United nations educational, scientific and cultural organization convention concerning the protection of the world


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Documents: WHC-02/CONF.202/14A

1. Due to time constraints (see also the debate relating to item 26 and the workload during the Committee sessions), the Committee decided to defer the discussion of this agenda item until its extraordinary session in March 2003 (decision 26 COM 18).


Document: WHC-02/CONF.202/15
1. Due to time constraints (see also the debate relating to items 3, 26 and the workload during the Committee sessions), the Committee decided to defer the discussion of this agenda item until its extraordinary session in March 2003 (decision 26 COM 19).


Document: WHC-02/CONF.202/16
1. The Secretariat presented the background to the periodic reporting exercise in Africa, the summary of the findings, the five point Action Plan focusing on networks and co-operation, training, participation, management, scientific and technical research and monitoring of sites and new information concerning the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Africa.
2. The representative of ICCROM drew the attention of the Committee to activities carried out within the UNESCO-ICCROM-CraTerre Africa 2009 programme which have been addressing, since the launching of the programme in 1998, key concerns identified in the Periodic Report for Africa. ICCROM briefly described the programme's objectives, its partners and its sources of funding support, including the World Heritage Fund, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation (NORAD), the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Italy and Finland and ICCROM itself.
3.1 The Delegate of Zimbabwe expressed general satisfaction with the Africa Report stating that it was a considerable improvement over the report presented at Helsinki. He indicated that the report provides a holistic picture and guidelines for future action, and stated that response from 32 out of 40 sites (80% of sites evaluated) was a commendable achievement. He remarked that Africa has the lowest number of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List but has the highest number of sites inscribed in the List of World Heritage in Danger, and that the report will pave the way for future monitoring. He expressed concern that most of the sites were last inventoried in the 1970s and that there was no clear picture of the current situation. Regarding the legal and institutional framework, he stressed the need to formulate general policies on heritage and link them to initiatives where UNESCO is assisting Member States in developing national cultural heritage policies. He commented that the national cultural heritage policies still focus on monuments, antiquities, relics and other similar types of heritage, and ignore the spiritual heritage, settlements, routes and itineraries, and underlined the need for more emphasis on research studies and programmes.
3.2 Referring to training, the Delegate of Zimbabwe suggested that the States Parties decide on 'training for who and by whom', and that training alone will not help solve site management problems in Africa. He emphasized that career paths and professionalism were needed. He stressed the need for focal points, working closely with the National Commissions for UNESCO. As regard resources for management, he noted that the report identifies the problems but does not adequately emphasize the scope of the problems. He stated that the Report, based largely on the questionnaire and round table discussions, would have benefited from random sampling of sites to fully understand the actual on-ground situations, also in terms of (lack of) equipment.
3.3 In conclusion, the Delegate of Zimbabwe emphasized that this report was a first step in a cycle and he recommended that the Committee approve the Report and the Action Plan and suggested that the Action Plan be restructured in line with Article 5 of the World Heritage Convention.
4. The Delegate of South Africa thanked the Director and his team for the Report stating that it was comprehensive and clear. She also expressed appreciation to the donors for providing extra-budgetary resources and technical co-operation to Africa. Moreover, she thanked ICCROM for its training activities, and the Delegate of Zimbabwe for his analysis and comments on the Report and for sharing his views on the implementation of the Convention in Africa. She emphasized the need for an integrated approach and for greater co-operation between the Centre and the Culture Sector of UNESCO. She informed the Committee that the Parks Congress (Durban, South Africa, 2003) and the African Heritage and Sustainable Development workshop in August 2002 are important events that can contribute towards raising awareness on African heritage. She called for more research on the links between heritage and development and suggested that the possibility of linking the partnership scheme launched by the Centre for heritage conservation and the New Partnership for African Development for sustainable development (NEPAD) be investigated.
5. The Delegate of Egypt commended the Centre and the advisory bodies. He emphasized the link between Egypt, the other Arab countries and Africa stating that Egypt's livelihood depends on the Nile whose roots are in Africa. He referred to the limitations to site management and lack of staff and resources in Africa as causes of great concern. On the Action Plan, he commented that this was the first step on a long road towards conservation and endorsed the remarks of the Delegate from Zimbabwe. He stressed the need to look at such sites as the oases, mountain chains, wetlands, coastal zones, coral reefs as well as the river basins of the Nile, the Congo, the Niger, and the Zambezi, which he said were the cradle of human civilizations, and that such an approach could promote important networking for heritage sites.
6. The Observer of the Côte d'Ivoire expressed on behalf of African experts, her disappointment in not being called upon by the Centre and the Advisory Bodies to participate in heritage conservation in the region and preparing the periodic report. Informing the Committee of the existence of professional expertise in Africa in natural heritage conservation such as the focal points for the UNESCO MAB Programme as well as for World Heritage, she indicated that IUCN does not adequately resort to experts of the region. She called upon the Committee to involve more national experts in site monitoring and reporting in order to reinforce national capacities.
7. The Delegate of Finland pointed out that special funding for Africa depends on the availability of funding sources other than the World Heritage Fund. She stated that her government could consider supporting cultural heritage conservation activities as a priority if they are prepared and submitted by African States Parties. She informed the Committee that the South African meeting will raise possibilities to link World Heritage with global agendas and programmes such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), global eco-tourism activities, with other international Conventions as well as with NEPAD. In order to respond to the needs of the African region, she called upon the Committee to take into account new concepts of heritage. In addition to Africa 2009, the Delegate recommended that the Centre develop plans for the implementation of the Convention in Africa that could be supported.
8. The Delegate of Belgium thanked the Centre for the excellent work done in preparing the report, and in outlining the Action Plan. She expressed her support notably for the proposals made by the Delegate of Zimbabwe and the Observer of the Côte d'Ivoire. Furthermore, she requested to bring the Action Plan in line with the new Strategic Objectives adopted by the Committee.
9. The Delegate of India commended the quality of the report. She sympathized with the management problems which she said were in many ways similar to those of the Asian region. She stated that the issues emerging from the regional periodic reports will most likely be similar despite the regional specificities, and that the Committee will need to examine ways of addressing them. With regard to traditional customary law, she stated that rather than research, which she believed existed already, focus should be placed on how research results can be applied to enhance heritage protection. Finally, she expressed her preference for restructuring the Action Plan according to the Strategic Objectives and the Global Strategy.
10. The Delegate of Argentina informed the Committee that the Periodic Report for Latin America is due in 2004 and that the process has commenced. She informed the Committee that a meeting for periodic reporting was held in Montevideo. She commended the Centre for the Africa Report stating that the periodic reporting exercise is of the highest importance as it reflects the situation in the countries. She further endorsed the comments made by the Delegates of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
11. The Delegate of the United Kingdom commented that the Report gives clear direction and commended its excellent quality. Like the Delegates of Zimbabwe and Côte d'Ivoire, he stressed the importance of taking into account the on-ground situations. Referring to both the Africa and Arab Periodic Reports, he noted that there were some commonalities, such as the need to define clear limits of the properties and buffer zones, that the Committee will have to consider at an appropriate time. Regarding the management plans, the Delegate observed that it would not be appropriate to develop a model given the diversity of sites. However, providing examples of methodologies for developing management plans that would guide site managers in preparing their own site specific plans would be useful, as would the development of key indicators for commonalities.
12. The Delegate of Greece congratulated the Centre. As had previous speakers, she asked that the Action Plan be restructured according to the Strategic Objectives, adding that indicators, measurable results and a timetable should be developed. Finally, she questioned whether the Committee was requested to adopt the document as such or only the recommendations it contained.
13. The Delegate of Saint Lucia stated that the Africa report was good and, rather than seeing it as a litany of complaints, positive lessons should be drawn from it and emphasized. She also wondered if the report has been restituted with the States Parties that participated in the exercise, emphasizing that this was most important.
14. The Observer of Israel, while commending the Report emphasized the need for both the top-down and bottom-up approach in conservation activities and in the formulation and implementation of management plans. He further gave examples of types of heritage, some of which linked to cultural criterion (vi), which would allow for the identification of networks of properties for the tentative lists.
15. IUCN supported the Report, particularly the emphasis placed on the key elements of capacity building, career development of the heritage experts and institutional building. IUCN informed the Committee of the Fifth Parks Congress to be held in Africa (Durban, South Africa) for the first time in 2003.
16. The Chairperson proposed to adopt the Action Plan, subject to its restructuring as proposed by several Delegates.
17. The Delegate of Nigeria requested that a progress report on the implementation of the Action Plan be presented to the 27th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2003.
18. The Delegate of India supported the idea of encouraging Afro-Arab co-operation and careful follow-up of the periodic reports.
19. In conclusion, the World Heritage Committee adopted decision 26 COM 20.

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