ICOMOS Working Groups

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ICOMOS is reflecting on its doctrinal input and good practices on topical themes involving the conservation of cultural heritage. To this end, ICOMOS has set up working groups comprising various ICOMOS members and heritage professionals: architects, archaeologists, professors, researchers and scientists.

The outcomes of these groups can be the drafting of a charter as well as the implementation of practical activities (working sessions, workshops).


ICOMOS CC WG thumbClimate change Working Group

Working Groups work streams:

(1) Develop and coordinate ICOMOS inputs into the update of the 2007 World Heritage Committee “Policy Document on the Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Properties.” This will include soliciting and collecting inputs from various ICOMOS constituencies including National Committee and International Scientific Committees, synthesizing those inputs and offering them in a timely and helpful matter to the joint UNESCO-ICCROM-IUCN-ICOMOS Policy update process. Target completion date: July 2019.

(2) Develop a draft global climate change organizational engagement program for ICOMOS (the “Roadmap”). The ICOMOS Roadmap would suggest a framework for comprehensive engagement by ICOMOS members on climate change including suggested activities and areas of engagement and responsibility for various ICOMOS International Scientific Committees, National Committees, specialized bodies and the Secretariat. Target completion date: October 2019 (at ICOMOS AdCom meeting in Rabat, Morocco).

(3) Coordinating the drafting of a new ICOMOS Charter on Climate Change and Heritage. A charter is ICOMOS’s most formal type of international doctrinal document, addressing heritage and conservation as a discipline. The consideration and adoption of charters is governed by specific procedures set out in the ICOMOS Rules of Procedure. The pursuit of Charter as a capstone to the WG efforts is advisable both because the outcome will provide authoritative guidance on best practices for the managing of heritage in the face of climate change but also because the inclusive process is required for charter consideration is perhaps the most comprehensive way to engage ICOMOS members on a topic. The charter is expected to be a map to the Policy Document but will include all types of cultural heritage (not just World Heritage) and may extend to areas that the WHC chooses not to include in its Policy for political or other reasons. Target completion draft: October 2019 (final draft submission at ICOMOS annual general meeting; Rabat, Morocco); October 2020: adoption at the 20th ICOMOS General Assembly (Sydney, Australia).

Read the outline conceptual note

Read full working plan

Consult working membership roster

Photo: © Asian Development Bank / Flickr. Punakha Dzong is also called Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong, which means "the palace of great happiness". In 1994, floods nearly destroyed the Punakha Dzong, when the two rivers surrounding the fortress swelled to over flowing. Bhutan is often mentioned as one of the world's climate change "hot spots".

Sustainable Development Working Group

Focal Point: Ms Ege Yildrim
President of working group: Ms Sofia Avgerinou-Kolonias

The global community of policy-makers, governments and activists is witnessing a historic time of transition in the past two years, as the United Nations has renewed
its commitment to sustainable development with the conclusion of the Millennium Development Goals (of 2000-15) and the adoption of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable
Development, including 17 ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) (#GlobalGoals) in September 2015, and of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) in October 2016.

ICOMOS has also been closely engaged with the topic of sustainable development in recent years, having held major scientific events and issued policy documents to highlight the vital role of cultural heritage within the sustainable development process. Since the adoption of the UN Post-2015 agenda, ICOMOS’ mission has shifted to the  implementation of Agenda 2030/ SDGs and the NUA from the perspective of cultural and natural heritage, within the framework of the ICOMOS mandate and collaboration with strategic partners.  

Visit the Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development page for more information.


ICOMOS EPWG Delhi 2017Emerging Professionals Working Group

Contact : epwg.secretary[at]icomos.org

The ICOMOS International EPWG was established in 2017, in response to the 2016 ICOMOS Annual Report's call for expansion of the Emerging Professional membership base. Nine resolutions were passed at the 19th ICOMOS General Assembly, in Delhi, India, that constituted the roles and scope of activity undertaken by the EPWG (Resolution 19GA 2017/33 – Emerging Professionals Initiative). International and regional teleconferences are organized by the EPWG, to track the progress of ongoing initiatives, share updates, and further engage emerging heritage practitioners, in the role of an ICOMOS Working Group. 

The current Emerging Professional representative on the ICOMOS International Board is Clara Rellensmann (ICOMOS Germany), elected at the General Assembly, in Delhi 2017.


Activities of the 2018 International Day of Monuments and Sites

The 2018 theme of the ICOMOS International Day for Monuments and Sites (“IDMS”) is Heritage for Generations, led by the ICOMOS Emerging Professionals Working Group. The International Day of Monuments and Sites 2018 was an opportunity to recall the importance of intergenerational exchanges in safeguarding and promoting heritage. Activities were aimed at fostering fruitful inter-generational dialogue. These included conferences, training sessions, roundtables, poster campaigns, evenings with younger and older members professionals and non-professionals, and interactive tours of heritage sites. The central strategy of the IDMS focused mainly on the dissemination of information on events on social networks. Here is the events list of IDMS 2018: https://www.icomos.org/en/focus/18-april-international-day-for-monuments-and-sites/events2013

Submitted images of the various IDMS events were uploaded to the ICOMOS Photobank. These images will be used for future programmes of ICOMOS, particularly on the topic of “Presentation and Transmission of Heritage”. All photo contributions were named “2018 IDMS #heritage4generations”, which can be found here: https://www.icomos.org/en/mediatheque

téléchargement Interim Report of the EPWG, shared at the Europe Meeting in Helsinki, 7-10 June 2018.
téléchargement Summary Report of the IDMS 2018.

Image : © ICOMOS - photograph from the General Assembly 2017

Azem retoucheSyria / Iraq Working Group

The position of ICOMOS is that of an NGO, international, professional in its fields of competence and neutral in its commitments. In this context, a Working Group was active, first informally since the beginning of 2012 for Syria, then from 2014 for Iraq, and finally in a more formal way after the unanimous vote of the resolution on the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq at the General Assembly in Florence in November 2014. (Resolution 18GA 2014/21 – Resolution for the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq). This resolution states:

  • "fearing that early large-scale demolition and reconstruction work would threaten the authenticity and integrity of the heritage if adequate guidance for restoration, rehabilitation, planning and planning were not anticipated",
  • "recognizing" in particular "the role of its Syrian and regional members",
  • "requests the Executive Committee to continue to respond to the cultural tragedy in Syria and Iraq by entrusting the ICOMOS Working Group on the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq, in cooperation with UNESCO and other international and national partners, and with the support of ICORP, to coordinate ICOMOS activities (…) as long as the current conflict and its aftermath will last "

The role of the working group in the Arab region was reaffirmed in a resolution of the advisory council of Delhi in 2017. The working Group participated in ICOMOS annual Symposiums as well as in a dozen events organized by International Sscientific Committees or National Committees.
Gustavo Araoz, when president of ICOMOS, gave a first structure to the Working Group in May 2015, as he appointed its chair (Chair) Samir Abdulac (France / Syria, CIVVIH, CIAV and later ICORP) and its Vice Chair Bijan Rouhani (UK / Iran, ICORP), as a core of 5 international experts. Following the last elections a second core of 5 members of the board of directors was added. 

Objectives of the working group:

• Monitoring and evaluating the situation
• Participating in Reflections and Exchanges
• Developing information and awareness
• Training Local Professionals
• Providing Advice and Assistance
• Participating in Global Programs
• Undertaking Projects in Partnership
• Participating in Doctrinal Refinement

Photo : © Samir Abdulac, Azem Palace, Damas, 2006  

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