South East European (SEE) Heritage is a network of non-governmental organizations from South East Europe, established in 2006.
The mission of the SEE Heritage network is to work towards protecting and promoting the common cultural heritage with the aim of encouraging sustainable development of the region.
The vision of the SEE Heritage network: South East Europe (SEE) - region where people cooperate, understand and respect each other on the basis of their cultural differences, believing that cultural, ethnic and religious diversity is a valuable resource.
The initiative to establish a network of NGOs working on cultural heritage was started by the Swedish organization CHwB (Cultural Heritage without Borders), an NGO that works in BiH and Kosovo and regionally in the Western Balkans. CHwB has started its activities in recognizing the NGOs that will try to create a common ground of acting. Initially, twelve partner NGOs from the region (Albania, BiH, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) expressed their willingness to meet and to exchange views and experiences with their colleagues. In mid-2006 based on a CHwB initiative NGOs from the region met in Sarajevo.
The 1st meeting in Sarajevo, 2006.
The lack of cooperation among NGOs working in the field of cultural heritage in the Southeast Europe was identified and discussed at the initial meeting. The idea of creating a network for joint promotion, preservation and sustainable usage of cultural heritage emerged on this occasion.
At this meeting they decided to enhance their own field of activity and to extend their work in the cultural heritage sector beyond the borders of their own countries by establishing links with other regional and international partners. Twelve NGOs, together with representatives of CHwB, signed a commitment statement to develop and strengthen the NGO Regional Network, which they named SEE Heritage (where SEE stands for South East Europe, and also for "to see", i.e. to see, to recognise, to acknowledge, to look at the heritage).
After the first meeting, the network organized further meetings and other activities.
On the third SEE Heritage meeting held in Ohrid, Macedonia on July 2nd-4th 2007 there was discussion about the enlargement of the network and agreement about inclusion of new countries: Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
At the fifth SEE Heritage Network meeting held in Berat, Albania on June 21st-23rd 2008 an important step towards ensuring the sustainability of the network was taken. The members agreed to formalize the network through the legal registration of its headquarters in Montenegro to ensure that the network is equipped with the proper tools to carry out its mission to preserve and promote the entire region's cultural heritage.
The SEE Heritage network gathers all those willing to contribute to protecting and promoting the South East European heritage as part of the common European and world's heritage.