5 July 2019 - Two natural sites, one in China another in Iran, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

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During its morning session, the World Heritage Committee, meeting in Baku until 10 July, inscribed two natural sites in China and in the Islamic Republic of Iran on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List:

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) (China)—The site features an intertidal mudflat system considered to be the largest in the world. These mudflats, as well as marshes and shoals, are exceptionally productive and serve as growth areas for many species of fish and crustaceans. The intertidal areas of the Yellow Sea/Gulf of Bohai are of global importance for the gathering of many migratory bird species that use the East Asian-Australasian flyway. Large gatherings of birds, including some of the world's most endangered species, depend on the coastline as a stopover to moult, rest, winter or nest.

Hyrcanian Forests (Islamic Republic of Iran) – Hyrcanian forests form a unique forested massif that stretches 850 km along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The history of these broad-leaved forests dates back 25 to 50 million years, when they covered most of this Northern Temperate region. These ancient forest areas retreated during the Quaternary glaciations and then expanded again as the climate became milder. Their floristic biodiversity is remarkable: 44% of the vascular plants known in Iran are found in the Hyrcanian region, which only covers 7% of the country. To date, 180 species of birds typical of broad-leaved temperate forests and 58 mammal species have been recorded, including the iconic Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana).


More about the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee


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خرداد 98- دفتر منطقه ای یونسکو در تهران و اتحادیه اروپا طرح جامعی را در رابطه با مرمت کاروانسرای ینگی امام در جمهوری اسلامی ایران آغاز کردند.

یونسکو و اتحادیه اروپا پروژه­ای با عنوان "محور میراث جاده ابریشم در افغانستان، آسیای مرکزی و ایران- ابعاد بین­المللی سال اروپایی میراث فرهنگی" را در اکتبر سال 2018 راه اندازی کردند. هدف اصلی این پروژه تقویت سهم فرهنگ در پیشبرد پیشرفت مداوم، به ویژه از طریق توسعه گردشگری با تکیه بر میراث فرهنگی،  متنوع‌سازی محصولات گردشگری و به دنبال آن ارائه تجربه بازدید با کیفیت با محوریت میراث فرهنگی جاده ابریشم در کشورهای شرکت کننده است.

 در راستای چارچوب این پروژه، تعدادی از پایگاه‌های میراث فرهنگی واقع در جاده ابریشم در افغانستان، آسیای مرکزی و ایران به جهت حفاظت، مرمت، بازسازی و ترویج آن‌ها به منظور نشان دادن اهمیت این پایگاه­ها در هویت فرهنگی منطقه و در راستای ترویج و گسترش گفتمان بین­فرهنگی و انسجام اجتماعی انتخاب خواهند شدند. به لحاظ تاریخی، جاده ابریشم  شبکه­ای از راه‌های به‌هم‌پیوسته‌ تجاری بوده، که چین و خاور دور را با خاور میانه و اروپا پیوند داده است.

این جاده در طی هزاران سال تمدن­ها را به هم پیوند داده و مردم و فرهنگ­ها را از سراسر جهان گردهم آورده است. جاده ابریشم نه تنها فرصت را برای تبادل کالاها فراهم آورده است، بلکه بستری را برای تبادل ایده­ها و فرهنگ­هایی که جهان امروز را شکل داده، ایجاد کرده است.

دفتر منطقه­ای یونسکو در تهران به حمایت و پشتیبانی از سازمان میراث فرهنگی، گردشگری و صنایع دستی جمهوری اسلامی  ایران جهت مرمت کاروانسرای واقع در جاده ابریشم ادامه می‌دهد. "کاروانسرای ینگی امام" یکی از آثار تاریخی بازمانده از دوران صفوی  (قرن 17 – 18  میلادی) است. این کاروانسرا یکی از شاخص­های اصلی معماری ایرانی است که در طول جاده ابریشم ساخته شده است و فضایی منحصر به فرد را برای تبادل کالا و سنت در بین جهان­گردان با فرهنگ‌های متنوع فراهم آورده است.  

این کاروانسرا در مجاورت قله باستانی واقع در روستای ینگی امام در استان البرز قرار گرفته است و پس از اتمام فرایند مرمت  به عنوان کانون فرهنگی مورد استفاده قرار خواهد گرفت.

در طول چند ماه اخیر، دفتر منطقه ای یونسکو در تهران و سازمان میراث فرهنگی، گردشگری و صنایع دستی ایران طرح مستندسازی از این کاروانسرا را با بکارگیری روش لیزراسکن سه بعدی و تکنیک­های عکس هوایی در ادامه پروژه مرمت این بنا آغاز کرده است.

در حال حاضر، مباحثی حول تأثیرگذارترین و بهترین شکل مداخله برای پیشبرد این پروژه با مقامات مسئول در دولت جمهوری اسلامی ایران صورت گرفته است و انتظار میرود که این همکاری در پاییز پیش رو ادامه یابد.

این پروژه به طور مشترک بین دفتر منطقه ای یونسکو در تهران و سازمان میراث فرهنگی، گردشگری و صنایع دستی در جمهوری اسلامی ایران با حمایت مالی اتحادیه اروپا در حال اجرا است.


10 June 2019 - UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and the European Union launch a comprehensive documentation of the Yengi Emam Caravansary in view of upcoming restoration works.

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UNESCO and the European Union launched the project “Silk Roads Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran – International Dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage” in October 2018. The overall project objective is to strengthen the contribution of culture to sustainable progress, notably through heritage-based tourism development, diversification of tourism products and delivery of high-quality visitor experiences along the Silk Roads heritage corridors in the participating countries.

Within the framework of this project, several Silk Roads heritage sites in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran will be selected for conservation/restoration, rehabilitation and promotion to reveal their importance for the cultural identity of the region and for promoting inter-cultural dialogue and social cohesion. Historically, the Silk Road was a network of trade routes connecting China and the Far East with the Middle East and Europe. For thousands of years, the Silk Roads have connected civilizations and brought peoples and cultures in contact with each other from across the world, permitting not only an exchange of goods but also an interaction of ideas and cultures that has shaped our world today.


In the I.R. of Iran, UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office is extending support to the Iranian Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) for the restoration of the Silk Road Caravansary, the “Yengi Emam Caravansary”, which dates back to the reign of the Safavid Shah  Abbas the Great (16th -17th Century). The “Caravansary” is the one of the most important forms of Persian architecture that emerged across the Silk Roads and provided a unique venue for exchanges of goods and traditions among travelers coming from the most diverse cultures.   

Located in Alborz Province, in the ancient hills of the old Yengi Emam village, the Caravansary will be used as a Cultural Center after the restoration works are completed, in a first initiative of its kind in Iran. Over the past months, UNESCO and ICHHTO have been conducting advanced documentation of the Caravansary, using 3D laser scanning and aerial photogrammetry techniques, in view of the upcoming restoration works. Currently, the most appropriate interventions are being discussed with the national authorities of Iran and works are expected to take place in autumn 2019.

This project is jointly implemented by UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) with financial support of the European Union.


9 June 2019 - Archives are active sites where one can browse, research, dig, learn from and enjoy: Commemoration of International Archives Day

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On 9 June 2019, UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office participated in the opening ceremony of the “First Congress on Archival Studies” and the “2nd Conference on Iranian Archives” organized by the National Library and Archives Organization of Iran. This was the last event of the week-long ceremonies of the International Archives week under the theme of “Designing the Archives in the 21st Century”.

Dr Ashraf Boroujerdi, Head of the National Library and Archives of Iran, formally opened the event by welcoming the archivists and thanked them for providing the public with the information they are looking for. In her remarks, Dr Boroujerdi underscored the long history of record keeping in Iran and among different dynasties, and talked about the national law ratified in 1970 for the creation of the Archives Organization in Iran. She continued by saying that after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and at the very beginning,  not much attention was paid to the preservation of the documents and archives, some were taken out of the country, some were destroyed. But slowly after the end of Iran-Iraq war, the importance of their preservation was acknowledged. She stated that: “There was a war in our country for eight years, many documents and records were produced which could be used in order to prevent waging wars in the future.

Mr Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer in Charge of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Tehran was the next speaker who commenced his speech by stating the background of the proclamation of International Archives Day and importance of archives. He continued by highlighting UNESCO’s endeavors to raise awareness on the necessity of safeguarding and preserving archives. He mentioned some of the risks threatening archives and accentuated some examples of the incidents where archives were destroyed and vanished forever. Mr Cvetkovski said: “We must do everything we can to protect and preserve the archives. Archives are not passive storehouses of old stuff, but they are active sites where one can browse, research, dig, learn from and enjoy. They offer something for everyone.  Let us join forces to keep the nation’s memory alive and make the past within everyone’s reach”.

The last speaker of this event was Mr Ali Zarafshan, Deputy for the Archives who referred to the speech by UNESCO’s Officer in Charge on the importance of Archives, and the celebration of both a national and international day in Iran to raise awareness among general public. He stated the central role of individuals in the field of archives and the need to provide access to archives for everyone. He pointed out to a joint project with the Ministry of Education under the title of “Archive Lovers” which aimed at sensitizing school students and increasing cooperation among them in this field.

The event followed by panel discussions and presentation of 16 papers.


22 May 2019 - The second round celebration of the International Museum Day and Cultural Heritage Week in Niavaran Complex

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UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office participated in the second celebration of the “International Museum Day”, organized by the General Office for Museums under the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization) which took place on 22 May 2019 at Niavaran Complex.

A number of Iranian officials including the Director of National Committee of ICOM Dr. Seyyed Ahmad Mohit-Tabatabaie, the Deputy of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization Dr. Mohammad Hassan Talebian, the Head of General Office for Museum Mr. Mohamd Reza Kargar participated in the celebration. The ceremony started with a speech delivered by Mr. Kargar describing activities that have been done by the General Office for Museums to improve museum management during the past years. He emphasized the number of new museums that have opened since the Islamic Revolution and highlighted the active role of Iranian community in preserving and promoting local culture through establishing private museums across Iran. He mentioned that the challenges coming from the recent economic crisis in Iran are successfully mitigated thank to the overwhelming support of the community.

Mr  Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office also delivered a speech on the occasion of  celebration of the International Museum Day 2019. In his statement he accentuated the important role of the museums in the transmission of knowledge, learning and understanding of cultural identities. This year’s theme of the celebration of the International Museum Day, “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition”, highlights the role of museums as important agents of sustainable development, as they provide quality educational and cultural contents for local and international communities.

 One of the important approaches of UNESCO to museum related activities is the close involvement of communities.  Museums using the community-based approach are able to mobilize members  of  communities  they  represent  to  contribute  to the  process  of  collecting, preserving and exhibiting artefacts  to  the public, with a view to building and reinforcing their specific sense of history and identity. Museums  endeavor  to  preserve  the  cultural  or religious objects, indigenous knowledge and traditional skills of the communities they serve, along with the environments in which  such  objects  were  used,  thus enabling  community members to take the role of primary guardians of communities’ history and collective memory. Iran represents one of the most successful examples in case studies on the application of the community-based approach in the area of not only preservation, but also in the area of creating and opening new museums. Iran is also an example of high degree of diversification of the types of museums and the variety of entities and stakeholders involved in museum management.

Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski stated  the role of UNESCO in the UN response to the recent floods in Iran and the related action plan elaborated jointly by the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization as a response to the damages to cultural sites after the flood – museums being important pillar of interventions in their preservation and access.

As a side event to this celebration, an exhibition of handicrafts from Baluchistan took place. 


12 May 2019 - UNESCO International Water Conference

Leveraging the trans-sectoral management of water resources for sustainable water security and peace

Looking from space, satellite imagery shows the abundant masses of water that characterize the Earth. Yet, less than 1% account for usable fresh water.

Almost all human activities depend on water, be it food production, energy generation, industry or even recreation. Water management and governance affect the health of humans and ecosystems, and reflect the conditions of gender equality, education and cultural diversity of a region. Water resources are critical to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Once more, UNESCO brings together its actors and partners to share innovative solutions to contemporary challenges. Thanks to its experience and expertise in the fields of Education, Sciences (both natural, and social and human sciences), Culture and Communication, UNESCO contributes through holistic, sustainable approaches to resolve issues impacting the governance and management of water.

Objectives of the conference

  • Bringing everyone around the table to discuss trans-sectoral approaches to the governance and management of water resources.
  • Launching a Call for Action to foster, embrace, and adopt trans-sectoral water management.
  • Sharing good practices enabling participation, transparency and information-sharing.
  • Evidencing of the importance of interdisciplinarity and the integration of sciences to support Member States in reaching the goals of the water-related international agendas.


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