World Monuments Watch

A Beacon for Heritage

The World Monuments Watch—a call to action for cultural heritage sites facing imminent threats and challenges—creates opportunities for new awareness, improved protection, and positive change.

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20 Years of Watch Sites

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Twenty Years of the World Monuments Watch

Since its launch in 1996, the World Monuments Watch has served as a catalyst for action for hundreds of sites, leading to improved safeguarding of places of cultural heritage, more suitable tourism management, and increased community engagement.

The Watch in Action

Watch Day was launched in 2012 to bring communities together in celebration of their heritage and traditions. By raising awareness on global and local levels, positive changes are happening at Watch sites around the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Watch?
  • Does the Watch provide project support?
  • What does inclusion on the Watch mean?
  • What are the benefits of the program?
  • How do I nominate a site to the Watch?
  • How are sites selected for the Watch?

The World Monuments Watch is World Monuments Fund’s flagship advocacy program. Launched every two years, the nomination-based program consists of a selective list of cultural heritage sites around the world that are at risk from the forces of nature or the impact of social, political, and economic change. For many heritage places, inclusion on the Watch provides an opportunity to attract visibility, raise public awareness, foster local engagement in their protection, leverage new resources for conservation, advance innovation, and demonstrate effective solutions. Since its inception, the program has included 790 sites in 135 countries and territories around the world.

Inclusion on the Watch does not guarantee funding from WMF. However, many sites have been able to use the attention drawn from the Watch to promote their cause and raise funds. By capitalizing on the Watch as a platform for visibility and community engagement, local entities have leveraged public and private support for Watch sites totaling over $240 million since the creation of the program in 1996. WMF has contributed an additional $100 million toward projects at more than 275 Watch sites.

The Watch is not a permanent designation, nor does inclusion on the Watch reflect poor management or stewardship of a site. By featuring new sites every two years, the Watch focuses attention on a wide range of conservation challenges and opportunities around the globe.

The Watch seeks to promote heritage stewardship through three areas of activity:

Advocacy and Outreach

The announcement of the Watch is a major media event reaching a vast audience around the globe. World Monuments Fund works to raise international awareness through news outlets, social media, its website, and by coordinating with nominators to support your local advocacy efforts. Through these means, the Watch seeks to help accomplish policy changes, encourage stakeholder cooperation, and foster a balance between development and preservation.

Community Engagement

World Monuments Fund aims to reconnect people and places and encourage local stewardship through “Watch Day,” an opportunity for communities to celebrate the importance of Watch sites and build support for heritage conservation. In the 2018 World Monuments Watch cycle, WMF will make available $2,500 to each site in support of your Watch Day activities.

Project Collaboration and Support

World Monuments Fund has allocated more than $100 million to projects at World Monuments Watch sites since 1996, and more than $245 million has been allocated by third parties. The attention drawn to the selected sites provides a vital tool that you can use to leverage project support from a variety of sources, including national, regional, and municipal governments, foundations, corporations, other international organizations, and private donors.

Anyone can nominate a site to the Watch, including private individuals or representatives of government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofits, or other non-governmental organizations familiar with a site.

The Watch has an online nomination process. We are currently accepting nominations for the 2018 World Monuments Watch.

 

Nominations undergo a rigorous review process conducted by WMF staff, independent experts around the world, and a final selection panel. Throughout the process, evaluation of nominations is based on the three following criteria:

  • Significance of the site
  • Urgency of the conditions or opportunities for change
  • Viability of a feasible plan of action

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Press releases and news articles about WMF and our projects, initiatives, and partners, and our 2016 World Monuments Watch press kit. Contact us at press@wmf.org.

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