Establishment of a site-specific UNESCO Office supported by a Technical Secretary

Published: 06 October 2020
Last edited: 06 October 2020

The Programme Agreement defines and outlines the roles and responsibilities of the institutional stakeholders involved in the management of the site. This agreement is completed by an implementation protocol, signed on 3 August 2018, that outlines the key elements of the Programme Agreement for the establishment of a UNESCO Site Office supported by a Technical Secretary (led Liguria Region for 2 years) composed of technical and administrative staff. The implementation plan identifies the UNESCO Site Office as the technical and administrative responsible for the World Heritage property of Porto Venere, Cinque Terre and the Islands. The Office has the central role to provides support and operational coordination of the permanent technical-administrative work group, support the implementation of territorial actions and the monitoring of the Management Plan, and acts as the focal point with the World Heritage Centre, the Italian Ministry with the national UNESCO Office. The Secretary coordinates all activities of the existing governing committees and working groups (BB4).

The UNESCO Site Office is also dedicated to improving services provided to users within the site, according to UNESCO guidelines, in order to increase an effective response to the emerging needs of the territory.


Alliance and partnership development
Co-management building
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

The creation, existence and mandate of the UNESCO Site Office and the Technical Secretary are defined in the joint programme agreement signed on 1 August 2016 and the implementation protocol signed on 3 August 2018. In order to be operational, the aspect of financing of the office is directly addressed in the Programme Agreement and which includes a prospect of contributions by signatory stakeholders.

Lessons learned

The establishment of the UNESCO Site Office and the Technical Secretary have allowed for the application of a more efficient approach to the management of “Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)” and the creation of a permanent structure in support of all the established governing bodies (Building Block 4): the Coordination Committee, the Community of Buffer Zone Municipality, the Technical-administrative work group, and the Consulting Committee.  

The Technical Secretary offers supports the activities of the Coordination Committee, the Working Group and the UNESCO site Office, which is responsible for the technical and administrative compliance with the World Heritage requirements and territorial implementation as well as being a chance of direct dialogue with and between institutional stakeholders, local communities and visitors to the site.

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