World Monuments Watch

2020 Watch Nominations Are Open

The World Monuments Watch uses cultural heritage conservation to increase community resilience, enhance social inclusion, and build new skills in the conservation field and beyond.

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Spotlight

2018 World Monuments Watch

From homes in rural Alabama that played pivotal roles in the African American Civil Rights Movement, to a cultural landscape and its people in Nigeria targeted by Boko Haram, the 2018 Watch includes a diverse group of globally-significant sites beloved by their communities.

The Watch in Action

Watch Days are held by site stakeholders to bring communities together in celebration of their heritage and traditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Watch? How does it operate?
  • Do sites have to be endangered in order to be selected for the program?
  • Does WMF provide funding for sites included on the Watch?
  • Is inclusion on the Watch permanent? Can a site be removed from the Watch?
  • Who can nominate a site to the Watch?
  • How can one nominate a site? What is the selection process?

The World Monuments Watch is a global, nomination-based program that uses cultural heritage conservation to empower communities and improve human well-being. Through heritage, the program seeks to improve the resilience of communities, enhance social inclusion, and build new capacities in the heritage conservation field and beyond. Through the Watch, World Monuments Fund partners with local stakeholders to jointly design and implement targeted conservation programs—including advocacy, planning, education, and physical interventions in the historic built environment. Since its inception in 1996, the program has included 814 sites in 136 countries and territories.

Sites included on the Watch are in need of urgent or timely action. To be selected for inclusion on the program, nominators must describe the major challenges that the stakeholders of a site are confronted with. Those challenges are diverse, and they may include the risk that a place may be permanently altered or lost. The need for urgent action in response, or other circumstances that make action timely, is a factor in the evaluation of nominations to the Watch.

Inclusion on the Watch program results in various forms of assistance from World Monuments Fund, including financial support for interventions that use heritage conservation to deliver tangible social benefits. World Monuments Fund is not a grantmaking institution, and no minimum or maximum amounts of funding are guaranteed. Rather, through the Watch program, World Monuments Fund partners with local stakeholders to jointly design and implement targeted conservation programs, with budgets that vary. In submitting a nomination for the 2020 Watch cycle, nominators will be able to propose activities with budgets ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, with the potential that additional resources can be allocated as programs evolve.

Inclusion on the Watch is not a permanent designation. Rather, sites are included on a Watch cycle for a period of two years. In rare cases, a site may be included on more than one cycle of the program, provided that a new nomination is submitted.

Anyone can nominate a site to the World Monuments Watch, including private individuals and representatives of civil society organizations, community groups, government agencies, educational institutions, or other entities. In addition to groups with heritage conservation as their mission, World Monuments Fund is encouraging organizations in a broad range of allied fields to submit nominations to the World Monuments Watch. The endorsement of a site’s legal owner is not required for a site to be included on the Watch.

Nominations to the 2020 World Monuments Watch can be submitted by completing an online nomination form, accessible from the top of this page. The nomination form contains questions about the nominated site and the nominator’s plan for achieving tangible social benefit through heritage conservation. Nominations undergo a rigorous review process, conducted by World Monuments Fund and independent experts. Nominations are evaluated for their potential to improve the lives of communities, the cultural significance of the nominated site, the need for urgent action, and the feasibility of the proposed approach. 

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Press releases and news articles about WMF and our projects, initiatives, and partners, and our 2018 World Monuments Watch press kit. Contact Hillary Prim, Senior Manager of Communications, at hprim@wmf.org.

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