Heritage and Sustainable Development Goals Symposium for Youth held in Zimbabwe

A Virtual Heritage and Sustainable Development Goals Symposium for Youth too place from 21-23 October 2020. Zimbabwe’s Natural History Museum organised the Symposium that explored the linkages between heritage and sustainable development goals and youth participation with support from the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa.

Chief Heritage Officer at Robben Island Museum (South Africa), Dr. Pascall Taruvinga delivered a keynote address and emphasised the need to educate the young people on the links between heritage and sustainable development. He called for effective strategies and collaborative efforts from various stakeholders on the effective ways to improve youths’ participation in heritage issues.

Conservation and sustainable development have only received attention in the last decade yet the two are as old as humanity itself. In Africa, there is a long history of caring for both heritage and the well-being of society by local communities yet these communities have been marginalized in the process
Pascal Taruvinga, Chief Heritage Officer, Robben Island Museum

Several online presentations were made by different speakers with focus on improving youths’ participation in heritage conservation and sustainable development. The presentations initiated online discussions where participants discussed the best possible ways to improve youth involvement and participation in heritage and sustainable development. 

Some of the key recommendations from the symposium included the use of platforms that are more appealing to young audience as a way to boost their participation and involvement in heritage management issues. Suggestions made included working with influential figures like prominent artists for crowd pulling and young ambassadors to represent youths in the planning processes. 

Museums’ role in the SDGs can be seen notably around protecting and safeguarding cultural and natural heritage, supporting education for sustainable development, and supporting research and cultural participation.