We, participants of the NGO Forum on World Heritage held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 22-24 June 2012,
Recalling that “… each State Party to this Convention shall endeavour (a) to adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community…” (Art. 5 WH Con);
Emphasizing the important role non-governmental actors have in achieving the aims of this policy and in the safeguarding of World Heritage Properties,
Noting the “New Directives Concerning UNESCO’s Partnership with Non-Governmental Organizations” (187 EX/37, 2011);
Expressing our resolve to unite in order to complement UNESCO’s efforts for the effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention and the safeguarding of World Heritage Properties,
Declare our intention to establish an association called “World Heritage Watch”.
World Heritage Watch shall be a global network of non-governmental actors who reside in or in the vicinity of, are concerned about, or focus their work on the protection of World Heritage Properties.
World Heritage Watch shall have the following tasks:
1) to network, exchange information and experiences between its members in order to contribute to improved participation in the management and enhance the protection of World Heritage Properties;
2) to assist in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention;
3) to alert the world public to the State of Conservation of World Heritage Properties;
4) to work with the World Heritage Committee and its Advisory Bodies in order to alert them about important developments, especially potential conflicts and threats to the Properties as early, detailed and comprehensive as possible; and
5) to organize an annual meeting preceding the session of the World Heritage Committee.
We invite other non-governmental actors who are committed to the protection of World Heritage to join our initiative.
St. Petersburg, 24 June 2012