Start: Raising awareness of the Wachau Cultural Landscape

Unique cultural landscape of the Wachau World Heritage Site © Franz Hauleitner
Unique cultural landscape of the Wachau World Heritage Site © Franz Hauleitner

The Wachau region was inscribed in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites as a continuing cultural landscape in 2000. Little is known about the value of World Heritage, in particular the “OUV - outstanding universal value”. A major awareness-raising campaign is intended to change this and specifically address the population. The knowledge and importance of the Wachau Cultural Landscape should be imbued in the population as a way of getting everyone to handle this World Heritage site with greater sensitivity.

An important aspect of protecting a World Heritage site involves knowing its features and characteristics. The special features and uniqueness of the Wachau should be highlighted and explained to the population. This should increase appreciation of the cultural landscape and thus guarantee protection of the World Heritage site.

In order to sensitise the population, a major campaign is being launched. At the start of this project, three measures will be put in place: 

1. Implementation concept “20 years of Wachau World Heritage – awareness-raising and identity-forming”
An implementation concept to celebrate the anniversary “20 years of Wachau World Heritage” should be developed with a sustainable awareness-raising effect on the population that leads to stronger identification with the Wachau World Heritage site and extends beyond 2020. Ideas that reach out to the population and actively involve municipalities will be developed with a creative agency.

2. World Heritage playing cards quartet
The Wachau Cultural Landscape offers many special features. The World Heritage playing cards quartet is intended as an attractive merchandising item for introducing users to the uniqueness of the region in a playful way. The end product should not only be a high-quality card game but also a designer collectable which simultaneously acts as visiting card for the region.

3. Educational programme for schools: Wachau = European Diploma of Protected Areas and World Heritage site
Before the Wachau was a World Heritage site, the region already held a European Diploma of Protected Areas. The educative community works together with these pre-existing organisations to prepare educational programmes appropriate to different school grades and children in their immediate surroundings. The pupils involved in the programme set off on the excursion equipped with beaker magnifier, children’s binoculars, Wachau pad and backpack, and are accompanied by an expert. In a playful and hands-on way, the class learns not only about the special properties of their river and cultural landscape but also about the most important domestic animals, types of trees, shrubs and herbs, the functions of the (alluvial) forest, as well as hunting and ecological relationships – depending on local conditions.

Discussed in the project selection committee: 13.02.2019
Project promoter: association Welterbegemeinden Wachau (World Heritage Municipalities Wachau)
Funding level: 70%
Project duration: 01.03.2019 – 31.12.2020
Supported by the federal province and the European Union (LEADER).

created on 04.03.2019