Celebrate #WorldHeritageUSA on World Heritage Day

For immediate release:    April 17, 2017
Contacts: Donald Leadbetter (NPS), 202-354-6472, Donald_leadbetter@nps.gov
Jenny Spreitzer (US/ICOMOS), 202-463-1291, jspreitzer@usicomos.org
Celebrate #WorldHeritageUSA on World Heritage Day
Special initiative will promote U.S. contributions to World Heritage
WASHINGTON DC (April 17, 2017) – In celebration of World Heritage Day, the United States National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) announce a new initiative to bring attention to sites in the United States that are on the World Heritage List or may be nominated in the future.
Every year, the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and its National Committees celebrate the “International Day for Monuments and Sites” — also known as World Heritage Day — on April 18. The aim of World Heritage Day is to encourage communities around the world to celebrate their cultural heritage and to value its diversity, vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it.
“Building on the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016 and the fiftieth anniversary of US/ICOMOS the year before, World Heritage Day 2017 is the perfect time to remind Americans and people worldwide of the tradition of U.S. leadership in stewarding the world’s cultural heritage, especially the global heritage sites we protect and enjoy right here in the United States,” said Mike Reynolds, Acting Director of the National Park Service. “World Heritage sites in the U.S. are a source of great pride – and they contribute to a high quality of life and economic well-being for their communities and our nation.”
“Listing on the World Heritage List conveys not only that a site has outstanding universal value,” said Douglas Comer, Chair, US/ICOMOS. “Listing brings additional focus to these places for stewardship, as well as for visitation by those who seek to experience the most amazing places on our planet.”
The 2017 World Heritage Day theme is “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism,” chosen to reflect the United Nations’ International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. US/ICOMOS will undertake the following activities with NPS and other partners in observance of World Heritage Day:

  • Microsite Launch: On April 18, US/ICOMOS will launch a new microsite, worldheritageusa.org highlighting the 23 sites in the United States on the World Heritage List, including 18 that are units of the national park system. The microsite will link to online resources with additional content on U.S. World Heritage sites and will highlight the advantages of listing, the role of the United States in the creation of the global list, and the best ways to plan visits to and connect with U.S. sites.
  • Coordinated Social Media: For the 24 days after the April 18th microsite launch, leading up to the Memorial Day start of the travel season, US/ICOMOS and NPS will spotlight one site per day on social media under #WorldHeritageUSA. On the 24th day, sites on the US Tentative List will be featured. Partner organizations, travelers, and the public are invited to join the conversation and share experiences they’ve had visiting and learning about World Heritage Sites.

About US/ICOMOS.  US/ICOMOS is a membership based non-profit organization that is part of the worldwide ICOMOS network of people, institutions, government agencies and private entities that support the conservation of the World’s heritage. Visit us at www.usicomos.org, on Facebook www.facebook.com/usicomos and Twitter www.twitter.com/usicomos.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. NPS’s Office of International Affairs manages the U.S. World Heritage program.  Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

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