The fourth webinar of ICOMOS SDGWG will present various perspectives and initiatives of ICOMOS that focus on people, inclusive engagements, and peacebuilding. It will showcase the rights-based approach in heritage management, advocated by the "Our Common Dignity Initiative". This process promotes strong relationships with communities and right holders to be consulted and invited to actively participate in the whole heritage process (SDG10). An example in Latin America will be shown where toolkits are being developed for community engagement as part of the ethos and work of heritage practitioners (SDG4).
In recent months, ICOMOS members from various parts of the world have started to unravel the contemporary issues of social justice in public places (SDG10). Diversifying perspectives of heritage in polarized societies is needed to aid the conversation of civil rights and troubled histories. Expanding the preservation movement to a younger, more diverse audience (SDG8) and creating opportunities for various people to connect to the past is key in reducing future conflicts.
ICOMOS also plays a key role in training, empowering and supporting local heritage practitioners in places like Syria and Iraq. Challenges and triumphs of safeguarding heritage in war torn areas will be discussed to point out the key role of local communities in protecting cultural heritage in times of armed conflict (SDG16). Amidst very difficult times, intangible values related to heritage protection play a vital role in uniting Syrians in all regions despite the difference in political ideas to participate in protecting heritage.
Lastly, case studies that show how traditional towns and neighbourhoods can be conserved, remain livable and provide social cohesion to communities will bring the conversation back to heritage as a key driver and enabler of sustainability (SDG11).