World Heritage Day: Empowering Youth for Sustainable Heritage Preservation


In commemoration of World Heritage Day, UNESCO, NFUAJ, Indonesia's leading universities partnered to engage young people in a dialogue dedicated to heritage preservation.

World Heritage Day - 1 - Students working on puzzle

UNESCO   13 May 2024

Indonesia, known for its six cultural and four natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has long celebrated World Heritage Day. This year, UNESCO Jakarta is proud to host a one-day event on April 18, 2024, in Yogyakarta, supported by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ). The event took place at Atma Jaya University and was attended by the host university as well as local students and faculty from Gadjah Mada University (UGM), and Tidar University. 

The celebration highlighted the efforts in managing World Heritage sites, emphasizing conservation and community engagement. Site managers from Borobudur, Prambanan, Sangiran, and Yogyakarta shared their experiences and insights into sustainable heritage site management amidst ongoing development, underscoring the vital role of local communities. 

Featuring an exhibition and a series of youth workshops, the event provided a vibrant platform for the younger generation to connect with heritage preservation. Creative local and entrepreneurial ventures were on display alongside product demonstrations. All designed to peak a proactive interest in heritage conservation among youths. 

Since December 2023, UNESCO Jakarta has been actively engaging with university students, local youth, and communities around Borobudur Temple Compounds through webinars and site visits. These initiatives have covered a range of topics, including the World Heritage Convention, management of Borobudur Temple Compounds, improving local livelihoods, safeguarding the environment from tourism impacts, and leveraging digital technology to transform World Heritage Sites into hubs for sustainable development.

Reflecting on this enriching event,

“The younger generation plays a crucial role in preserving cultural heritage as they are the guardians of our future. Through creativity, innovation, and active involvement, they do more than protect cultural heritage; they enhance its value and resilience for future generations.” 


The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology

“attending this event expanded my knowledge on how conservation and preservation approaches are conducted by sites manager such as Sangiran and Borobudur. It inspired me to actively contribute to the preservation of heritage sites, especially in empowering the local communities. This ensure that world heritage protection is not solely carried out by the government but a collaborative effort that benefits all community members.”

Dian Nabila Susatyo

Archaeology Student from UGM

UNESCO World Heritage sites, as locations of exceptional universal value, should also set the standard for sustainable development by implementing tangible measures for environmental protection, social inclusion, and community well-being

Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa

Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Jakarta

The NFUAJ's World Heritage activities aim at raising the awareness of protecting our tangible cultural as well as natural heritage and at promoting local activities in community. To protect World Heritage in order to pass on to the Future, it is important to share the importance of heritage with the next generation. So, we decided to support this project

Yuji Suzuki

Director General of National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan

The event aims to inspire future generations to treasure Indonesia's rich cultural and natural heritage, fostering a lasting commitment to its preservation.