ICOMOS Working Groups - Sustainable Development Goals Working Group

Article Index

Sustainable Development Goals Working Group

Focal Point: Mr Gabriel Caballero

            ICOMOS Board Liaison: Mr Peter Phillips


Established as an interdisciplinary task force by the ICOMOS Scientific Council during the 18th General Assembly in 2014, the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (SDGWG) coordinates the response and implementation by ICOMOS of the UN 2030 Agenda. The Working Group seeks to conserve, safeguard, steward and engage with all types of heritage while providing cultural, social and economic development to communities, limiting environmental impact of heritage, promoting peace among people and advocating for strategic partnerships in this Decade of Action.

The SDGWG acts as a platform for recognition and mainstreaming the effective contribution of cultural heritage as a driver and enabler of sustainable development in the process of implementing the United Nations Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It does this through a coordinated process of advocacy for localizing and monitoring of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, from the perspective of cultural heritage, based on Target 11.4, to “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage to make our cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. It also aims to embed the contribution of ICOMOS in protecting and safeguarding the world’s cultural heritage as an enabler of achieving all 17 SDGs. 

Current Focus and Task Teams

Policy Guidance on Heritage and the SDGs  The Task Team gathers local initiatives and further develops a robust and versatile resource for various relevant stakeholders on the practical role of cultural heritage in sustainable development. The Task Team draws from international documents including ICOMOS doctrine, and other relevant sources, case studies and initiatives to inform evidence-based policy and discussion through clear guidelines.

Engagement with the UN High Level Political Forum and the Culture2030Goal Campaign – The Task Team participates at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), where the global review of progress on the SDGs takes place. It responds to various similar UN processes and requests as needed and engages with the NGO Major Group and other partner institutions, such as the Culture2030Goal Campaign to integrate culture in the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030.

National Liaisons and Localizing Heritage and the SDGs  The Task Team engages with ICOMOS National Committees, International Scientific Committees and Working Groups to contribute to activities, develop ideas, facilitate discourse with governments, and engage and partner with local stakeholders to embed heritage in achieving the SDGs.

World Heritage and Sustainable Development Policy - The Task Team engages with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Advisory Bodies, and other NGOs to support State Parties develop implementation strategies for the 2015 World Heritage and Sustainable Development Policy.

Partnerships and the New Urban Agenda – The Task Team develops and strengthens partnerships and collaborations with researchers, practitioners, civil society and other relevant actors like UN-Habitat and UCLG. It provides guidance and emphasizes the role of heritage as a useful and practical driver of making all kinds of human settlements such as cities, towns, and urban areas inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable through relevant activities. It also supports the application of the HUL Approach.

Heritage Evaluation Criteria and Indicators –The Task Team identifies tools to assess how heritage and its values serve as a driver and enabler of sustainability. This is supported by academic research and applied practice, qualitative and quantitative data from different contexts, scales and phases.

Funding, Human Resource and Internships – The Task Team engages with partners to provide financial, technological and human resources to support the engagement of the Working Group on transversal issues of heritage and the SDGs. It also facilitates the Working Group’s Internship Programme to provide Emerging Professionals with opportunities to work with experts to develop SDG–related research. 

Heritage and Gender Equality  The Task Team highlights gender intersection in heritage narratives and engages with relevant actors to establish and enable gender-sensitive, gender-responsive and gender-transformative policies and practices in the heritage field.

Communications  The Task Team creates initiatives to improve internal and external engagement to support communicating with a multicultural, multilingual, international network. It works with the ICOMOS Secretariat to provide relevant content to ICOMOS members and the wider public on heritage and the SDGs.


Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals Policy guidance

In progress of translation
Spanish - Arabic - Portuguese - Turkish - Farsi 

téléchargement Terms of Reference

téléchargement Updated Member List (2021)

Picto doigtSelected Resources on Heritage and Sustainable Development

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