Report of the Istanbul Meeting on SDGs and Draft Action Plan: Cultural Heritage and Localizing the SDGs

SDGs Istanbul Meeting 201702 Group Photo

The outcome report of the ICOMOS Coordination Meeting on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), held in Istanbul on 4-5 February 2017, has been finalized. The report features the summary of the meeting proceedings, the draft ICOMOS Action Plan ‘Cultural Heritage and Localizing the SDGs’ and appendices including background information and resources.

ICOMOS committees and members are requested to provide comments to the draft Action Plan by 30 April 2017 to Ege Yildirim, ICOMOS Focal Point for the SDGs, at ege.yildirim[at]

The Istanbul Meeting Proceedings

The international coordination meeting on the SDGs convened in Istanbul in February 2017 by the Focal Point for SDGs, with the support of ICOMOS Turkey and ICOMOS International Secretariat, endeavoured to gather key representatives of ICOMOS International Scientific Committees and National Committees, as well as representatives of key partners of ICOMOS, to exchange ideas and mobilize ICOMOS activities toward advancing the cause of ‘heritage as a driver of sustainability’. This event is a formative part of ICOMOS’ efforts for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Target SDG11.4 to “protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage” under the heading of “sustainable cities” (SDG11).

The meeting was attended by a total of 61 participants (38 local and 23 international) and facilitated active discussions by ICOMOS members and participants from partner organizations. Building on the foundation of an informed and interested core group of ICOMOS members, the next focus was on bringing together the diversity of ideas coherently into ICOMOS’ SDGs framework. Toward this end, and based on the discussions during the meeting and comments from invited ICOMOS delegates, an ‘Action Plan’ was drafted to undertake work under the priority action headings. After being put through a consultation process within the wider ICOMOS membership, the Action Plan is expected to guide concerted ICOMOS efforts in the 2017-18 cycle, when the first review of SDG 11 will be done by the UN General Assembly (July 2018), and beyond, within the perspective of 2030.

The Draft Action Plan

The ICOMOS Action Plan for ‘Cultural Heritage and Localizing the SDGs’ is drafted as a guiding roadmap for ICOMOS members, as well as other culture and heritage advocates, to follow toward achieving implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda at the national and particularly the sub-national (regional and urban) levels. Mandated by the ICOMOS Board to be prepared by the ICOMOS Focal Point for the SDGs in collaboration with the ICOMOS Sustainable Development Task Force, the Action Plan sets forth our vision, mission and main principles, as well as a ‘toolkit’ or ‘menu’ of actions that can be taken by committees and individuals under the three Action Areas of General Advocacy and Organizing, Localizing the Means of Implementation and Monitoring Implementation.

All ICOMOS committees and members are requested to provide comments to ege.yildirim[at] by 30 April 2017 to the draft Action Plan (click here to download), which will be finalized in May, and promoted in the UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) Culture Summit taking place on 10-13 May 2017 in Jeju, Republic of Korea.

The ICOMOS Board, SDG Focal Point and SD Task Force strongly encourage all colleagues to embrace this roadmap and take as many actions as possible within their capacity, to achieve widespread mobilization of cultural heritage advocacy in sustainable development policy, planning and practice.

ICOMOS members are also encouraged to use the Target 11.4 logo in their publicity material related to sustainable development, downloadable here.


Twitter: ICOMOS_Agenda2030 (@icomosSDG2030),,
#SDG11.4, #CulturalHeritage

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