” of ICOMOS.
Panel on Sustainability and Rural landscapes during the 2019 ICOMOS Scientific Symposium
On October 17, the Scientific Symposium featured many valuable sessions with content relevant to the SDGs, including those on Rights and Climate. Many of the SDGsWG members presented work in the panels and knowledge cafes. The Symposium coordinators have done an amazing job of providing an online platform for their dissemination. Two of the sessions are worth mentioning in connection with the SDGs: Knowledge Cafe #1069, “Rural heritage and urban-rural linkages in the ICOMOS SDGs Policy Guidance”, and Panel #1044, “Sustainability and Rural Landscapes: CultureNature-based solutions” (with three papers, by Kristal Buckley, George Ortsin and Ege Yildirim). The Knowledge Cafe was important in terms of providing direct input into the Policy Guidance being developed within SDGWG Priority Action 1. The Panel featured discussion of the direct connections with relevant Goals, and case studies to localise.
Expert Meeting onf the SDGs Policy Guidance
On October 19, the SDGsWG held the Expert Meeting on the SDGs Policy Guidance, with the participation of around 20 colleagues. Breakout groups presented some very interesting perspectives to the issue of how to populate the policy statements and case studies to be featured in the Policy Guidance (PG). The PG task-team is preparing the full set of notes for use in the development of the document and next steps in the calendar, which the SDGsWG is hoping to share soon.
Thank you to Ege Yildirim, coordinator of the SDGsWG, for providing the content and the photos for this article.
More information about the 2019 ICOMOS meetings in Marrakesh