Protecting our Heritage



What do the pyramids of Egypt have in common with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
the cathedrals of Latin America, and the white city of Tel-Aviv?
They’ve all been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


In recent decades, cultural and natural heritage preservation has gained broad global public awareness, spawning activities meant to preserve the unique and varied mosaic of the world’s communities, their cultures and the natural processes that have created their rich range of vistas. UNESCO’s World Heritage program is entrusted with promoting heritage preservation, working through local bodies in each nation. Since 1949, the Israeli UNESCO committee has taken an active role in this initiative.


Preserving cultural and natural heritage is a complex, multi-faceted process, requiring the definition and designation of preservation goals, along with legislation and national planning; it involves the active protection of monuments, cultural textures and wide-open spaces, along with education and civic involvement for increased public awareness.


The Israeli public, including its young people, is still not sufficiently aware of the importance of preserving the nation’s heritage. To deal with this challenge, the Council for a Beautiful Israel's Center for Environmental Studies, in cooperation with the Israeli UNESCO Committee,
has developed a new educational program focused on preserving values of cultural
and natural heritage and relating Israel's actions in this regard to the pupils’ own familiar surroundings.


Intended for grades 5 through 7, the program includes 6 study sessions, in the classroom and in the field, making use of both traditional and technological teaching methods and materials. It also features a study trip in Tel Aviv’s “white city”, investigating local examples of heritage preservation and culminating in a final event modeled after the UNESCO process for designating world heritage sites. The program will launch in selected schools during the upcoming academic year and will later expand to additional schools throughout the country.