“Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals: Policy Guidance for Heritage and Development Actors” — the new policy document produced by the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group (Priority Action 1 Task Team) — was released worldwide on Wednesday, 17 March 2021, during the fifth ICOMOS SDGs Working Group Webinar, Policy + Partnerships: Coming Together to Mobilize Heritage for Sustainable Development (SDG 1-17).
Building on doctrinal texts created by ICOMOS global membership, the Policy Guidance document draws upon scientific expertise of the ICOMOS SDGs Working Group and ICOMOS Scientific Committees from all five global regions and all areas of expertise, to illustrate the many ways in which heritage can address the SDGs and demonstrates the potential of harnessing heritage in achieving sustainable development. Grounded in the United Nations’ Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s five Ps (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships), and in the interrelated nature of the SDGs, the document is intended for heritage and development actors alike.
The aim of this Policy Guidance document is twofold: 1) engage development actors and raise awareness of the potential contribution of heritage practices to sustainable development processes; 2) guide ICOMOS members and heritage professionals at large, in adopting a sustainable development perspective in their heritage practices and aligning them to the SDGs. Therefore, it represents a first attempt at providing a policy framework for all actors, including international organizations, national and local governments, businesses, civil society, and expert organizations.
The Policy Guidance document was developed by the ICOMOS SDGs Working Group with five lead contributing authors. During the process, inputs and peer reviews were provided by more than 70 ICOMOS experts, coming from 20 National Committees and 13 International Scientific Committees , both in-person (Knowledge Café and experts’ meeting), and online (survey, a Working Group meeting, and two rounds of consultations on drafts of the document).
With its constantly evolving doctrines and methodologies, ICOMOS is a learning organization that seeks to mobilize its adaptive capacity for the SDGs to respond to the current needs of the professional and broader society, and this document has the potential to shape both high-level policy and grassroots implementation, while building synergies and strengthening advocacy.