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Category 2 Centres

under the auspices of UNESCO related to World Heritage


In recent years, the framework for training and research in the field of World Heritage has changed significantly. Among the factors that have contributed to these rapid changes, is the emerging of many new institutions now offering capacity building within the World Heritage context. In this regard, a major development was the establishment, in various regions of the world, of capacity building institutions that have been granted the status of "category 2 centres under the auspices of UNESCO", dealing specifically with World Heritage.

These organizations are not legally part of the Organization, but are associated with it through formal arrangements approved by the General Conference and are committed to engage in support of UNESCO's strategic programme objectives (in this case support for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention). They are funded directly by Member States where they are located, but their scope goes beyond the boundaries of their country. Some are regional in scope while others cover more than one region or are organized around a thematic issue. Many are involved in capacity building and research, while some are set up as foundations or funds to support activities carried out by other organizations.

Where are they?
What do they do?

The World Heritage related Category 2 Centres established so far.

International Centre for Rock Art and the World Heritage Convention


Fact Sheet
Report 2017
Report 2016
Report 2015
Report 2014
Report 2013 
International Research Centre on the Economics of Culture and World Heritage Studies


Agreement 2015 
Fact Sheet 
Report 2017
Report 2016
Report 2015
Report 2014
Report 2013
Centre on World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region


 Agreement 2015  
 Fact Sheet  
Report 2017
Report 2016
Report 2015

Regional Centre for Human Evolution, Adaptations and Dispersals in South East Asia (CHEADSEA)



International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage


This Category 2 Centre is affiliated with the Sector of Natural Sciences of UNESCO but also relates to World Heritage. The centre is known as the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage and is hosted by the Centre of Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE) in China. 

More information can be found on the UNESCO Natural Sciences webpage and below.

 Fact Sheet
Report 2017
Report 2016
Report 2015
Report 2014

Nordic World Heritage Foundation 


The designation of the Nordic World Heritage Foundation as a Category 2 Center was not renewed by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 195th session in 2014, in agreement with the Kingdom of Norway

Report on Category 2 Institutes and Centres - Decision 195 EX/12

Fact Sheet
Report 2014
Report 2013
 2013 Evaluation

International Centre for the Interpretation and Presentation of World Heritage Sites

the Republic of Korea

On 26 December 2018, the Government of the Republic of Korea proposed to the Director General the establishment of the International Centre for the Interpretation and Presentation of World Heritage Sites as a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO.

Draft Agreement
Executive Board (207 EX/15.IX)
Feasibility Study

How do they coordinate with the World Heritage Centre and among them?

The Category 2 Centres related to World Heritage work under a very comprehensive strategic framework and in a coordinated manner.

Their activities are expected to contribute to the World Heritage Strategy for Capacity Building as well as to the policies and programmes agreed by the governing bodies of the Convention, that is the General Assembly of the States Parties and the World Heritage Committee. They are in constant touch with the World Heritage Centre and take part in numerous initiatives and programmes related to World Heritage, notably in the process of the Periodic Reporting.

World Heritage Category 2 Centres also meet regularly among themselves to share their experiences and harmonize their activities.

Coordination Meetings

Seven coordination meetings have taken place so far.

April 2019 (Manama, Bahrain)
February 2018 (Robben Island, South Africa)  
November 2016 (Dehradun, India
May 2014 (Shanghai, China)
March 2013 (Oslo, Norway)
January 2012 (Milan, Italy)
December 2010 (Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain)

Category 2 Centres Focal Point

Category 2 Centre Focal Point list
Decisions (31)
Show 39COM 6
Show 39COM 10B.4
Show 38COM 5E
Show 38COM 6
Show 38COM 7
Show 38COM 7A.13
Show 38COM 8B.7
Show 38COM 10B.1
Show 38COM 10B.4
Show 37COM 6
Show 37COM 9
Show 37COM 10A
Show 37COM 10C.1
Show 37COM 10C.2
Show 36COM 5D
Show 36COM 6
Show 36COM 9B
Show 36COM 10A
Show 36COM 10C
Show 36COM 13.II
Show 18GA 10
Show 35COM 6
Show 35COM 16
Show 35COM 9B
Show 35COM 10B
Show 35COM 12A
Show 34COM 6
Show 34COM 9C
Show 34COM 10B.2
Show 34COM 12
Show 33COM 6A
Events (16)
Keywords: Category 2 Centers