Speech of the Outgoing Chairperson, M. Abdelaziz Touri,
on the occasion of the opening of the 24th session of the Committee
Cairns, 27 November 2000
Chers membres du Comité,
Je m'adresse à vous en qualité de Président du Comité pour la dernière fois et je souhaite saisir cette occasion pour brièvement rappeler les points les plus importants abordés par ce Comité au cours de cette année.
Tout d'abord, il me semble nécessaire de revenir sur quelques-unes des réussites de cette année et particulièrement celle liée au Sanctuaire de Baleines d'El Viscaino au Mexique. Suite à la demande du Comité, et sur invitation du gouvernement mexicain, une mission conjointe de l'UICN et de l'UNESCO a été menée sur le site afin d'évaluer les menaces potentielles liées à la proposition de construction de salines dans la zone protégée. Après examen du rapport de mission, le Comité a reconnu que ce projet pourrait mettre en cause l'intégrité du site. Sur la base de ces conclusions, le Président mexicain a annoncé la decision d'annuler le projet.
Une autre réussite, cette fois en Inde, concerne le site de l'ensemble de monuments de Hampi. Vous vous rappellerez que le Comité a inscrit ce site sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial en Péril en 1999 à Marrakech. Depuis cette décision, les autorités concernées ont créé un groupe d'étude spécifique pour tenter de remédier aux menaces pesant sur le site, liées à l'éxécution de travaux publics non controlés. Les travaux de ce groupe d'étude ont mené le Cabinet du Gouvernement d'Etat concerné à prendre les mesures nécessaires pour déplacer les deux ponts incriminés. Depuis l'inscription de ce site sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial en péril, les autorités gouvernementales centrales et locales concernées, travaillent en collaboration avec l'UNESCO et en consultation avec la communauté locale et les parties concernées au développement d'un plan de gestion intégrée du site tel que le Comité l'avait recommandé.
C'est le poids et la forte notoriété de la Convention qui contribue chaque année de facon significative à réduire le nombre de menaces pesant sur les sites. C'est sa notoriété et sa crédibilité qui attire un nombre grandissant d'organismes et d'institutions spécialisés dans le domaine de la conservation du patrimoine naturel et culturel et rend possible la mise en oeuvre de projets conjoints. Le soutien de la Fondation des Nations Unies, avec une contribution qui s'élève à près de 5 millions de dollars, en est un exemple phare. De plus, les engagements de coopération des Etats parties se multiplient et la Convention signée entre le gouvernement français et l'UNESCO en est un exemple concret. Les activités entreprises dans le cadre de cet accord ont pour objectif le renforcement des capacités en matière de protection juridique, de gestion et de compétences techniques sur les sites, qu'ils soient déjà inscrits sur la Liste ou qu'ils figurent sur les listes indicatives des Etats parties. Outre le fait que ces actions contribuent à établir des liens durables entre les Etats, elles contribuent également à atteindre les objectifs fixés par le Comité en matière de Stratégie globale. De la même manière, je voudrais mentionner la contribution du Japon et de l'Italie au renforcement de l'assistance préparatoire.
Cette année fut également marquée par l'accomplissement d'une série de travaux stratégiques et décisifs. Le groupe d'étude sur la mise en oeuvre de la Convention aura contribué de façon notable à l'amélioration de notre système de fonctionnement, notamment au niveau du cycle des réunions du Bureau et du Comité, mais également concernant la documentation produite pour ces réunions. Les groupes de travail sur la représentativité de la Liste et la représentation équitable des Etats au sein du Comité, créés à la demande de l'Assemblée générale des Etats parties, ont permis de traiter des questions essentielles liées à la Stratégie globale. Toutes ces questions importantes, ainsi que celles soulevées par les experts réunis à Canterbury au Royaume-Uni sur le thème du processus de révision des Orientations devant guider la mise en oeuvre de la Convention, seront examinés par cette session du Comité. Je souhaite que cet examen puisse être couronné de décisions concrètes, lesquelles constitueront une étape historique dans le développement de la Convention et dans sa mise en oeuvre au cours des années à venir.
Mes Chers collègues,
La charge de travail qui nous attend est lourde. Elle est la conséquence d'une année particulièrement active. Je ne vous retiendrai donc pas plus longtemps. Je tiens cependant à prendre encore un instant pour remercier les organes consultatifs, ICOMOS, UICN et ICCROM, pour l'assistance et l'expertise qu'ils mettent fidèlement à notre disposition, et pour avoir accepté de voir leur charge de travail augmenter avec la nôtre. Je voudrais également remercier le gouvernement australien, pays hôte de cette reunion, pour son accueil chaleureux et efficace. Je remercie également le secrétariat pour son soutien tout au long de cette année, particulièrement chargée.
J'aimerais enfin remercier le Comité pour son engagement inconditionnel.
En vous souhaitant à tous une session particulièrement riche et fructueuse.
Speech of the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki
on the occasion of the opening of the 24th session of the Committee
Cairns, 27 November 2000
Chairman of the World Heritage Committee
Members of the World Heritage Committee
Members of the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee
Ladies and gentlemen
On behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO Mr Koichiro Matsuura, I would like to welcome you to the twenty-fourth session of the World Heritage Committee.
The Director-General is deeply grateful to the Australian government for having offered to host this session. UNESCO also acknowledges the welcome of the Aboriginal Traditional Owners.
I am so impressed by the physical setting for this meeting. We are meeting amongst the splendour of the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef, both of which are World Heritage sites. Some of us have had the opportunity to visit, although briefly, these two important sites.
On location, presentations were made to show how these sites are managed. Above all, we were very impressed with the quality and commitment shared by the persons responsible for the sites, from the rangers to the experts, who are all working to achieve the same goal: preserving World Heritage.
Le Comité du patrimoine mondial s'est rarement réuni dans cette région mais l'Australie a déjà reçu ce Comité il y a 20 ans et c'est là une preuve supplémentaire de l'attachement de ce groupe à la Convention. L'Australie est l'un des Etats parties à la Convention où le patrimoine mondial, est le mieux connu du grand public. Comme on a pu le constater maintes fois, l'Australie se mobilise pour recenser et protéger les sites du patrimoine mondial. Tout a commencé dans les années soixante-dix avec la participation d'un expert australien à la rédaction des Orientations devant guider la mise en oeuvre de la Convention. Par la suite, l'Australie a offert les services de ses experts pour aider à définir les critères d'inscription de biens culturels et naturels sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial. Le Parc national de Kakadu, la Grande Barrière et la Région des Lacs Willandra figurent parmi les premiers sites australiens inscrits au patrimoine mondial, au début des années quatre-vingt. Peu après, une législation nationale a été promulguée pour protéger ce patrimoine. L'Australie compte désormais treize biens inscrits sur la Liste. Elle continue à jouer un rôle significatif dans le cadre de la Convention et son esprit d'innovation a permis de mieux reconnaître et comprendre les paysages culturels du patrimoine mondial en Australie et dans le Pacifique.
Here, in the Asia-Pacific region, two of the key challenges in the conservation of World Heritage properties are being experienced in dramatic fashion.
First, in relation to the representativity of the World Heritage List, the Pacific, composed of 16 UNESCO Member States of whom only 6 are States Parties to the Convention, is the sub-region whose cultural and natural heritage is most under-represented in the World Heritage List. It is a pleasure to note that two Pacific Island State Parties are repressented at this session. UNESCO welcomes Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It has also been a pleasure for me to meet with the representatives of the Youth Forum for the Pacific organized in Cairns by the Australian authorities in co-operation with the Education Sector of UNESCO and the World Heritage Centre.
The second challenge concerns the fate of World Heritage sites after they have been inscribed on the World Heritage List. For Asia, the region is experiencing unprecedented urbanisation and growth. With such rapid development towards modernity and globalisation, new challenges to heritage protection and conservation are arising. As Mr Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, stated, when Chairman of the World Heritage Committee in 1999, it is imperative that the root causes of these conflicts between development and conservation be the focus of the attention of all States Parties. This is often neither popular nor easy. The only way we can address the conflicts that do unfortunately arise is through political will and courage. We must rely on the key principles of international co-operation and assistance that lie at the heart of the World Heritage Convention and work towards an integration of heritage conservation as part of the development process. I hope that this Committee will provide support for projects that will encourage conservation as a means, and not just an end for development.
As we meet here amidst two of Australia's natural World Heritage sites, I wish to comment on the increasing support of several international partners in the work of implementing the natural part of the Convention. For example, the UN Foundation's Biodiversity Programme Framework, adopted in November 1999 is targeting multi-million dollar grant support to Natural World Heritage sites. UNF assistance will benefit sites such as those on the List of World Heritage in Danger in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where most other donors have avoided launching assistance packages due to prevailing war and insecurity. Other projects will link biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism at sites such as the Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino in Mexico. You will recall that the President of the Republic of Mexico intervened in April 2000 to remove a potential threat to El Vizcaino posed by proposals to expand an existing salt-production facility. This bold decision of the Mexican Government had an opportunity cost for those local people who would have gained employment and economic benefits from the expansion of the salt-production facility. The UNF project to link tourism with biodiversity conservation will specifically aim to bring employment and economic benefits to the local communities via alternative means such as ecotourism.
This meeting is taking place at the dawn of the 21st century and with the new vision of the Director-General of UNESCO, himself having served as Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee. As a part of this new vision, the Director-General began restructuring UNESCO and chose to appoint Mr Francesco Bandarin as new Director of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre.
Mr Bandarin, who began work as Director of the World Heritage Centre and Secretary to the World Heritage Committee on 20 September, holds degrees in architecture and city and regional planning from the University Institute of Architecture of Venice and the University of California, Berkeley respectively. He has extensive experience working with both public and private research centres and institutions in the fields of planning and maintenance of built heritage, cultural heritage conservation plans and programmes, environmental heritage, architectural design, urban planning and management, and development planning. He is already well-known to most of the members of the Committee and the Advisory bodies.
Subject to confirmation through an internal recruitment process, Mrs Minja Yang will be working with the new Director as Deputy Director of the Centre. Mrs Yang, with an academic background in development studies from Georgetown University and the University of London, brings with her over twenty years of experience in the UN system and considerable experience in World Heritage conservation through her role over the past years in directing the Centre's work in the Asia-Pacific region and historic cities projects. She also worked with me, as a colleague in the Division of Cultural Heritage where she handled successfully a number of operational projects in Asia.
The coincidence of having a new management team in place at the World Heritage Centre at the same time as the World Heritage Committee work through a substantial agenda of reform is opportune. This should create a new synergy for reform, involving the Committee and Secretariat in an effective partnership.
The appointment of the new management team in the World Heritage Centre has taken place in a broader context of reform within UNESCO.
En novembre 1999, le Directeur général a lancé un vaste programme de réforme visant à repenser les priorités de l'UNESCO, à redéfinir son action, à normaliser ses structures et ses procédures de gestion, à remotiver son personnel et à rationaliser sa politique de décentralisation.
Cette réforme a pour but essentiel de recentrer le programme de l'UNESCO pour qu'il soit plus efficace et mieux adapté aux besoins des Etats membres. A l'heure de la mondialisation, le thème unificateur de cette réforme entend renforcer la contribution de l'UNESCO à la paix et au développement à travers l'éducation, la science, la culture et la communication. Pour le Secteur de la Culture, l'important sera de préserver et de promouvoir la diversité culturelle face à la mondialisation. Pour le Secteur des Sciences, les efforts porteront sur les ressources en eau et les écosystèmes. Le travail intersectoriel permettra de définir des thèmes transversaux. Le patrimoine mondial atteste déjà de la capacité interdisciplinaire de l'UNESCO.
Just as with the reform process underway in UNESCO, the World Heritage Committee's reform agenda, one of the key subjects of this session of the Committee, will require a reorientation of action through a process of strategic planning as has been suggested by the Task Force on the Implementation of the Convention. You will recall that this was also a major recommendation of the World Heritage Management Review performed in 1998. A process of further strategic reflection is required to update and refocus the Committee's actions in relation to substantial issues such as addressing the root cause of threats to World Heritage natural and cultural sites. A revitalisation of two of the underlying principles of the Convention, protection and international co-operation, should be seen as the ultimate goals of your reflection. In this context, it is important to consider the UNESCO 1972 Convention not in isolation of the Hague Convention of 1954 and the 1970 Convention on Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property. It has to be noted that a draft Convention for the Protection of the Underwater Archaeology is under preparation.
It may also be necessary to reform the working method and the schedule of Committee and Bureau meetings. Such change will require time to take root. At the same time, for new strategic orientations to bring expected results, we will need reformed implementation "tools" including revitalized and additional human resources in the Secretariat and an adequate technical infrastructure and information management system. Enhanced co-ordination and synergy between the Centre, UNESCO's Science and Cultural Sectors and the advisory bodies (ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN) will also be required.
During the last year, we have seen the extent to which States Parties want reform to take place. On behalf of the Director-General, I would like to thank you for having devoted your time to this challenge. I would also like to express the commitment of the Secretariat who will make all effort possible to implement the processes of reform to meet the expectations of you as States Parties to the World Heritage Convention.
Je ne voudrais pas conclure sans rappeler le travail immense accompli depuis votre réunion de Marrakech par les membre du Comité eux même, qui n'ont pas menagé leurs efforts dans le cadre des trois groupes de travail et de l'atelier de Cantorbéry. Grâce à la génereuse invitation de la Hongrie dont je tiens à saluer les représentants, nous avons pu confronter dans un riche debat les apports de chacun des groupes et pu faire ainsi avancer la réflection sur une meilleure practique de la mise en oeuvre de la Convention que les Présidents et rapporteurs de ces groupes de travail et de l'atelier trouvent ici l'expression de nos remerciement.
Mes collegues et moi même voudrions également associer à l'expression de ces remerciement Monsieur Touri qui pendant toute une année en plus de ces nouvelles fonctions de Secrétaire général du Ministère des Affaires Culturelles et de la Communication du Maroc, a été sollicité en permanence dans ce processus dynamique de développement de la Convention de 1972.
Enfin, un grand merci à nos hôtes australiens. Ils n'ont rien laissé au hasard pour que Cairns 2000, comme les Olympiades 2000, soient un succès mondial.
FIRST PACIFIC WORLD HERITAGE YOUTH FORUM:
- To mobilise young people to save the World Heritage sites, important local sites and our environment in the Pacific
- To encourage all Pacific Member States to sign the World Heritage Convention and participate actively in its promotion
Main lines of action
- We need to be more aware of the importance of our heritage as well as our World Heritage. Therefore, it needs to be part of our education.
- We think a Pacific version of the World Heritage Education Kit will help get World Heritage into our curricula.
- Organisation of local preservation activities for young people
- Visits to sites and special actions to clean and preserve them
- Organise World Heritage Youth Forums and camps in each of our countries
- Writing to our governments asking for their support for World Heritage
- Pacific students networking
Setting up a network of Pacific Patrimonitos' Centres in our schools to:
- Organise activities to promote local / World Heritage sites as well as local cultures and traditions
- Produce Pacific Patrimonitos' Newsletter and web-site to share ideas
- Take part in solidarity actions to equip Pacific schools with Information Technology and provide training
Deadline: 30 July 2001 through ASPnet schools to UNESCO Apia and Paris
- Patromonitos and Patrimonitas
- ASPnet schools
- National Commissions for UNESCO
- ASPnet Co-ordinators
- World Heritage site managers
- Advisory Bodies to the Convention
- Cultural and natural heritage experts
- Local and national authorities
- UNESCO World Heritage Committee
SUBMISSION TO THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
FROM A FORUM OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ASSEMBLED
IN CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA, 24 NOVEMBER 2000
CONCERNED by the lack of involvement of Indigenous peoples in the development and implementation of laws, policies and plans, for the protection of their holistic knowledge, traditions and cultural values, which apply to their ancestral lands within or comprising sites now designated as World Heritage Areas, the Indigenous Peoples Forum in Cairns:
the view of Indigenous Peoples as the traditional owners and guardians of lands and waters, including biota thereon and therein, who remain forever the repositories, proprietors and custodians of their holistic knowledge, traditions and cultural values, which apply to all their ancestral lands especially those within or comprising sites now designated as World Heritage Areas.
CONFIRMStherefore the responsibilities and obligations of Indigenous Peoples to their succeeding generations, with emphasis on their duty of care, to provide expert advice on effective and efficient consultation, involvement and negotiation in the development, implementation and management of laws, policies and plans, including all matters regarding research and other activities and decisions affecting the World Heritage Areas applicable to them.
MOTIVATEDby the above and seeking appropriate avenues to address their concerns, the Indigenous Peoples Forum assembled in Cairns hereby petition the World Heritage Committee, to receive and consider the following submission:
SUBMISSION: It is submitted:
That the World Heritage Committee facilitate the establishment of a World Heritage Indigenous Peoples Council of Experts (WHIPCOE) pursuant to the provisions of Section 10 (3) of the World Heritage Convention, a body that would bring new competencies and expertise to complement other expert groups, to support the objectives of the World Heritage Committee in the provision of expert Indigenous advice on the holistic knowledge, traditions and cultural values of Indigenous Peoples relative to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, including current operational guidelines.
RECOMMENDATIONS. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee:-
the contents of the submission of the Indigenous Peoples forum presented to the 24th session of the Committee,
Notethe contents of the supporting paper marked Appendix 1 as tabled with this submission,
Agreethat the proposed WHIPCOE be established within three months of the 25th session of the World Heritage Committee, Agree that the proposed WHIPCOE be provided with operational funding
SUPPORTING PAPER TO THE SUBMISSION OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
FORUM PRESENTED BY LEAVE TO THE 24TH SESSION OF THE WORLD
HERITAGE COMMITTEE, CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA, 28 NOVEMBER 2000
the obligations on States Parties to the World Heritage Convention under Article 5 of the Convention, to ensure that effective and active measures are taken for the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage situated on their territories; and
NOTINGthe extensive obligations of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, especially those who are also parties to the following international conventions, covenants or protocols, to recognise, respect, promote and protect, the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples and local communities in their natural and cultural heritage consistent with:
- the International Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.
- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
- the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- the International Convention on Biological Diversity.
- the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
- the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (The Ramsar Convention).
- the International Labour Organisation Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries; and
- the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (albeit not yet in force)
ACKNOWLEDGINGPrinciple 22 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Chapter 26 of Agenda 21, and the Draft Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of the Heritage of Indigenous People elaborated by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights Working Group on Indigenous Populations (as contained in the annex to document E/CN.4/Sub.2/2000/26)
RECALLINGthe obligation of Contracting Parties under the World Heritage Convention to identify, protect, conserve, present and transmit both natural and cultural heritage:
- even where properties are not included on the World Heritage List; and
- where properties are only listed for certain natural or cultural heritage values, and
TAKING ACCOUNTof the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People being 1995 - 2004 the goal of which is to strengthen international co-operation for the solution of problems faced by Indigenous peoples in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health, the theme of which is "Indigenous People - Partnership in Action", and accordingly, the Commission on Human Rights, in paragraph 15 of resolution 2000/56, encourages Governments as appropriate, recognising the importance of action at the national level for the implementation of the goals and activities of the Decade, to support the Decade, in consultation with Indigenous peoples, by:
- preparing relevant programmes, plans and reports in relation to the Decade and establishing national committees or other mechanisms involving Indigenous people to ensure that the objectives and activities of the Decade are planned and implemented on the basis of full partnership with Indigenous people;
- seeking means of giving Indigenous people greater responsibility for their own affairs and an effective voice in decisions on matters which affect them; and
- identifying resources for activities designed to implement the goals of the Decade.
INSPIRED BY THE ABOVE,
THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES FORUM HEREBY PETITIONS THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE AND ALL STATES PARTIES TO THE WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION, TO:
Re: The Establishment of New Competencies and Expertise
a World Heritage Indigenous Peoples Council of Experts (WHIPCOE) pursuant to the provisions of Section 10 (3) of the World Heritage Convention, a body that will bring new competencies and expertise
- to complement existing expert groups under the convention being IUCN, ICOMOS
and ICROM, and -
- to support the objectives of the World Heritage Committee in the provision of expert Indigenous advice on the holistic knowledge, traditions and cultural values of Indigenous Peoples relative to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, including current operational guidelines.
Re: The Relationship between the Holistic Natural and Cultural Values and Traditions of Indigenous Peoples
the holistic nature of Indigenous natural and cultural values and traditions, and -
- that the maintenance and survival of the said values and traditions of Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities is dependent upon their continued access to and use of traditional biological resources; and
- that the maintenance and practice of the said values and traditions is necessary to ensure the complete conservation of the biological diversity by which many areas qualified for World Heritage Listing; and
- that the application of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities is vital to the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of many World Heritage Areas, and in line with decisions III/14, IV/9 and V/16 of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, "traditional knowledge should be given the same respect as any other form of knowledge" in the management of World Heritage Areas; and
- that the holistic, natural and cultural values and traditions of Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities are dynamic living values rather than static historic ones.
Re: The Duty of Care and Responsibility
that the social dimension to Indigenous cultural and natural values and traditions includes rights, obligations and responsibilities for decision making.
Re: The Removal and Ownership of Cultural Property
that the removal of cultural property from a World Heritage site in no way diminishes the Indigenous cultural values and traditions of the site, and that any such property so removed remains the property of the Indigenous people or traditional local community of origin.
Re: The Restoration and Return of Cultural Property
the return of cultural property removed from World Heritage Areas listed for their cultural values or as cultural landscapes.
THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES FORUM FURTHER PETITIONS THE WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE, TO:
Re: The Participation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Meetings and Processes Established by the World Heritage Convention Relationship
to the UNESCO World Heritage Unit that it work in collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity in regard to Task 9 of the programme of work adopted by the Conference of the Parties under decision V/16 concerning the development of guidelines or recommendations for the conduct of cultural, environmental and social impact assessments regarding any development proposed to take place on sacred sites and on lands or waters occupied or used by Indigenous and traditional local communities. The guidelines and recommendations should ensure the participation of Indigenous and traditional local communities in the assessment and review.
RECOMMENDto States Parties to the World Heritage Convention that they work in partnership with Indigenous and traditional local community organisations in the establishment of policies, guidelines, and/or strategic plans, which include requirements for national reporting, to enable the continuous, on-ground monitoring of impacts of any decisions or proposed developments in World Heritage Areas on the Indigenous spiritual and cultural values associated with those areas
Re: The Protection of Information Concerning Indigenous Cultural and Natural Values.
that the protection of the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities is of major international significance and that work is being carried out under Article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and by WIPO, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests and by the Commission on Human Rights and the Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
RECOGNISEthese processes by developing a set of protocols and guidelines in conjunction with Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities, based on the prior informed consent of traditional knowledge holders, with regard to access and application of such knowledge in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
Re: The Spiritual, Intellectual and Social Recovery of Indigenous Peoples and Traditional Local Communities
that the direct involvement of Indigenous peoples in the conservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage, will contribute to the spiritual, intellectual and social recovery and development of Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities whose ancestral territories fall within World Heritage Areas now
RECOMMENDto States Parties to the Convention on World Heritage that they facilitate effective and meaningful consultation, co-operation and involvement of Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities in the management of their ancestral territories that fall within World Heritage Areas now.
ENSUREthat any personnel to be engaged for the purposes of monitoring and managing the cultural values of World Heritage areas, are drawn from the Indigenous peoples and traditional local communities whose traditional knowledge and practices are the source of the cultural values involved.
Speech of the Incoming Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, Mr Peter King
on the occasion of the opening of the 24th session of the Committee
Cairns, 27 November 2000
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen:
Let me acknowledge the traditional owners.
Thank you all for your support of my election. I would especially acknowledge Professor Visy, the distinguished historian and delegate of Hungary. Professor Visy has made a major contribution to the work of this Convention as well as scholarship more generally.
I also thank Dr.Adul Wichiencharoen of Thailand, a country that I love and respect. I am honoured to be nominated by such a distinguished member of the committee, himself a chairman in the year 1994 and with whom I have enjoyed a couple of laughs over a few drinks already. I am honoured to be also supported by Dr Christina Cameron who by reason of her knowledge and experience, embodies all that is good about the World Heritage movement.
I would also like to acknowledge the work of the previous chairman M. Touri. I am much impressed with his handling of the work of the chair and the several important initiatives that have occurred under his chairmanship. The search he has started for a more efficient way to do our business is an important one. I am impressed by the way he has ensured that all members, all cultures, can play their part in building consensus. I undertake to you to continue his record of reform and advance the proposed reforms during my term.
It is normal for the incoming chair to make a few remarks on taking up the post.
I bring, I hope, more than just the Australian, but also a regional perspective to the work of the chair. In this regard, I would particularly acknowledge the delegation of China, some of whom I have worked with in my role as chair of the Australian Heritage Commission in developing mutual programmes for the benefit of the valuable heritage of both nations.
As a whole the Asian region has much to offer the Convention and its work in education and training work; and in the field of management of World Heritage properties it has taken a leadership role. As a result of an important initiative of Senator Hill, the Minister for Environment and Heritage in the Australian Government, the Asia Pacific Focal Point was established to find better ways of managing properties throughout the Asia-Pacific region. I hope, too, that you have found the field trips to the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef of interest and recognize the seriousness of effort which Australia makes in fulfilling its responsibilities under Article 4 of the Convention.
Let me finish by making two comments as to how I see my role looking ahead and regarding the World Heritage movement generally.
First, it is central that States Parties retain and enhance their commitment to the Convention. Broadening State Party commitment by adding new members, deepening it by encouraging the nomination and improved protection of sites should be our aim. State Parties are the life blood of the Convention.
Second, for the World Heritage movement to succeed over the next ten years, we must not lose sight of the central organizing idea in the Convention. I mean partnership or cooperation. This is not just partnership between States Parties, but also with our expert advisory groups, and highly skilled Secretariat and the thousands of individuals world-wide who provide voluntary effort to protect, preserve and present World Heritage places.
Mr. Touri has already facilitated an important initiative on our approach to sites facing threats to their World Heritage values. I look forward to supporting this initiative. Whose heart could fail to have been touched by the stories in our papers of sites under threat? Finding new ways of encouraging practical support could be one of the ways forward.
I feel truly privileged to be given this opportunity to play a part in protecting our global heritage.
I look forward to serving the convention and facilitating the work of the Committee and Bureau over the year ahead.
Speech of the Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Mr. Francesco Bandarin
on the occasion of the opening of the 24th session of the Committee
Cairns, 27 November 2000
Members of the World Heritage Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen
Having presented to you the Secretariat's report for the year 2000, I would now like to spend a few minutes to share with you some of my preliminary ideas on the needs and on the development prospects of the World Heritage Centre. As you know, I have only been in this job for 2 months. This is enough time for an initial assessment but certainly too short a time for the definition of a more comprehensive programme of activities and for the setting of a medium and long term strategy for the Centre.
I count on developing, with the help of my colleagues of the World Heritage Centre, and also with your support, a broader action framework in the next months. I hope to be able to present a preliminary scheme of proposals to the next Bureau meeting in June 2001 and to the next Committee meeting in December 2001.
The World Heritage Centre
In the first instance I consider that the World Heritage Centre - your Secretariat - has been well structured thanks to my predecessors. The Centre has a well defined mission and its high quality staff are well motivated. The amount of work that the Centre is able to deliver is really quite impressive. I would like to cite some figures that might interest you. In the year 2000, we coordinated the production and the circulation of 111 working and information documents for the Bureau and the Committee, prepared over 700 contract documents (double that of of 1996) and ensured the follow-up of over 200 projects and initiatives. The implementation rate for the year 2000 budget was 76% as of October 31, 2000. I can therefore confirm to you that your Secretariat is very productive.
And yet, even a short stay at the Centre reveals that there are a number of serious problems that need to be addressed in order to improve our services to the Committee and our activity for the implementation of the Convention.
The Centre has a severe lack of staff, especially of general service and secretarial support. Our regular budget allocation is insufficient to provide the services that you receive. We compensate for this with the help of State Parties that provide us with Associate Experts (Finland, Germany, Italy and Japan) and by working long hours and often weekends.
Even the equipment and the physical setting of the Centre are a problem. We have very limited resources to invest in computers, servers and the like. The very furniture of the Centre dates back to the origin of UNESCO. It is disfunctional and unaestethic. Our working environment doesn't project a very positive image to the numerous visitors we receive every day.
But I don't want to focus your attention on this type of problem. It is for us to solve them, albeit their solution being essential for your own work.
As you know, the management of the Convention is experiencing many changes. The number of nominations has steadily increased, as well as the number of State Parties. Increasingly, our system receives the attention of the world. From governments, NGO's, private corporations and the public.
Our responsibilities are becoming greater and greater. Educating the younger generations, informing the public, assuring the efficient monitoring of the World Heritage List, extending the Convention to new categories of World Heritage, ensuring sustainability of the management process and involving public and private institutions in the protection of World Heritage.
These changes clearly call for a reorganisation of our activities, and for a revision of our strategy.
I think that the Centre needs to define more precisely its own mission and needs to focus on priority areas that are specific to its own position in the international system of institutions that operate in the area of Cultural and Natural Heritage protection. We cannot do everything, and we can only be useful to our own State Parties if we more precisely focus our activities on your priority needs.
At the same time, I think that the Centre needs to limit the fragmentation of its own activities. 200 projects are too many, and may even have less impact than 10 larger ones.
Furthermore, I think that we cannot act alone. Out of broader partnerships, we will never achieve significant impacts, even if we double or triple our budget. We must therefore develop partnership agreements with national and international organisations, to act together and to create effective and sustainable results.
In two years the Convention will celebrate its 30th anniversary. I see this as a really great achievement, that merits not only to be evaluated in detail, but also communicated to the world. The year 2002 can be a very important opportunity to reflect on the first 30 years of the Convention, and to look ahead to its next 30 years. I think UNESCO should promote a reflection on the past and the future of the Convention.
The issues I have cited require the development of a medium and long-term strategy, and I hope to be able to achieve this, with your help.
But I recognize at the same the need to be practical: our work continues everyday, and we cannot ask for a "moratorium" whilst we develop our new strategy. Let me therefore summarize some of the preliminary ideas I am trying already to test for the improvement of the activity of the Centre in 4 areas of great importance for the management of the Convention: the Secretariat's activities, the projects managed by the Centre, the information and education activities, and finally the extension of our knowledge of World Heritage.
a) Secretariat's activities
The Committee will discuss today the reform proposals that have been agreed by the Bureau. These reforms are targeted at improving the work of the Centre and of the Committee, and therefore have great importance to us. Should they be approved, I am sure that we will be able to serve the Committee more effectively and also ensure a greater impact of the Convention.
As you know, I have proposed to the Bureau a preliminary plan for reducing the documentation needed for the work of the Committee. I suggest to use an experimental approach, to be able to evaluate costs and benefits of the new system before we actually decide on a final system.
However it is clear that greater efficiency in the meetings of the Committee will not derive only from a simple reduction in the number of pages put before you at each meeting. If we simply reduce the number and size of documents that we present to the Committee there may be some risk that you are not properly informed about the activities of the Secretariat. I therefore also suggested to the Bureau that we hold regular information meetings for the Committee at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. This will give the Secretariat the opportunity to regularly update you on the current state of affairs.
b) World Heritage Centre Projects
As you know, our project activities are funded essentially from two sources. The World Heritage Fund and Extrabudgetary funds.
I would like in the near future to examine these activities in greater detail, as I have the impression that only some of these projects refer to a defined strategy. Althogh I recognize that a certain number of ad hoc activities will always need to be implemented, I would like to propose to you a gradual change in our approach to increase the strategic value of our projects.
Furthermore, I have already developed some initial activities to further expand our partnership agreements. The Centre received last year international recognition of great importance. As you know we developed an important partnership with the United Nations Foundation on major projects for Natural World Heritage sites. I think that my colleagues have set an important model for our future action, and I would like to commed them for this. The Centre has also been able to promote important bilateral partnerships in the field of culture. This has led to the development of world class conservation programs and to the mobilization of significant resources. These types of partnerships need to be further developed and expanded.
c) Information and Education
I attach enormous importance to information and education. The success of the World Heritage Convention depends to a great extent on our ability to inform and educate. If we reach out more, especially if we are able to pass our message to the younger generations, then and only then, we will be able to say that we have fulfilled the mission of UNESCO and the mission of the Convention. I think that the Centre's activities in information and education should be expanded and connected with a greater system of education and training. Clearly, we must find the resources for this, and we must find ways to establish permanent activities in the State Parties, and to make them sustainable. Again, we will not reach any result alone. We must establish partnerships with public and private institutions. Some interesting experimental activities in this direction have been launched at the Centre, and notably the World Heritage in young hands, and I will do all I can to try to frame them within a broader strategy on information and education.
d) A better knowledge of World Heritage
Although we have very little time left for this type of activity, I give great importance to research, study and documentation on World Heritage. It is essential for the quality of our work to be able to update our knowledge using research conducted internationally in our field. Exchanges and the organisation of seminars and meetings are therefore an important tool. I would like the Centre to be able to do more in this field, in partnership with universities and research institutions. I think that this activity should be done jointly with our advisory bodies, which are the repositories of a great experience in working with the Convention. As a first step, as I have announced to the Bureau, the Centre initiate in January an activity targeted to develop a better knowledge of the World Heritage List and the Tentative Lists.
I think that knowing our own world is the best step to be able to look at its future.
I thank you for your attention.
Letter from the Italian Government
concerning Representativity of the World Heritage List
Rome, 23 November 2000
Dear Director General:
The next session of the World Heritage Committee, scheduled in Cairns on November 27 - December 2, will have to deal, among other things, with the recommendations by the extraordinary session of the Bureau in Budapest in order to improve the representativity of both the Committee and the List.
My country has already adhered to the prevailing view that a better representation inside the World Heritage Committee should be somehow ensured by shortening the mandate of WHC Members and by fostering a more balanced presence of all "regions and cultures of the world". In this spirit we will support all endeavours aimed at making the WHC a more representative managing body for the Paris Convention.
I am frankly disappointed, on the other hand, that the recommendations of the Bureau concerning ways and means to readdress the composition of the List continue to imply very negative consequences for countries like Italy. This appears to go beyond the terms indicated by the 12th General Assembly resolution for well represented counties.
At the June 2000 session of the Bureau Italy had adopted a very forthcoming attitude towards the expectations of underrepresented regions and cultures (that is its fact the representatativity/ under-representativity standard to be applied according to the Convention, rather than one focused on represented/under-represented Member States). Moreover, Italy has been allocating for years substantial voluntary resources to the benefit of under-represented developing countries, precisely along the lines indicated by the aforesaid resolution.
There seems to be, however, a number of Member States inside the WHC that are in favour of a new priority order for inscriptions, which would make it hard - if not virtually impossible - for well represented countries to continue applying for inscriptions even if they were to implement the resolution of the 12th General Assembly. One can easily foresee that such a new priority order would in practice promote inscriptions aimed at offsetting the lack or insufficient level of representation on the List of a number of Member States, rather than acknowledge the intrinsic quality of the sites: all this would inevitably diminish the value of the entire List.
It seems to me that such an approach is both contrary to the spirit, if not to the letter of the Convention and counterproductive, for it will discourage a number of Member States from continuing to support the restoration and conservation system.
Should the upcoming debate in Cairns not reorient itself towards more consensus- based measures, an important opportunity will be lost to further develop the system, so as to meet more adequately the legitimate expectations of a growing number of Member States.
I am confident that your Presidency will greatly help in putting the debate into more constructive framework.
[ signed ]
Mr. Koichiro Matsuura
STATE OF CONSERVATION OF PROPERTIES
INSCRIBED ON THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST
Extracts from the Report of the Rapporteur of the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the
Bureau, Cairns, Australia (23-24 November 2000) (WHC-2000/CONF.204/4)
WORLD HERITAGE AND MINING
In accordance with the Committee's request at its twenty-third session, IUCN and the World Heritage Centre planned and organised, in consultation with the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME), a technical meeting which analysed case studies on World Heritage and mining. This meeting was held at the IUCN Headquarters (Gland, Switzerland) from 21 to 23 September 2000 and reviewed practical case studies from the following sites: Lorentz National Park, Indonesia; Huascaran National Park, Peru; Doñana National Park, Spain; Camp Caiman Gold Project, French Guyana (adjacent to a Ramsar site); Kakadu National Park, Australia; and Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park, South Africa. These case studies were presented by site managers and the mining companies. The report of the meeting included: (a) principles underlying the relationship between World Heritage and mining; (b) recommendations to: World Heritage Committee and States Parties; management agencies; and the mining industry; and (c) follow up actions.
IUCN informed the Bureau that mining has been a controversial issue at many World Heritage sites and that the issue has been characterized by a lack of dialogue between conservation and mining interests. Thus IUCN welcomed the Committee's invitation to host a technical workshop jointly with ICME and UNESCO. IUCN highlighted the following issues: There was agreement to disagree on a number of points, for example on mining within World Heritage sites, whereas IUCN feels it incompatible, the industry representatives called for a more flexible approach, but agreed on maintaining the integrity of World Heritage values. The workshop also noted the close co-operation that exists between some mining companies and World Heritage site managers and the importance of considering World Heritage sites in their broader context and for the effective planning for mining and conservation to be considered in land-use programmes. The critical importance of disaster mitigation plans was also emphasised. The meeting was successful and productive and should be considered as part of an on-going process.
ICOMOS agreed with the conclusions by the Secretariat and IUCN concerning the outcome of the workshop.
Some delegates spoke in support of the Mining Workshop proposal, including Australia. Several delegates (including Greece, Hungary) addressed the issue of the working group to be established and its budgetary implications. It was pointed out that the number of working groups on strategic issues should be harmonized with on-going strategic planning and periodic reporting efforts of the statutory meetings of the Convention in general, and the Committee in particular. The number of such working groups need to be determined and budgetary implications incorporated along with the best timing requirements for maximising the strategic impact of the reports produced by the working groups. The chair of every group would need to be secured by one of the Bureau members to ensure close involvement of the statutory bodies of the Convention. The reports of each working group should include a comprehensive analysis of each World Heritage site inscribed in relation to the issues examined. They should also examine tentative lists of the States Parties to give recommendations, if necessary, regarding preliminary analysis of potential impacts of the issue on the nominations of those sites that are involved.
"The Bureau took note of the report contained in the Information Document WHC-2000/CONF.203/INF.7 which is based on specific case studies on mining and World Heritage and commended the States Parties, site managers, IUCN, UN agencies and the mining industry for having started a collaboration in this matter. The Bureau noted the recommendations of the report and transmitted them to the World Heritage Committee for examination.
III.1 The Bureau examined the state of conservation reports of a total of thirty-four natural heritage properties, which were presented in Working Document 5. The relevant paragraph number is indicated below the property name. The Bureau also noted that a report will be presented on Canaima National Park (Venezuela) at its next session. The Bureau decided not to discuss the site of Thungyai Huay Kha Khaeng (Thailand) as the issue mentioned in the Working Document concerns fire prevention in general.
i) Natural properties which the Bureau recommended for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal)
(see paragraph I.24)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau about the results of the joint expert mission by the Centre, IUCN and the Ramsar Bureau undertaken from 14-22 September 2000, presented in Information Document 8. The report of the mission calls for urgent financial assistance to deal with the introduced Salvinia molesta. In view of the imminent danger facing the site, the Director of Senegal National Parks has requested that the site be inscribed in the List of World Heritage in Danger. An international assistance request will be presented to the World Heritage Committee.
IUCN pointed out that the key issue is the invasive species, first detected in September 1999, which has spread rapidly including the neighbouring Diawling National Park (Mauritania). The IUCN West African Regional Office has convened an international meeting to promote co-ordinated action against this species. The report underlined the seriousness of the threat to both the environment and the economy of the region. The global environmental significance of the Senegal River Delta mainly for migratory species was also noted. Positive steps have been taken by the Government of both Senegal and Mauritania but, despite these efforts, the situation is not under control. There is a need for a practical action plan at local, national and international level. The reports also called for this site to be placed on the Danger List recognizing that this list can be used as a management tool. IUCN endorses the States Party's request for Danger List and called on international donors to urgently support actions at the site.
A number of Bureau members supported the recommendation for danger listing, highlighting the fact that Salvinia molesta is an invasive species very difficult to eradicate and that the same problem has been encountered in other regions of the world. They pointed out that this has also enormous economic and social consequences. The question of dams in arid zones was also discussed.
The Bureau recommended the Committee consider whether the site should be inscribed in the List of World Heritage in Danger, in accordance with the expressed wishes of the State Party. The Bureau also recommended the Committee call on international donor support.
ii) State of conservation reports of natural properties which the Bureau transmitted to the Committee for action
Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino (Mexico)
(see paragraph I.16)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that, following the President of Mexico's statement of 2 March 2000, the proposed salt-works at the World Heritage site of El Vizcaino would not proceed. Letters from the Chairperson of the Committee and the Director-General of UNESCO welcomed this decision and congratulated the President of Mexico for the actions taken to implement the World Heritage Convention. The UN Foundation approved a US$ 2.5 million project entitled "Linking conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism at World Heritage sites" for six sites, including the two natural sites in Mexico, the Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino and Sian Ka'an. IUCN strongly supported and commended the State Party for its decision to halt the proposed salt-works at the World Heritage site of El Vizcaino. This sends a clear message to the world about the importance of conserving natural values within World Heritage sites and demonstrates the value of focused UNESCO/IUCN monitoring missions. IUCN suggested that this be promoted as a World Heritage success story.
The Delegate of Mexico thanked UNESCO for the successful work carried out and expressed his appreciation to the Bureau. He highlighted the social pragmatism in linking development and ecology, and expressed his wish that all countries should collaborate on sustainable development.
The Bureau suggested that the World Heritage Committee commend the Mexican Government for its actions to ensure the conservation of the World Heritage values of the Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino and to implement the World Heritage Convention. It encouraged the authorities to collaborate with the Centre and other interested partners in implementing on- site projects for demonstrating possibilities for generating employment and income for local communities, such as the UN Foundation project on 'Linking Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism at World Heritage sites.
iii) State of conservation reports of natural properties which the Bureau transmitted to the Committee for noting
World Natural Heritage Properties of Australia
(see paragraph I.1)
The Bureau took note of the information on the commencement of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBCA) of 1999 including the recommendation by IUCN and noted that it would be made available to delegates on request.
IUCN noted that the ACIUCN process for monitoring Australian sites has continued and that there are a number of features of this process which are of interest and potential relevance for other States Parties: (a) it brings together the government and NGOs under the umbrella of the Australian Committee for IUCN; (b) it is based on extensive consultation focusing on key issues, and (c) it emphasises the identification of a limited number of practical recommendations. It is hoped that the process will be extended to other Australian sites depending on funding available.
The Delegate of Australia commented that this process coincides with the preparations for the periodic reporting process and that it would be useful if these reports be presented in 2002.
Shark Bay, Western Australia
(see paragraph I.2)
IUCN noted that the ACIUCN report for the site was discussed at the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau. ACIUCN has advised some amendments of the Focused Recommendations on mining consistent with the original ACIUCN recommendation to emphasise that no mineral sands mining or exploration should be allowed if it damages the World Heritage Area and values. IUCN welcomed the State Party's response to the five Focused Recommendations and looked forward to the completion of the strategic plan for the property and offered to work with the State Party to establish time frames for actions identified.
The Bureau commended the State Party and ACIUCN for successfully repeating the process applied to the Great Barrier Reef for the Shark Bay World Heritage area. The Bureau urged them to develop a Framework for Management that could be used as a basis for annual monitoring of progress in the implementation of the five Focused Recommendations, and submit it to the consideration of the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in 2002, in the context of periodic reporting.
Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
(see paragraph I.3)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau about the recent grounding of a freighter upon the reef. IUCN commended the first-year progress report on implementing the Focused Recommendations for this site. IUCN agreed with the State Party that a key issue is to effectively manage catchments adjacent to the reef to reduce overall environmental impact on the site and noted that 80 catchment management projects are currently underway. IUCN suggested that the effectiveness of these projects in reducing pollution impacts should be monitored. IUCN also noted and applauded efforts to establish a representative management planning system in the World Heritage areas based around an expanded core of highly protected areas. IUCN saw a clear link between such areas and sustainable fisheries in the Great Barrier Reef region. IUCN reviewed the recent refloating of the grounded container vessel with a potentially dangerous cargo from the reef. This was achieved by the use of explosives by the site management agency. It was noted that legal action is being taken against the shipping operator. This highlighted several issues: the need for pilotage of large vessels within the World Heritage area, especially those carrying hazardous materials, as well as the need for effective response strategies which aim to minimise environmental impact and which involve consultation with key stakeholders, including traditional owners.
Bureau members noted the fragile ecosystem and the need for continuous monitoring of the coral reef and the need to protect it from pollution.
The Delegate of Australia informed the Bureau about the actions taken to remove the vessel and that other options would have been preferred, but there was a need for urgent removal. Criminal procedures are underway against the owners of the vessel. The management of shipping needs to be of highest international standards. Australia also participates actively in the International Coral Reef Initiative and in the Coral Reef Watch.
The Bureau thanked the State Party for submitting a first-year progress report on the implementation of the "Focused Recommendations" adopted by the Committee at its twenty-third session. The Bureau noted with satisfaction the State Party's efforts to involve local communities in the work of Management Committees that are beginning to address integrated land and catchment management issues. The Bureau invited the State Party to sustain the pace of progress in the implementation of the "Focused Recommendations" achieved in the first year and submit the second-year report to the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in 2002 in the context of periodic reporting.
The Bureau also requested the State Party to submit a report on the grounding of the vessel on the Great Barrier Reef and follow-up actions for the consideration of the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau in 2001.
Central Eastern Australian Rainforest Reserves
(see paragraph I.4)
IUCN noted that the State Government of Queensland has decided not to approve the Naturelink Skyrail development. IUCN had concerns about the appropriateness of this development impacting on the World Heritage area and applauded the reported decision of the Queensland Government. The Delegate of Australia confirmed the cancellation of the project and stated that further information will be provided to the Secretariat shortly.
The Bureau noted with satisfaction that the cable car construction was not proceeding and requested the State Party to keep the Centre informed on this matter.
Wet Tropics of Queensland
(see paragraph I.5)
The Bureau took note of Information Document INF.6 "ACIUCN Report on the state of conservation of the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area, Australia". ACIUCN carried out a comprehensive monitoring exercise for this site, which involved a series of stakeholder consultations and extensive joint involvement of the Government and NGOs. The report identified four priority action areas: (i) the need to support site management, particularly to ensure adequate resources to effectively implement the Wet Tropics Management Plan and Strategic Plan; (ii) the need to closely monitor the management of native and introduced species, in particular the control of feral and exotic species; (iii) the need to ensure complementary management of land use and human impacts within and beyond the boundaries of the World Heritage area. ACIUCN recommended a particular focus on industrial and tourism developments, as well as the need to carefully assess electricity options in the region, which may impact the World Heritage area, and (iv) consideration of a number of strategic issues, including indigenous involvement on management, the recognition of cultural values in any review of boundaries to enhance site management.
The Delegate of Australia informed the Bureau that the State Party's response to the priority action areas as described by IUCN is under Ministerial consideration and will be transmitted to the Centre very shortly.
The Bureau noted the State Party's response would be made available in due course. The Bureau requested the State Party and IUCN to collaborate in the development of a Framework for Management that could be used as a basis for annual monitoring of progress in the implementation of the five Focused Recommendations and submit it for the consideration of the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in 2002, in the context of periodic reporting.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
(see paragraph I.6)
IUCN noted that the document "Principles of the Bialowieza National Park" would guide the organization of the proposed extended Park. The extension has been controversial and this document represents an important compromise as it balances conservation and sustainable development of the region. It allows for zoning, phasing out of the logging activity that is outside of the World Heritage area and increasing emphasis on tourism. IUCN supported the extension of the National Park to include the entire Polish side of the Bialowieza Forest. While this extension area was assessed by IUCN not to be of World Heritage value, it is still considered important to complement the existing World Heritage site.
The Bureau commended the efforts of the State Party. The Bureau urged the State Party to expedite the enlargement of the National Park to include the entire Polish side of the Bialowieza Primeval Forest, and to apply the document "Principles of the Bialowieza National Park functioning after its extension on to the entire Polish side of the Bialowieza Primeval Forest (Proposition)" as a basis for management of the National Park when it is enlarged.
Pirin National Park (Bulgaria)
(see paragraph I.8)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that a letter from the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) of Bulgaria was received on 3 November 2000 concerning the project proposal of the enlargement of the existing ski zone within the World Heritage site. It pointed out that the existing ski zone was constructed in 1985/86 in compliance with the existing national nature protection. The MOEW decided to give approval for the construction of two new ski runs (13.5 ha) and a ski lift facility and to give approval for a study on a new ski run (7ha) and a lift. At the same time, no approval is given for the remaining ski runs proposed. The information has been transmitted to IUCN and will be reviewed carefully.
The Bureau requested the State Party to provide an up-date report on this development as well as on the legal status of the existing ski zone within the World Heritage site in time for the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
(see paragraph I.7)
IUCN welcomed the State Party's report on the site that indicated proposals to enhance the management capacity. However, IUCN noted that the situation on the ground is difficult with illegal opening of roads for forestry activity and poaching continuing to be a threat. The IUCN Central African Office has been working with the State Party to secure funding since the main funding agencies pulled out of the site in 1999. In 1999 the IUCN/WWF Forest Innovations Project conducted an assessment of management effectiveness in co- operation with site managers and partners. The review highlighted problems arising from the withdrawal of funding and issues such as bushmeat. There was a recent meeting between the key Dja partners (IUCN, ECOFAC and other NGOs) to discuss the Dja Reserve Management Plan in relation to surrounding pressures. A meeting in January 2001 will discuss the bushmeat issue, a key issue relating to poaching at Dja and it is hoped that a project proposal may arise. In view of the circumstances, it is considered that a mission to this site is warranted to assess the situation.
The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to review the report and to co-operate with the State Party to work out methods for the implementation of the recommendations of the Sangmelima Workshop, and to report on these measures, and on the state of conservation of this site with special reference to illegal roading, poaching, and the status of mineral exploration and any proposed mining activities in time for the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau. The Bureau also encouraged international donors and partners to support conservation efforts at this site.
Gros Morne National Park (Canada)
(see paragraph I.9)
IUCN noted that logging outside the Gros Morne National Park could affect the exceptional natural beauty of the site. It is noted that Parks Canada has expressed concern regarding the cumulative impacts of logging in areas adjacent to the Park, as part of the environmental impact process of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of this process, the logging company has been asked for more information relating to the potential impacts on the Park. IUCN recommended the State Party, through Parks Canada, continue to work with the Province, environmental groups and the forest industry to find solutions to this issue.
The Observer of Canada informed the Bureau that the company's proposition concerning additional logging plans outside the area has been cancelled.
The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report on this development and issues associated with this site as indicated by IUCN in time for the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks (Canada)
The Observer of Canada informed the Bureau that the plans for the Cheviot Coal Mine outside the Jasper National Park portion of the Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks, have been cancelled, mainly due to declining coal prices.
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
(see paragraph I.10)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau about the report of the technical meeting on the two World Heritages sites of Los Katios National Park and Darien National Park (Panama) held in Bogota on 23 and 24 May 2000. Following the Bureau's request for a mission to the site to obtain detailed information on the state of conservation, the Centre received an invitation for a field mission from 10 to 12 November 2000 including visits to Medellin, Turbo and Bogota for discussions with on- site staff. Security clearance for the mission was obtained from UNDP. Due to the dates just prior to the Bureau session and the unavailability of a representative from IUCN, the mission had to be postponed.
IUCN noted the continuing instability in this area that continues to impact Los Katios and the contiguous Darien World Heritage site. IUCN recommended that further consideration of this site await the 2001 mission. This mission should review the potential for inclusion of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger as well as reviewing the potential for developing one transfrontier site. IUCN supported the efforts by the States Party to encourage on-site co-operation and capacity building between Los Katios and Darien World Heritage sites.
The Bureau welcomed the transboundary collaboration and recalled the request of the Committee at the time of the inscription to create a transboundary site between Colombia and Panama. Concerning the mission to the site, the Bureau requested UNESCO and IUCN collaborate and find suitable dates to carry out the mission in 2001.
Comoe National Park (Côte d'Ivoire)
(see paragraph I.11)
IUCN, through its West African Office, noted continuing major problems at this site mainly relating to poaching and forestry and agricultural encroachments on Park boundaries. IUCN supported a mission to the site, if invited by the State Party.
The Bureau decided to give additional time to the State Party to enable it to complete the implementation of the International Assistance provided. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party with a view to undertaking the mission requested by the twenty-third session of the Committee, and requested the State Party to provide the detailed state of conservation report and corrective measures for mitigating threats to the site before 15 September 2001 to be considered by the twenty-fifth session of the Committee.
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
(see paragraph I.12) The Secretariat informed the Bureau of positive developments at the site. However, reports had also been received concerning tensions with lobster fishermen and their recent occupation of the offices of the Charles Darwin Research Station on Isabella Island.
IUCN commended the States Party for its positive conservation measures implemented at the site, specifically the development of regulations to the Galapagos Special Law for immigration, invasive species and tourism. IUCN noted the need to ensure these regulations are effectively implemented. IUCN urged finalization of the special regulations for fisheries. This should address issues such as permissible fishing methods, boat permits and principles for setting fisheries quotas, including for lobster fisheries. The unsuitability of longline fisheries in this area rich in seabirds, sharks and turtles was also noted. IUCN commended the States Party for fundraising efforts for the site, especially the success with the GEF Grant and the Inter American Development Bank Loan. These will strengthen the quarantine system, marine reserve management and the conservation agency. IUCN looks forward to reviewing the marine extension to the World Heritage site in 2001 and suggested this evaluation be combined with a monitoring mission.
The Bureau welcomed the positive developments for conservation at this site and thanked the State Party for considering extending the World Heritage Area to include the marine zone. The Bureau commended the State Party on the excellent progress with implementing the Management Plan and recommended that a monitoring mission be linked with the IUCN evaluation of the marine extension in 2001. The Bureau, however, noted with concern recent threats arising from industrial fishing interests and invited the States Party to strictly enforce all laws and regulations, to underline its commitment to the conservation of the site. The Bureau also encouraged the State Party to expedite finalising regulations and other provisions for the effective enforcement of the Galapagos Law, particularly in the fisheries, tourism and quarantine sectors.
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
(see paragraph I.13)
IUCN and UNESCO participated in a monitoring mission to this site in September 2000. Key issues were identified as: destructive fishing using cyanide and dynamite, mainly by fishermen outside the Park. It is a difficult challenge for the Park management to control the application of the regulation and enforcement of fishing laws. Due to inadequate staffing levels, poaching and collecting activities are impacting the natural values of the site. These problems are exacerbated by internal migration to the Park. The State Party is addressing this by trying to improve the socio-economic conditions of communities outside of the Park boundary. There are a number of management issues, including the provision of water and the need for improved waste management and sanitation. IUCN also noted that the existing 25-year Master Plan is a very useful document, but recommends development of a more detailed 5-year management plan. It is critical that there be strong emphasis on involving local communities in plan preparation. IUCN noted the positive steps being taken by the State Party to address management issues and the very constructive partnership role of the Nature Conservancy in the management of the site. The mission identified a number of recommendations, including (1) to promote and increase community awareness of the benefits of the Komodo National Park; a critical element is to ensure full involvement of local communities in the preparation of the management plan; (2) other specific recommendations include increasing public awareness, encouraging appropriate eco-tourism, improving site management and developing effective monitoring and research programmes. IUCN concluded that this positive reactive monitoring mission identified practical steps to address key issues.
The Bureau also took note of the UN Foundation project of US$ 2.5 million entitled "Linking Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism at World Heritage sites" for six sites, including the Komodo and Ujung Kulon National Parks of Indonesia.
The Bureau noted the recommendations by the IUCN/UNESCO mission and also that the UNESCO-UNEP project already addresses several of the issues mentioned (training, funding and park management). The Bureau urged the State Party to develop an action plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the IUCN/UNESCO mission to Komodo National Park and submit it, as well as a progress report, for the consideration of the twenty-fifth session of the Committee in 2001.
Lorenz National Park (Indonesia)
(see paragraph I.14)
The Bureau noted that the site was one of the case studies at the Mining Workshop. IUCN informed the Bureau that the study presented was an excellent case which noted the close collaboration between the company and the Park, with Freeport being a major source of funding support for biodiversity projects and studies in the Park. A number of environmental impacts associated with the disposal of mine tailings from the site and potential impacts were noted. It recommended that those be further investigated. Freeport is developing ways to contain and treat waste and is undertaking a health and ecological risk assessment study. The issue of mine tailings should be also addressed as part of the study. IUCN also pointed out the co-operation between WWF, TNC and the State Party to develop a three-year Action Plan for this site and proposals for a Lorenz Trust Fund.
The Bureau encouraged the Indonesian authorities to closely collaborate with Freeport and other partners like WWF and TNC who are keen to support the conservation of Lorentz. The Bureau welcomed the idea for the establishment of a Lorentz Trust Fund or similar arrangements to ensure long-term conservation financing for the site.
The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to collaborate with the State Party and Freeport to obtain detailed information on the current practice of tailings disposal from the mining concession adjacent to the Park and the potential threats it may pose to its integrity. The Bureau endorsed IUCN's suggestion that Freeport be requested to address this issue as part of the ecological and health risk assessment study it is preparing.
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)
(see paragraph I.15)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that a letter was received by the Centre on 17 November 2000 from the Kenyan Embassy in France, on a number of positive actions by the Government, including security operations in the newly gazetted National Reserve, a task force on the transition of management to the Kenya Wildlife Service and the extension of the boundaries to cover an area of 1632 sq. km. It stated that these positive actions would negate suggestions to include Mt. Kenya on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
IUCN noted positive measures that will have long-term benefits for the management of the site. IUCN is however concerned about the critical situation of the site and suggests a monitoring mission to assess the potential for inscription of this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Bureau welcomed the actions taken by the State Party, and requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party with a view to undertaking a monitoring mission to the site to ascertain its state of conservation. The Bureau requested the State Party to co-operate with the Centre and IUCN with a view to completing the management plan and the programme of rehabilitation, to be submitted to the Centre by 15 March 2001 for consideration by the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)
(see paragraph I.17)
IUCN reported that the issue arose from concerns of a New Zealand NGO at the impact on parts of the World Heritage site from the Himalayan Thar, introduced for sport hunting long before the World Heritage inscription. The Himalayan Thar Management Plan aims at sustained control of thar to maintain vegetation in an ecological acceptable condition. Thar numbers had been reduced significantly under the control plan in place but the New Zealand Conservation Authority favours a review of the policy. IUCN stated that such a review would be possible when the management agency reviews the impacts of the existing policy over the next few years.
The Observer of New Zealand reaffirmed the commitment to the sustained control of this particular introduced animal and asked the Bureau to note the legal status of the control measures being implemented and to be reviewed in 2003. The State Party believed it may be useful to report back in 2002, when the process to review the control plan will have commenced.
The Bureau noted that the State Party is in the process of implementing a Himalayan Thar Control Policy but invited the State Party to take into consideration the criticisms of NZCA concerning some aspects of the Policy. The Bureau requested that the State Party give due consideration to changes called for by the NZCA when it reviews the Policy's impacts during 2002/2003, or if possible, earlier. The Bureau invited the State Party to submit a progress report on the implementation of the Policy and its plan or efforts to undertake a review of policy implementation to the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in 2002.
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
(see paragraph I.18)
IUCN carried out a reactive monitoring mission to the site in May 2000 and the report has been circulated. It includes the following points: The poaching of the Arabian Oryx has been stopped for the past 16 months, thus arresting the previous decline in populations. The key role of the Sultan's special force should be noted, indicating the highest level of support of this species for the conservation of this site. A new management plan has been prepared with revised boundaries and clearly identified management zones. It is important that these boundaries are marked on the ground and adequate resources allocated to ensure its implementation. The Report also identified a number of other issues, including control of vehicles, overgrazing and mining. These issues need to be addressed in the implementation of the management plan. The site should not be considered for Danger Listing.
The Delegate of Morocco welcomed the progress made and highlighted the fragile environment and the economic and petroleum exploitation interests. Such a site could be seen as a core area in a wider Biosphere Reserve context to include sustainable development.
The Bureau commended the State Party for finalising the draft management plan for the Sanctuary and proposing new, more rational boundaries. To maintain the integrity of the site, the Bureau requested the State Party, as a matter of urgency, to adopt the draft management plan, complete the boundary marking, and allocate adequate resources for the plan's implementation. The Bureau invited the State Party to submit a new boundary for the World Heritage listing which excluded the buffer zone. Finally, the Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to collaborate with the State Party in order to continuously monitor the site and to report regularly to the Bureau.
Huascarán National Park (Peru)
(see paragraph I.20)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the site was one of the successful case studies of the Mining Workshop. IUCN pointed out that the mining company agreed to develop the southern route for the transport of mineral resources, rather than transporting them through the Park. IUCN highlighted the positive co-operation between the State Party, the mining company and the Mountain Institute at this site. The need for the development of a new management plan which focuses on effective management of tourism and better control of small- scale mining operators within the Park was emphasized.
The Bureau encouraged the State Party to implement the recommendations of the mission report and to regularly report on the status of the implementation of these recommendations.
Danube Delta (Romania)
(see paragraph I.21)
The Bureau took note of the report supplied by the State Party. IUCN noted reports of re-opening of mining operations upstream from this site. IUCN urged caution, bearing in mind that there have been four spills of cyanide and heavy metals from three mine sites in Romania in the first half of this year. This situation needs to be carefully reviewed. IUCN also noted that it is essential that mining companies have clear and effective disaster mitigation plans, experience borne out from this case and Doñana National Park, Spain.
The Delegate of Hungary asked that a report be provided by the State Party on measures taken in the mine region.
The Bureau thanked the State Party for having provided information on the impacts of the spill on the Danube Delta World Heritage area and urged the State Party to develop clear and effective disaster mitigation plans for any on-going or future mining activities that may affect World Heritage values. It requested the State Party to provide a report on measures taken in the mine region in time for the twenty-fifth session of the Committee.
Golden Mountains of Altai (Russian Federation)
(see paragraph I.22)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Director of the UNESCO Office in Moscow would attend a meeting on the proposed road and gas pipeline through the Ukok Plateau, from 18 to 20 December 2000 in the Altai Republic. IUCN pointed out that it is currently only a proposal and suggested caution on this issue. There is a need to assess options for the road outside of the World Heritage area and consult with stakeholders. IUCN also noted proposals for an Altai Convention, which aims to provide a framework for balancing conservation and development needs.
The Bureau invited the State Party to inform the Centre on details concerning the proposed road construction project, including any environmental impact studies that may be underway and any future developments in time for the twenty- fifth session of the Bureau.
Volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russian Federation)
(see paragraph I.23)
IUCN noted the serious reports received on salmon poaching, gold mining, gas pipeline and a geothermal powerplant in the region. IUCN noted the socio-economic challenges in this region and emphasised the need to link planning of the World Heritage site with development opportunities for local populations and regional planning as set out in the Project Kamchatka Report. Additional donor support would be required and more initiatives need to be developed. The Secretariat informed the Bureau that a mission of a staff member of the UNESCO Office in Moscow will take place in January 2001.
A number of Bureau members and observers expressed concerns about the magnitude of the problems encountered, and requested that these brought to the attention of the State Party.
The Bureau noted with concern the reported threats to this site and that a case may exist for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a state of conservation report on this site, which addresses the points raised by IUCN, and the potential for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in time for the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
(see paragraph I.24)
IUCN noted that a Workshop on Lake Baikal was held in July 2000 and that this meeting and other reports have indicated: (a) continuing concerns about the discharge of waste waters into Lake Baikal, and the main tributary of Lake Baikal, the Selenga River. One of the major waste water inputs is the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill; (b) a delay in the preparation of a detailed plan for the conversion of the Pulp and Paper Mill; (c) concerns about the adequacy and effectiveness of the Federal Law on Lake Baikal were pointed out, as well as concerns about other threats to the integrity of the site (unregulated hunting, fishing). IUCN also noted that the State Committee on Environmental Protection has been abolished. The specific implications for World Heritage sites in the Russian Federation are unclear.
The Bureau expressed its concern that no updated information was received from the State Party on this property and that other recent reports indicate serious threats to this site and that a case may exist for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requested the State Party invite a mission to this site in 2001 to ascertain whether it should be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal)
(see paragraph I.26)
IUCN noted significant threats from poaching by local subsistence farmers and armed gangs. The report suggested that there may soon be no Derby Elands left, unless urgent measures are taken. The IUCN Senegal Office has expressed concern about the situation in the Park and has reported proposals to transfer animals, including the Derby Elands, from the World Heritage site. There are also recent proposals to import western giant elands from Senegal to a commercial ranch in South Africa. IUCN noted that there has not been a study to assess the impacts of the translocation of animals on the conservation status of the Park and urged caution.
The Bureau noted with concern the reports concerning this site. The Bureau requested the State Party to consider inviting a monitoring mission to this site in 2001.
Doñana National Park (Spain)
(see paragraph I.27)
IUCN recognized the efforts made by the State Party to clean up the site, particularly associated with the Doñana 2005 Restoration Project and the Green corridor project. However, there is still a long way to go. The need for decommissioning of the old tailings dam and better storage of mining waste was highlighted.
The Bureau commended the continuing efforts of the State Party to clean up the area, which indicated a gradual recovery of the Guadiamar River Basin. However, the Bureau noted that there is still a great deal of effort required and that there remains high pollution in some areas. The Bureau urged the State Party to accelerate implementation of the Doñana 2005 restoration project and implement the review meeting to be held during 2001. The authorities are invited to inform the Centre by 15 April 2001 on tentative dates and a programme for the review meeting.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)
(see paragraph I.28)
IUCN urged priority attention to resolving boundary issues and endorsed efforts to incorporate an additional 1,000 ha of natural forest into the Reserve. IUCN Sri Lanka will be working with the State Party on this issue and on implementing a proposed GEF-funded project to conserve the south-western rainforests of Sri Lanka.
The Bureau noted that the Forest Department is making efforts to reclaim the land released for organic tea farming and may encounter a legal challenge from the private enterprise concerned. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to monitor further developments on the matter and report on progress to the next extraordinary session of the Bureau in 2001. In addition, the Bureau invited the State Party to report on steps taken to incorporate 1,000 ha of natural forest to the National Reserve and its eventual inclusion in the World Heritage site.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
(see paragraph I.30)
IUCN noted continuing problems regarding security at this site. The Observer of Uganda informed the Bureau about the difficult situation and civil unrest in the whole region. A new strategic plan was prepared in September 2000 that addresses a number of issues including a security plan. This will be translated into an Operational Plan with budgetary implications by March 2001. This will also define which areas could be financed by the World Bank and the World Heritage Fund. He confirmed that information would be provided as soon as possible to the Centre. IUCN also noted there is a $7 million trust fund for Bwindi.
The Bureau recalled its earlier request and recommended that the Centre and IUCN continue efforts to verify, with the Ugandan authorities, their needs for support for purchase of vehicles and staff training and to continue assisting the Ugandan authorities to obtain financial support from suitable sources, including the World Heritage Fund. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide the information on the Operational Plan by 15 April 2001 and asked the Centre and IUCN to report on the measures taken to support the management programme at the twenty-fifth ordinary session of the Bureau in mid-2001.
Gough Island (United Kingdom)
(see paragraph I.31)
IUCN noted that the invasive species Sagina has been eradicated but urged the State Party to carefully monitor the situation to ensure that future outbreaks do not occur. The Observer of the United Kingdom informed the Bureau that his Government is addressing long-term issues through the revision of the management plan. The revision of boundaries of the Reserve had been extended from three nautical miles to 12 nautical miles, but that this did not affect the World Heritage area.
The Bureau commended the State Party and the St. Helena Government for their effective and prompt response in eradicating this invasive species. It invited the State Party to keep the future situation of the site under close review.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
(see paragraph I.32)
IUCN noted that an Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out on the proposed routes for the planned access road and a decision made that the road should avoid environmentally sensitive areas. IUCN urged the State Party to proceed slowly and with caution on this matter. IUCN also noted problems with introduced species in the crater.
The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to continue monitoring this site, and invited the State Party to provide reports to the Centre on a regular basis and to provide the Centre with a copy of both the management plan and the Environmental Impact Assessment Study.
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
(see paragraph I.33)
IUCN reviewed the State Party's annual report and applauded many positive actions underway, including raising community awareness and support for the area. The key concerns are the cumulative impacts of activities in the Ha Long Bay region outside the site. IUCN supported programmes such as the integrated coastal and marine management programme for the Tonkin Archipelago proposed by IUCN Vietnam and the World Bank. This tries to balance conservation and development across the region.
The Delegate of Hungary highlighted the complexity of the site and the need for a broader heritage impact assessment, as well as the need for the consolidated involvement of all partners.
The Observer of Vietnam informed the Bureau that during the last months a strategic partnership framework has been agreed upon for a consolidated integrated management approach. On 1 December 2000 the Master Plan 2000-2020 would be due for ratification by the Prime Minister. The Master Plan will take into account the World Heritage area and its buffer zone. The environmental legislation was amended to allow a thorough environmental management audit of the Bai Chay Bridge construction project. There is a high level of commitment by both the provincial and central Government. World Heritage education programmes are to be introduced into all schools in the region. A new donor strategy is being developed and training in donor advocacy is being provided to staff of the Ha Long Bay Management Department.
The Bureau commended the commitment of the State Party to continue to improve infrastructure and capacity for the protection of the site and for providing a report on the Management and Preservation of the site. The Bureau however, drew the attention of the State Party to risks linked to addressing environmental impacts of individual projects to the neglect of monitoring cumulative impacts of the overall development of Ha Long City and other areas surrounding the World Heritage area. The Bureau urged the Government of Vietnam and the Provincial Government of Quang Ninh to seek donor support, including from JICA and other Japanese Institutions that co-operated to carry out the Study on Environmental Management of Ha Long Bay, to initiate implementation of the Study's recommendations with minimum possible delay. The Bureau noted that the State Party amended the environmental legislation as appropriate to ensure the full implementation of the Environmental Management and Audit Programme recommended by the EIA of the Bai Chay Bridge Construction Project, during the construction phase as well as beyond. The Bureau also encouraged the State Party to increase its efforts to co-ordinate and consolidate inputs of all stakeholders for the conservation of the Ha Long Bay World Heritage area and the sustainable development of its surrounding region. The Bureau invited the State Party to submit a progress report on the outcome of its efforts to implement the above recommendations to the next extraordinary session of the Bureau at the end of 2001.
Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
(see paragraph I.34)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that problems were encountered with the proposed bilateral meeting. A related international assistance request has been received from Zambia. IUCN saw the implementation of the joint Zambia/Zimbabwe planning workshop as a priority and looked forward to participating. The Delegate of Zimbabwe confirmed that problems existed and welcomed the Centre's letter on this matter. He informed the Bureau that a meeting would take place in Zimbabwe from 19 to 22 December 2000 prior to the bilateral meeting.
The Bureau reiterated its requests of earlier sessions and those of the Committee, that the States Parties expedite the organisation of the bilateral meeting in order to report to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau in mid-2001.
MIXED (NATURAL AND CULTURAL) HERITAGE
i) State of conservation reports of mixed properties which the Bureau transmitted to the Committee for action
Kakadu National Park (Australia)
(see paragraph I.35)
The Bureau recalled that in July 1999, the third extraordinary session of the Committee examined the state of conservation of Kakadu National Park with reference to the development of a uranium mine on the Jabiluka Mineral Lease in an enclave of the Park.
The Bureau reviewed progress on two main issues. Firstly, the resolution of a number of scientific issues and, secondly, cultural issues.
The Bureau noted the conclusions of the report of the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) of the International Council for Science (ICSU) (see Executive Summary of WHC- 2000/CONF.203/INF.5).
The Bureau also noted that on 10 November, in a letter addressed to the Chair of the Committee, the State Party had advised that:
- they accepted the intent of the ISP recommendations and will ensure that their implementation achieves the objectives outlined by the ISP and IUCN in that report.
- subject to a review of the resource implications, and the need to ensure the cooperation of Traditional Owners, a more extensive monitoring programme at a local and regional level could be put in place.
- they will explore mechanisms for improving the transparency of the external technical advice review process through the incorporation of further independent advice from the most appropriate Australian scientists and engineers.
- amendments have been made to Australia's legal regime in relation to environmental protection and the regulations governing the exports of uranium.
The leader of the ISP of ICSU informed the Bureau that the ISP report was concerned principally with issues relating to the approved proposal for the Jabiluka Milling Alternative (JMA). The ISP considers that the risks to natural values of the World Heritage Area have been quantified with a high level of scientific certainty and are small or negligible for the approved mining and milling proposal. However, the ISP considers that there is still the need for:
(a) landscape and ecosystem analyses;
(b) improvement in management arrangements as a leakage incident at the Ranger Mine showed that the response of the mining company and authorities was unsatisfactory, and that the standard of monitoring and maintenance had fallen below those expected;
(c) an independent scientific advisory group and transparent review process.
The ISP considers that the Australian Government response to the ISP recommendations dated 10 November 2000 are satisfactory in relation to some of the ISP recommendations, but unsatisfactory for others. The leader of the ISP of ICSU said that the ISP findings do not necessarily relate to milling proposals other than the JMA. Furthermore he commented that the ISP had little information on alternative milling proposals.
The ISP stated that if these alternative milling proposals can be shown to reduce any potential environmental risk, then the ISP would accept and welcome them but would still need:
- detailed rigorous environmental analyses
- full stakeholder involvement at the earliest stage
- transparency of process, and
- a fully independent review body.
IUCN referred to the joint statement made by the advisory bodies in July 1999 and to the report of the IUCN expert who had participated in the mission in July 2000 (see Annex 4 of WHC-2000/CONF.203/INF.5). IUCN endorsed the process of scientific peer review and said that in accordance with the Precautionary Principle there should be no mining until there was a complete Environmental Impact Assessment on the modified mine plans.
IUCN said they were very concerned about the leak at the Ranger uranium mine reported to the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in June 2000, and about other reported leaks, but noted that only minor ecological impacts have occurred. They expressed concern about the potential cultural impacts of the leak and the inconsistencies in the reports of the Northern Territory and the Federal Government on the leak.
IUCN recommended that there be further documentation of the natural values of the Lease and adjacent areas at the earliest opportunity. In noting that there were also ethical and cultural issues relating to the scientific and technical issues at Jabiluka, IUCN indicated that it was essential for the Traditional Owners not to feel excluded from future discussions and assessments.
The Delegate of Australia thanked the ISP of ICSU and the IUCN Representative for their constructive participation in the mission to the Jabiluka and Ranger Mineral leases in July 2000. In referring to the ISP's work as a good example of a process of scientific peer review, he welcomed the finding of the ISP report, particularly the overall finding that risks to natural values were small or neglegible. He informed the Bureau that discussions between the leader of the ISP of ICSU, the Supervising Scientist of Australia and IUCN would continue over the coming days to seek agreement on a proposed decision to be submitted to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.
At its twenty-fourth session in June 2000, the Bureau also requested that all affected parties and the Australian Government, work to find a constructive solution to addressing the economic, social and cultural expectation of the people of Kakadu while protecting the full range of World Heritage values.
On 10 November the State Party informed the Chair of the current status of initiatives to improve the social and economic circumstances of Aboriginal people living in Kakadu. However, for cultural issues, particularly in relation to cultural mapping and the development of a cultural heritage management plan, all parties reported a lack of progress and some difficulties in co-operation.
ICOMOS recommended that an independent scientific group perform an objective assessment of the cultural values of the Jabiluka Mineral Lease and referred to the possible development of international guidelines concerning World Heritage and indigenous people.
The Delegate of Australia informed the Bureau that the Australian Government was pleased to begin a new dialogue with the Traditional Owners and other stakeholders to together consider a process for addressing cultural issues at Jabiluka. The majority of members of the Bureau, in welcoming these developments, acknowledged that dialogue between the Traditional Owners and the State Party was crucial if progress could be made towards developing a new process to address any outstanding cultural issues relating to the development of the uranium mine and mill at Jabiluka.
- Noted the report of the ISP of ICSU and IUCN on the science issues and the new information provided by the State Party and recommended it be examined by the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.
- Welcomed the fact that discussions are taking place between the State Party and the Traditional Owners.
- Noted the concern of the Traditional Owners that serious impacts on the living cultural values of Kakadu National Park posed by the proposal to mine and mill uranium at Jabiluka might still exist.
- Considered that the Committee's previous decision regarding cultural mapping and the preparation of a cultural heritage management plan for Jabiluka cannot be implemented at this stage and that an approach founded on partnership between all parties concerned is required to ensure the protection of the living cultural values of Kakadu National Park.
- Recalled that at the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in Paris (2000) ICOMOS indicated its willingness to "participate in activities leading towards resolving cultural heritage issues pertaining to the management of Kakadu National Park".
- The Bureau requested that the Committee note that the State Party is prepared to consider whether a new process is required to address any outstanding issues relating to cultural values. Any new process would be facilitated by the State Party, in consultation with Traditional Owners and other domestic stakeholders.
ii) State of conservation reports of mixed properties which the Bureau transmitted to the Committee for noting
Mount Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha (China)
(see paragraph I.36)
Monitoring missions were carried out by IUCN and ICOMOS to evaluate the impact of a monorail linking two summits of Mt. Emei. The construction of the monorail was noted with concern when IUCN evaluated the site in 1996. At the time, the relevant authorities announced that construction had been suspended and the site was inscribed in December 1996. Subsequently, the Bureau learnt that the monorail was completed and has been operating since December 1998. IUCN pointed out that the outcome of the monitoring mission has been positive, as the monorail has largely followed the existing footpath. The footpath has been closed and vegetation is encroaching and there is control over the visitor numbers to Wanfo Summit. The route of the monorail is relatively unobtrusive.
ICOMOS drew the attention of the Bureau to the proposed access walkway to view the Leshan Giant Buddha. The siting and general appearance of the structures were acceptable, but ICOMOS recommended that modification be made relating to the use of materials in conformity with the proposals of the World Bank expert.
The Bureau, upon examining the findings of the IUCN and ICOMOS missions, requested the State Party to inform the site management authorities of the World Heritage properties in China that major projects of this type should not be undertaken without prior evaluation of all environmental impacts, and for the Committee to be provided with information prior to their implementation. The Bureau also requested the State Party to provide more training opportunities to the staff of the site in (1) tourism management, including measures to monitor and mitigate the impact of tourism; and (2) management tools for biodiversity protection. The Bureau recommended that the report of the IUCN/ICOMOS missions be transmitted to the relevant Chinese authorities and requested the State Party, with the support of UNESCO and the advisory bodies, to develop a programme of action to ensure follow-up to the recommendations of the IUCN/ICOMOS missions.
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru)
(see paragraph I.37)
ICOMOS noted that, of the 16 recommendations made by the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission of October 1999, only some are referred to in the report received from the Peruvian authorities and others still needed to be approved and/or implemented. The advisory body also observed that it was necessary to undertake the study on the carrying capacity of the Sanctuary and the Ciudadela as a basis for other programmes and projects such as access to the site, tourism use as well as protection of natural and cultural resources etc.
IUCN welcomed the progress made concerning the establishment of a national co-ordinating Committee and the management committee of the Historic Sanctuary as well as the approved fire prevention plan. IUCN recommended encouraging the Government of Japan to finance the landslide project and acknowledged the continuous support of the Government of Finland. IUCN furthermore noted that the installation of the cable car while retaining the road access would add to the problem of visitor numbers which the Peruvian Management Unit is addressing through a study on the carrying capacity. IUCN also recalled the monorail that led to the elimination of ground access at Mt. Emei in China and suggested that the Peruvian authorities include such an approach in their planning process.
The Secretariat informed the Bureau about the accident that had occurred on the site during the production of a beer commercial, when a crane that formed part of the film team's equipment, fell on the Intihuatana or stone sundial, chipping off a piece of stone. A detailed report reached the World Heritage Centre in October 2000, prepared by an assessment mission to Machu Picchu, which examined the damage as well as initial actions taken in response to the accident. The Centre also informed the Bureau of the preparation of a Technical Co- operation request for an international expert in stone restoration.
Several Bureau members expressed concern and suggested that guidelines for the use of World Heritage sites should be devised, although there was no agreement concerning a site specific or general approach. ICOMOS suggested that the use of World Heritage sites in general, not only the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, should be regulated by some form of charter or guidelines to avoid damage in comparable situations. The Observer of the United Kingdom informed the Bureau of the experience with management and use-regulations at Stonehenge. The Chairperson concluded that the issue was of general concern and that the United Kingdom was in a position to supply valuable information for other States Parties.
The Bureau commended the State Party for the actions taken to protect the property, especially the advances made in consolidating the institutional structure for the management of the site. Furthermore, the Bureau urged the Peruvian authorities to consider and implement all recommendations made by the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission of October 1999. It also requested the authorities to submit a further progress report on the implementation of the mission recommendations, particularly the consolidation of the institutional structure and the development of the carrying capacity study and the cable car project, by 15 April 2001 for examination by the World Heritage Bureau at its twenty-fifth session. Upon receipt of this report the Bureau may decide whether a further field mission to review progress made would be necessary.
The Bureau furthermore expressed serious concern over the accident that damaged one of the main monuments at Machu Picchu, the Intihuatana Sundial. It recommended the Peruvian authorities to review its policy for the use of the World Heritage site for commercial purposes. It requested the Peruvian authorities to submit a report on the accident, the restoration efforts taken and the policy review by 15 April 2001 for examination by the World Heritage Bureau at its twenty-fifth session.
III.2 The Bureau examined the state of conservation of a total of twenty-eight cultural heritage properties which were presented in Working Document 5. The relevant paragraph number is indicated below the property name.
i) Cultural properties which the Bureau recommended for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Fort and Shalamar Gardens of Lahore (Pakistan)
(see paragraph I.52)
The Bureau recalled the Committee and Bureau's request for a reactive monitoring mission to be organized by the Centre and ICOMOS following receipt of information concerning the demolition of the 375 year-old hydraulic works, an essential monument within the site of the Shalamar Gardens. The Bureau examined the findings and recommendations of the ICOMOS-UNESCO reactive monitoring mission undertaken in October 2000, which was summarized as below:
The 375 year-old hydraulic works of the Shalamar Gardens
The three water tanks forming part of the 375 year-old hydraulic works of the Shalamar Gardens had been irretrievably demolished over a period of ten days in June 1999 by the Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore (MCL) of the Provincial Government of Punjab in order to widen the Grand Trunk Road located along the southern wall of the Shalamar Gardens. Two of the three water tanks originally constructed in brick and mortar were demolished and what remains are parts of its walls at the ground level. The third tank now, considerably reduced in size, stands alone along the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) threatened by traffic. These tanks were linked to the canal "Shah Nahar", which once irrigated the fountains of the Shalamar Gardens.
The site of the ancient hydraulic works after the demolition has been used by the MCL as a parking lot for heavy trucks (eastern part), and partially for the sale of furniture by a vendor (western part) who has illegally occupied the site.
The mission found that:
- the legal ownership and boundary of the area where the hydraulic works were located are unclear;
- the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DoA) of the Federal Government of Pakistan protested several times against the demolition work but to no avail;
- alternative proposals drawn up by the DoA for widening the GT Road were not given due consideration;
- the DoA was requested by the Commissioner of Lahore and the Governor of Punjab to propose corrective measures on 14 August 2000. However, at the time of the ICOMOS-UNESCO Mission in October 2000, the DoA had not yet submitted a proposal.
Perimeter Walls of the Shalamar Gardens
Examination of the exterior of the perimeter wall around the Shalamar Gardens, the three terraced gardens and the Naqqar Khana, the garden to the east, indicated that despite efforts made by the DoA to mobilize resources and the co-operation of the various authorities concerned, restoration and rehabilitation of the historic monuments and gardens had not progressed. Difficulties in implementing the Recommendations of the 1998 ICOMOS mission that had been adopted by the DoA during a 1999 UNESCO mission, were also noted. Although the 1998 ICOMOS mission had been informed that funds had been made available for restoration activities in the Naqqar Khana, there was no evidence that such works had been implemented.
During the past year, a modern hydraulic system was installed to supply water to the upper two terraces located at the southern part of the Shalamar Gardens. The natural stone decorating the eastern and western entrance gates within the lowest northern terrace were being replaced by hand-carved stone at the time of the October 2000 Mission.
Both sides of the perimeter wall have deteriorated (peeling plaster and flaking mud mortar, advertisements painted on the outside, vandalism, graffiti, illegal construction along the walls, damage to the original hand-painted decoration on the outside, humidity rising at the base of the wall caused by raising the ground level along the outside walls, aggravated by the construction of paved sidewalks against the wall along the northern and western sides, garbage).
Awareness of the unique character, historical significance, and World Heritage values of the Shalamar Gardens appeared to be low.
Threats facing the Shalamar Gardens
The integrity and authenticity of the 375 year-old hydraulic works of the Shalamar Gardens have been severely damaged by the demolition of the greater part of the hydraulic works, the Shah Nahar, located on the opposite side of the Grand Trunk Road.
The property is threatened by serious and specific danger, and to conserve this site, major operations are necessary.
All parts of the site are subject to "ascertained danger" due to serious deterioration of materials, structure, ornamental features, town-planning coherence, and significant and important loss of historic authenticity and cultural significance.
The site is subject to "potential danger" due to a lack of effective means to implement existing conservation policies for the site in the face of rapid urbanisation of the greater Lahore City and its surrounding areas.
The State Party should define and implement a "rescue programme" as soon as possible in order to safeguard the remains of the hydraulic works.
Legal, political, financial and management measures are needed to redress the situation. There is no structured co-operation between the federal and local authorities concerned. Unchecked growth (human settlements, traffic, etc) undermine the integrity and authenticity of the site.
Priority actions recommended by the UNESCO-ICOMOS Joint Mission
The authorities are urged to undertake conservation of the perimeter wall and of the gates. This will require full co- operation of the Metropolitan Co-operation of Lahore, and may require establishment of a sound drainage system near the walls to prevent further damage caused by humidity undercutting the walls.
The authorities are urged to prioritise for the restoration (not reconstruction) of the pavilions and other historic monuments within the Shalamar Gardens.
The authorities are urged to revitalize the garden layout and water works, based upon archaeological research and scientific analysis of the original layout of the gardens.
The authorities are urged to establish a co-ordination body with representatives of all stakeholders concerned in the protection and utilisation of the Shalamar Gardens. UNESCO, the World Heritage Committee, ICOMOS, ICCROM and other bodies will need to provide financial and technical support in developing a long-term management plan to ensure the development and conservation of this unique site.
The ICOMOS-UNESCO reactive monitoring mission recommended that the World Heritage Committee inscribe the Shalamar Gardens of Lahore on the List of World Heritage in Danger, taking into due consideration the state of conservation of the site, the ascertained and potential threats, and the positive response from the State Party concerning the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger during discussions held between the Centre and the authorities concerned since 1999.
Deliberations by the Bureau during its twenty-fourth extraordinary session
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that consultations between the Representatives of the Government of Pakistan, the Director-General of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, and the World Heritage Centre had taken place since 1999 concerning the possibility of nominating the property for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau was informed that representatives of Pakistan to UNESCO and the DoA indicated that the Government is considering the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. A formal letter of request that was expected prior to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee, had not been received.
The Bureau expressed serious concern over the complete loss of two of the three hydraulic works, and the partial demolition of the third hydraulic work. Taking note of the previous assistance requested by the State Party, and recognizing that the property is threatened by serious and specific danger, necessitating major operations to ensure the protection of the remains of an essential historic monument within the property, the Bureau recommended that the Committee examine the state of conservation of this site at its twenty-fourth session, with a view to inscribe the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, at the request of the State Party.
The Bureau recommended that the Committee request the State Party to define and implement a "rescue programme" as soon as possible in order to safeguard the remains of the former hydraulic works, through consolidation as an archaeological relic of the remaining foundations of two tanks, by taking measures to prevent further deterioration of what still remains of the third tank with its brick arches, and by fencing off the site on which these remains are located from the immediate surroundings so that it is no longer directly accessible. Parking on the site of the first and second tanks should be prohibited as soon as possible, and the Bureau recommends the Committee underline the equally urgent need to adequately conserve the remains of the third tank, currently being used both as a toilet and a garbage disposal area. Considering the extent of destruction and loss of the original materials of the two demolished tanks, reconstruction is no longer possible. For the area around the remains of the hydraulic works, the Bureau recommends that the Committee request the State Party to provide clarification concerning ownership, land use and the legal status of the land within 200 feet of these hydraulic works, particularly in view of the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, No. XXXIV of 1985 (The Punjab Gazette, Lahore, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 1985) applicable for this site.
The Bureau underlined that the state of conservation of this property illustrates a case where world heritage values of a property had been severely damaged due to insufficient attention given to conservation needs in the planning and implementation of public works.
Historic City of Zabid (Yemen)
(see paragraph I.42)
The Secretariat presented its report, including new information following the mission in October 2000. Following a question raised by the delegate from Hungary about the position of the Yemen authorities concerning the State Party's request to inscribe the Historic City of Zabib on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Secretariat informed the Bureau that an official letter of 17 October 2000 had been received requesting the Committee to consider an inclusion of the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger as this would be necessary to safeguard the site.
The Bureau decided to transmit the report to the Committee for examination and to recommend the Committee to adopt the following:
"The Committee notes the request of the Yemeni authorities to inscribe the Historic Town of Zabib on the List of World Heritage in Danger and decides to inscribe the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to send a multidisciplinary team in order to evaluate the situation and take further actions."
ii) State of conservation report of cultural properties which the Bureau transmitted to the Committee for action
Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)
(see paragraph I.49)
The Bureau recalled that the Committee had repeatedly expressed concern for this site and deferred inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 1992. Recognizing the continuing loss of authenticity of the urban fabric of the site, the Committee at its twenty-third session decided to again defer decision on in-danger listing until the twenty- fourth session. The Committee also decided to send a High Level Mission in 2000 to ensure consultations with representatives of His Majesty's Government of Nepal to transmit the Committee's concern and to convince the authorities of the merit of in-danger listing. This mission took place from 24 to 29 September 2000.
The Director of the World Heritage Centre reported on the conclusive findings and final considerations of the High Level Mission to Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site, presented in WHC-2000/CONF.203/INF.4. He drew the attention of the Bureau to the state of conservation of the site, much of which had not improved since 1999. The Bureau was informed of the continuing commitment of His Majesty's Government of Nepal to protect the seven Monument Zones composing the site. The Director reported that the authorities had emphasized the difficulties in imposing international standards in the conservation of privately-owned historic buildings without substantial subsidy and technical support.
The Director informed the Bureau that no new plans had been put forth by the Nepalese authorities to redress the persistent and continued deterioration of the materials, structures, ornamental features, and overall architectural coherence in most Monument Zones. The High Level Mission was received positively by the representatives of the central and local government authorities including an audience with His Majesty the King. The Director informed the Bureau, however, that the mission was unable to convince the representatives of His Majesty's Government of Nepal on the constructive aims of the system of in-danger listing, notably to mobilise the support of policy makers at the highest level and international donors.
Finally, the Bureau was informed that the High Level Mission concluded that should no new measures be undertaken, the deterioration of the historic urban fabric will persist, irreversibly damaging the vernacular architecture surrounding the public monuments, and consequently damaging the world heritage values of this unique and universally significant site.
The Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, who led the High Level Mission, thanked the Director of the World Heritage Centre for his comprehensive presentation. The Chairperson stressed that the gravity of the situation should not be underestimated and reminded the Bureau that the decision of the Committee whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-fourth session would reflect upon the credibility and moral responsibility of the World Heritage Convention and its Committee.
The Delegate of Finland, who participated in the High Level Mission as both a Vice-President of the Committee as well as the ICOMOS Representative during the mission, underscored the complexity of the site, composed of seven Monument Zones located in different geographic areas at considerable distances from each other and in different conservation conditions. He emphasized that the principal cause of concern is the difficulty in conserving the historic urban fabric, as the public monuments are in generally good condition. The Delegate of Finland recommended that the Committee defer inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, as the inscription of the entire site could be discouraging for the authorities and the people of Monument Zones. ICOMOS concurred with this view.
The Delegate of Australia, underlining the importance of the Committee's decision, stated that a decision by the Committee to inscribe the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger against the wish of the State Party would set a precedent, which could impact upon the work of the Convention and the States Parties' common goals to protect world heritage. He informed the Bureau that Australia did not consider that under the Convention the Committee was empowered to inscribe a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger without the consent of the State Party concerned and without the request for assistance by the State Party.
Discussions ensued on the objectives of the Convention and international co-operation. The Delegate of Hungary recognized the challenges in urban heritage protection in the face of rapid urbanization, change in urban life style and economic growth. The use of the Convention as a mechanism for mobilising further political commitment and international technical co-operation was underscored.
The Delegate of Greece recalled that the Committee had deferred the inscription of the Kathmandu Valley on the List of World Heritage in Danger numerous times. She pointed out the evident difficulty faced by both the Committee and the State Party in implementing the Convention to safeguard the site for future generations. With reference to the debate on the necessity for State Party consent for in-danger listing, she stated that Article 11.4 allows the Committee to inscribe a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger without the consent of the State Party concerned. Recalling her intervention at the twenty-third session of the Committee, she reminded the Bureau that she had foreseen that the High Level Mission would not be able to convince the Nepali Government on the merits of the in-danger listing system. She drew the Bureau's attention to the significant loss of historic buildings within Bauddhanath Monument Zone where there were approximately 88 historic buildings surrounding the stupa in 1979, which decreased to 27 in 1993, and 15 in 1998. Recalling that the serious state of conservation of this site has been examined at 19 sessions of the Committee and Bureau since 1992, the Delegate of Greece stressed the gravity of the situation and the need to ensure the credibility of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, its Committee and the World Heritage List.
The Delegate of Mexico reminded the Bureau that the seven Monument Zones of the Kathmandu Valley were nominated and inscribed together as one site in 1979, exemplifying the heritage of Nepalese art and culture at its height. He emphasized the importance of "preventive conservation" in addressing the conservation of historic cities to prevent irreversible damages.
The Delegate of Zimbabwe reminded the Bureau that the conclusive findings of the High Level Mission underscored the fact that Kathmandu Valley was in danger. Regardless of whether or not it was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, he suggested the possibility of deleting certain parts of the Monument Zones as a means of retaining the credibility of the World Heritage Convention.
In the discussion which followed, the Bureau members agreed that the Committee would need to define procedures for examining cases such as Kathmandu Valley, where certain world heritage values or components justifying inscription have been irreversibly lost.
The Observer of the United Kingdom noted the shortcomings of Committee decisions in previous years for having inscribed properties which lacked adequate management and conservation mechanisms, and underscored the importance of the periodic reporting exercise in addressing related problems.
The Observer of Nepal expressed his Government's appreciation for responding favourably to requests for technical and financial assistance which the Committee and UNESCO have been providing for Kathmandu Valley since the 1970's. He recalled the great pride of the Nepalese citizens in 1979 when the site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but informed the Bureau that they were unaware until 1992 of the world heritage conservation standards and the errors made. The Observer of Nepal stated that Government instability up until 1998 had prevented the enforcement of measures to protect the urban heritage of the site. The Observer reiterated the Government's strong commitment to ensure the implementation of the 16 Recommendations of the 1993 Joint Mission, the 55 Recommendations and Time-Bound Action Plan resulting from the 1998 Joint Mission, and requested that the Bureau provide the Government of Nepal sufficient time to redress the situation and defer decision on in-danger listing until 2004.
The Chairperson reminded the Bureau that the deliberations taking place were repeating discussions held in Marrakesh during its twenty-third extraordinary session. Noting the importance of elaborating a better process for inscribing properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Chairperson offered to host a meeting in Morocco to discuss this issue separately in a more comprehensive manner.
The Bureau adopted the following recommendation for transmission to the Committee for examination at its twenty- fourth session:
"The Bureau examined the findings of the High Level Mission to Kathmandu Valley which was undertaken between 24 to 29 September 2000, which held consultations with the Representatives of His Majesty's Government of Nepal and was granted an audience with His Majesty the King.
The Bureau, noting the findings of the High Level Mission, expressed its appreciation to the State Party for its continued efforts to enhance the management and conservation of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site. The Bureau reiterated its deepest concern for the state of conservation of Kathmandu Valley, where urban encroachment and alteration of the historic fabric in most of the seven Monument Zones composing the site are significantly threatening its integrity and authenticity.
The Bureau recommended that the Committee request the State Party to produce a new structured framework for monitoring all corrective measures by His Majesty's Government of Nepal, to be reviewed by the Committee within the context of the Asia- Pacific Regional Periodic Reporting exercise in 2002. The Bureau further recommended that other States Parties be engaged in the conservation and monitoring effort by providing technical and financial assistance to the concerned authorities of His Majesty's Government of Nepal. In this regard, the Bureau recommended that the Committee reserve an appropriation within the 2001 International Assistance budget, to finance specific time-bound activities related to the protection of the urban fabric within the World Heritage site in order to strengthen the State Party's capacity.
The Bureau recommended the Committee to consider the issue of the inscription of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger in a broader context, in order to develop appropriate criteria and process for the Committee to evaluate situations such as Kathmandu Valley. To this end, the Bureau welcomed the offer by the Government of Morocco to host a meeting on this issue, and recommends that the Committee decides on a general schedule for the meeting and allocate funds for the organisation of this meeting.
(see paragraph I.51)
The Secretariat presented the findings and recommendations of the UNESCO-ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to Taxila (1-5 September 2000) organised by the Centre and ICOMOS following the request of the Committee and Bureau. The purpose of the mission was to examine the state of conservation of the Bhir Mound archaeological area, where a football stadium had been constructed.
The findings and recommendations included the following points:
- The mission was convinced that the work on the stadium had been stopped and that the demolition of the walls would soon be commenced. It is recommended that action be taken to conserve and present Bhir Mound site as an important part of the Taxila World Heritage site.
- Recent excavation of Bhir Mound and removal of vegetation was observed. Although appreciative of the efforts made by the concerned authorities in undertaking excavations of Bhir Mound, the authorities of Pakistan are urged to place priority on conservation and presentation of archaeological areas already excavated and exposed, rather than engage in new excavation exercises. In this context, the authorities are urged to elaborate a comprehensive management programme for the development and conservation of Taxila as a matter of priority.
- Illicit excavations did not appear to constitute a major threat to the site. Nevertheless, the national programme to prevent illegal excavation and illicit trafficking of artefacts should be applied to Taxila.
- Demarcation of the existing boundaries and buffer zones and the preparation of management and maintenance programmes for each of the archaeological areas composing Taxila is required, not only to conserve individual monuments, but also to protect the natural setting and historical evolution of Taxila in its entirety.
- Impact assessment studies of the heavy industries and military compounds within the Taxila Valley, which will require substantial efforts on the part of the authorities concerned, should be carried out.
- Co-operation between planning, development and cultural heritage protection agencies is encouraged as a matter of priority.
- The authorities may wish to consider proposing the site for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger to encourage the mobilisation of financial and technical assistance.
The Secretariat also presented the information transmitted by the Permanent Delegation of Pakistan to UNESCO on 10 November 2000, which provided updated information concerning actions taken by the Government. According to this updated information,
- ownership of Bhir Mound site has been restored to the Department of Archaeology and Museums and the structures of the sports stadium are to be dismantled in November 2000;
- excavation on Bhir Mound is continuing, supported by additional funding from the National Fund for Cultural Heritage;
- heavy industries have not had any adverse effect so far on the Taxila World Heritage areas;
- Custom Authorities are taking strict measures to prevent illegal trafficking of artefacts from the Taxila areas.
The Bureau recommended the following decision for adoption by the Committee:
"The Committee takes note of the Reports submitted by the State Party, ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre concerning the state of conservation of the Taxila World Heritage site. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the authorities of Pakistan for taking the necessary measures to mitigate the threats caused by the construction of the sports stadium on the Bhir Mound within Taxila. The Committee expresses its appreciation for the efforts made by the State Party to strictly control illicit trafficking of sculptures from Buddhist archaeological remains illegally excavated, but nevertheless reiterates its request to the State Party to continue strengthening the protection of unexcavated areas in Taxila from illegal looters. The Committee requests the Government of Pakistan to implement the Recommendations formulated by ICOMOS following the October 2000 ICOMOS-UNESCO reactive monitoring mission. The Committee requests the State Party to submit a report before 15 September 2000 on the progress made in implementing these recommendations, for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth extraordinary session in September 2001. Finally, in order to support the State Party to overcome the difficulties faced in regularly monitoring the numerous and physically dispersed archaeological remains of the Taxila World Heritage site, the Committee expresses its commitment to extend its assistance to support the State Party, and requests the State Party to consider nominating the site for the List of World Heritage in Danger at the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee."
Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)
(see paragraph I.63)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau of the receipt of new information transmitted by the Under-Secretary of State of Poland, responsible for the implementation of the Strategic Governmental Programme for Oswiecim, and the Permanent Delegate of Poland to UNESCO, following the finalisation of the working document. The information reported concerned the Strategic Governmental Programme for Oswiecim, a proposal to build a « visitor centre » at the entrance of the national Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and a discotheque in the vicinity of the site.
In his letter, the Under-Secretary of State specified that the Polish Government gives great importance to the Strategic Governmental Programme for Oswiecim, and further indicates that the Programme's first phase will end in 2001 and its second phase is planned for 2002 -2007. He expressed regret concerning the delay of the work assigned to the International Group of Experts, as so far there has been no meeting in 2000. He further reported that the Government planned to integrate this group of international experts within the structure of the International Council for Auschwitz.
In his letter, the Under-Secretary of State also informed the Secretariat about modifications to the construction plan (which initially included a shopping mall). This was revised to consist of a service centre including a restaurant, a car park, bookshops for publications on the history of the Museum, a flower shop and rest-rooms. This proposal is being studied by the Polish Government and local authorities.
Concerning the discotheque, the Under-Secretary of State stressed that, contrary to previous information submitted, the building in which the discotheque is situated, is 2 kilometres distance from the site; it is a building constructed after the Second World War, replacing a tannery used for slave labour during the War. He underlined the importance that the Polish Governement gives to this matter and further stated his Government's will to find solutions within the limits of the law. The Under-Secretary of State mentioned the possibility of establishing an inventory of monuments and locations within the World Heritage area that could be placed under special protection.
Finally, the Under-Secretary of State recalled that should the Bureau request additional information relating to the Strategic Governmental Programme for Oswiecim, a summary of the annual reports prepared by the division responsible for this Programme could be submitted to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau for examination.
A representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was given the floor as observer on this subject. He underlined the fact that the opening of the discotheque in the vicinity of the site was contrary to the spirit of the site itself, as a place of memory, and that all efforts should be undertaken to maintain the site's World Heritage values. He urged the Bureau to ask the Committee to take appropriate action by studying a list prepared by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre of twenty-one monuments and locations within a buffer zone around the site.
In light of the information provided, ICOMOS expressed its concern on this issue, and stressed the need to establish a buffer zone, which had not been foreseen at the time of the site's inscription in 1979. ICOMOS further emphasized the need to impose a system, designed to control development within the buffer zone, once identified.
The Delegate of Zimbabwe underlined the necessity to identify a new perimeter of the site, and that it would be useful to ask ICOMOS to undertake a site mission and present its conclusions to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
The Delegate of Greece supported the proposal formulated by ICOMOS to establish a buffer zone and control and use of the buildings.
The Delegate of Finland recalled that the issues at stake were strongly linked to moral values and supported the proposals made by the other delegations.
The Bureau agreed to recommend the following to the Committee:
"The Committee takes note of the information provided by the Secretariat and by the Under-Secretary of State of Poland, responsible for the implementation of the Strategic Governmental Programme for Oswiecim.
The Committee recalls that, at its twenty-third session (Kyoto, 1998), it confirmed its support for the principles laid out in the Declaration of March 1997; this process should continue in a consensual manner among all parties involved. It expressed the belief that no steps should be taken unless consensus had been reached.
The Committee expresses its concern regarding the delay in implementing the Strategic Governmental Programme for Oswiecim and the work of the international group of experts. It urges the Polish authorities to address these issues without further delay.
Concerning the construction projects within the zones related physically or symbolically to the Concentration Camp, the Committee requests the State Party to avoid any action that could compromise reaching consensus between the authorities, institutions and organizations involved and to ensure that the sacred nature of the site and its environment are preserved giving special attention to their integrity.
The Committee reiterates its request to the State Party, previously made during its twenty-fourth session to submit a progress report on the implementation of the Strategic Governmental Programme for Oswiecim, and requests the State Party to submit this detailed report by 15 April 2001, at the latest, for examination by the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
Furthermore, the Committee requests the Secretariat to maintain close contacts with the State Party and other parties involved in order to support planning actions and the process for establishing a consensus as indicated in the decision adopted by the Committee at its twenty-third session.
In conclusion, the Committee reiterates the need for the establishment of a buffer zone to be created around the site, as well as a plan for the implementation of development control mechanisms within this newly identified area. It urges the Polish authorities to pay particular attention to this matter and to submit a report on the progress made in the identification of a buffer zone and control mechanism for examination by the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau."
iii) State of conservation reports of cultural properties which the Bureau transmitted to the Committee for noting
(see paragraph I.56.)
ICOMOS emphasized the need for a mission to investigate reports on the threats to the environment of the site. In response, the Observer of Brazil stated that even though there was increased demographic pressure, construction activity concentrated on areas outside the main urban design, did not threaten the integrity of the World Heritage site.
The Bureau noted with concern the reported threats to the site. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report on the issues raised above by 15 April 2001 to be examined at the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau, and furthermore requested an ICOMOS/UNESCO mission to examine the state of conservation of Brasilia.
Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (China)
(see paragraph I.44)
ICOMOS presented the findings of its study concerning the six fossil hominid sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, undertaken at the request of the Committee. It noted that there was some inconsistency in the criteria applied in some cases. In 1999, a ICOMOS - ICCROM Joint Mission had recommended that cultural criterion (iv) be removed. After closely studying the criteria applied for all six fossil hominid sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, ICOMOS did not support the proposal of the Joint Mission, recommending that the two criteria currently applied be retained.
The World Heritage Centre informed the Bureau that the Government of China had expressed its agreement to the final recommendation made by ICOMOS to retain the two cultural criteria currently applied for the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. The Bureau decided not to change the criteria currently applied to the Peking Man Site of Zhoukoudian.
The Bureau requested the Secretariat and ICOMOS to make the comparative thematic study undertaken by ICOMOS available to States Parties to contribute to enhancing understanding of similar sites.
The Bureau, recognising the need to review the criteria justifying the inscription of a number of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, underscored the importance and usefulness of the Periodic Reporting Exercise as a mechanism for re-examining the application of natural or cultural criteria applied to sites. The Bureau agreed that the 6-year cycle exercise would provide the opportunity for revising inscription criteria, removing anomalies and ensuring greater consistency.
The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)
(see paragraph I.45)
The Bureau took note of the information provided by the Government of the People's Republic of China, ICOMOS and the Secretariat, and requested the State Party for clarifications regarding the buffer and construction-restricted zones of the site.
The Bureau noted with appreciation, the explanation provided by the State Party on the established procedures for the approval of international co-operation activities for cultural heritage, and the offer by the State Administration for Cultural Heritage to assist international expert groups interested in working in Lhasa.
The Bureau requested the Secretariat and ICOMOS to undertake a mission and to report on the situation to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau in June 2001.
Islamic Cairo (Egypt)
(see paragraph I.38)
The Secretariat presented the report on Islamic Cairo, including the recommendations of the July 2000 ICOMOS mission to report on the state of conservation of the Al-Azhar Mosque.
The Bureau thanked the Egyptian Government for their ongoing financial support in the preservation of Islamic Cairo. For 2001, the Bureau recommended the Egyptian Authorities launch the next phase in the Islamic Cairo Project, being the conservation of Shareh Al Mouizz area, initiated by a seminar on the approach and actions to be taken and to be held in Cairo in the beginning of 2001.
The Bureau supported the holding of a seminar in Cairo as the start of the next phase for Islamic Cairo, together with an expert and high-level mission to Cairo, including the Director of the World Heritage Centre, in order to review the project and discuss follow-up actions for the year 2001.
ICOMOS expressed concerns in relation to the Al Azhar Mosque, in particular the impacts of traffic and the need to monitor the structural condition of the Mosque. He also raised the important issue of the appropriateness of modern intervention techniques that conflict with principles of conservation. Furthermore, ICOMOS is well aware of the sensitive and delicate issue of potential conflicts between spiritual requirements and the protection of religious monuments. Special care should be taken when evaluating the restoration of monuments that still are in religious use.
The Chairperson endorsed the ICOMOS concerns.
Roman Monuments, Cathedral St. Peter and Liebfrauen-Church in Trier (Germany)
(see paragraph I.59)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that it had received some comments from ICOMOS on the report transmitted by the German authorities. These comments stressed that, contrary to the opinion expressed by the State Party in its report, the safeguarding of the remains of the water system to the north of the amphitheatre, is a central issue and that every effort should be made to conserve it for further scholarly study and presentation to the general public. ICOMOS underlined the need for an adequate and comprehensive long-term planning system for Trier.
The Bureau expressed the view that the Roman City wall and the Roman water system discovered to the north of the Roman amphitheatre in Trier, represents exceptional facets of Roman town planning that are not well represented north of the Alps. The Bureau requested the German authorities to formulate and implement without delay planning regulations that will ensure the long-term preservation of the archeological remains in this area.
Palaces and Parks of Postdam and Berlin (Germany)
(see paragraph I.60)
ICOMOS informed the Bureau that the report provided by the State Party did not fully answer all the questions regarding the site. In particular, the Havel project (German Unity project 17) seriously jeopardized the World Heritage values of the site.
The Observer of the United Kingdom asked whether ICOMOS was requesting further information from the German authorities regarding this issue. ICOMOS clarified that this would enable it to present a thorough report to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau. To accomplish this, close contact between the ICOMOS expert and the German authorities should be maintained.
The Bureau noted the comments made by ICOMOS on the report transmitted by the State Party and that this issue will be further examined by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session.
Classical Weimar (Germany)
(see paragraph I. 61)
The Bureau noted that ICOMOS expressed its concerns regarding the planned road, as it may have an adverse impact on the values of the site.
The Bureau requested the German authorities to submit a report on the possible impact of the construction of a road close to the Castle of Tiefurth, which forms part of the World Heritage site Classical Weimar, before 15 April 2001 in order that it may be examined by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session. Furthermore, the Bureau requested the Secretariat, in cooperation with ICOMOS, to identify an independent expert to undertake a thorough analysis of this matter.
Hortobágy National Park (Hungary)
(see paragraph I.62)
ICOMOS informed the Bureau that consultations with the State Party had taken place and reassured the Bureau that the accident had had a negative impact on the natural values, but no impact on the cultural values of the site.
The Delegate of Hungary thanked the Bureau for the recommendation proposed and reassured trhe Bureau that the Government will do its best to remove any danger to the area and expressed his hope that a similar accident never will occur. He recalled that the Bureau requested a report from the Romanian authorities on prevention mesures which was discussed in relation to the natural site of the Danube Delta.
The Bureau commended the efforts of the State Party for establishing a monitoring programme and many other organisations for their actions taken in response to this environmental disaster. The Bureau encouraged the State Party to provide reports on the results from this programme and give priority to the implementation of a restoration programme. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report on the monitoring programme, its action plan and the state of conservation by 15 April 2001.
Khajuraho Groups of Monuments (India)
(see paragraph I.46)
The Bureau recalled that, following the information received from ICOMOS and ICCROM international experts concerning illegal encroachment within the site, the World Heritage Centre requested ICOMOS to organise a reactive monitoring mission. The Bureau was informed that the mission of the ICOMOS expert was postponed and was expected to take place in early 2001. The Bureau therefore recommended the Committee agree that the Bureau examine the findings of the ICOMOS expert reactive monitoring mission at its twenty-fifth session in June 2001.
Sun Temple of Konarak (India)
(see paragraph I.47)
The Bureau recalled that it had examined the findings and recommendations of the ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission at its twenty-fourth session. In order to mitigate potential threats caused by illegal encroachment and ad-hoc construction in areas surrounding the site, the Bureau had requested the authorities concerned to prepare urgently a Comprehensive Development Plan and requested the Secretariat to assist the State Party in mobilising international technical expertise and co-operation as required.
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Government of India had not submitted its report on the progress made in preparing this Plan. However, a report on soil investigation, geo-radar studies, sampling and testing of stones of the Sun Temple of Konarak had been received by the Secretariat in November 2000. This report had been carried out by the Central Building Research Institute in September 1999 utilizing US$ 27,000 of the US$ 39,000 allocated in 1997 as Emergency Assistance for carrying out a thorough structural survey of the Sun Temple of Konarak.
According to the investigations, the ground level profiles indicate no spread of the foundations of the Sun Temple. The lateral movement of the subsurface in the unconfined areas appears to be due to the structural load, but dating to previous years. The report found that the soil underneath the Temple has already settled and no further settlement is expected.
The Bureau expressed its appreciation to the Indian authorities for carrying out the soil and stone analysis of the Sun Temple of Konarak site. The Bureau, informed that the structures are stable, thanked the authorities for their efforts to preserve and present the Sun Temple.
Following the ICOMOS monitoring mission to the site undertaken in February 2000, the Bureau reiterated its request made at its twenty-fourth session to the State Party to urgently prepare a Comprehensive Management Plan to mitigate potential threats caused by illegal encroachment and ad-hoc construction in the areas surrounding the site, and requested the Secretariat to assist the State Party in mobilising international technical expertise and co-operation as required and appropriate. The Bureau requested the State Party to report on the progress made in developing the Plan and on the measures taken in favour of the conservation and development of this site for examination by the Bureau at the twenty-fifth extraordinary session in November 2001.
(see paragraph I.39)
The Secretariat presented its report on Petra, including the conclusions of the report of the ICOMOS mission in September 2000.
The Bureau, having examined the ICOMOS report, thanked the Jordanian authorities for their efforts and strongly recommended them to take a high-level decision in order to prepare and implement a management plan and to support all the actions stated in the report.
Town of Luang Prabang (Laos)
(see paragraph I.48)
The Bureau was informed that ICOMOS has identified an expert in hydro-engineering and soil mechanics to undertake a mission to evaluate the design and technical specifications of the riverbank consolidation project so that this Asian Development Bank-financed public works can resume after five months halt following the concerns expressed by the Bureau at its twenty- fourth session in June-July 2000. The Secretariat also informed the Bureau that the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is considering approval of a request from the Government of Laos to finance construction of a bridge over the Mekong River within the World Heritage protected area. The Bureau was informed that the State Party has been requested to make available the technical specifications of the bridge for review by the Committee.
Having examined the report of the Secretariat, the Bureau expressed appreciation to the State Party and the Asian Development Bank for halting the planned works on the riverbank consolidation and the quay to take into consideration the outcome of the ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission. The Bureau noted with interest the report by the Secretariat on its cooperation with the Agence Francaise de developpement (AFD) to establish a system of subsidies and soft loans to be offered to owners of historic buildings located within the World Heritage protected area through a "Fund for Conservation Aid to the Local Population" and requested to be kept informed of developments. The Bureau requested the State Party to prepare, with support from the Secretariat, a full report for the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau on the national heritage protection laws and regulations, as well as information on all on-going national and international conservation and development projects related to Luang Prabang. The Bureau also requested the State Party to ensure protection of the urban wetlands and the traditional village form and vernacular architecture, which are as important as the historic monuments to the integrity of the site.
(see paragraph I.40)
The Bureau supported the March 2001 follow-up meeting in Byblos and the establishment of the Task Force for a Management and Master Plan for Byblos.
The Bureau reiterated its request for ICOMOS to carry out a mission to examine the state of conservation of the archaeological mound and the presentation of the Byblos World Heritage site.
The ICOMOS Representative explained that the reason why a mission had not taken place earlier, as was indicated in the Secretariat's report, was to avoid duplication with the preparation of periodic reporting and the concurrent UNESCO mission. He informed the Bureau that a mission was to take place in January 2001.
Ksar Aït Ben Haddou (Morocco)
(see paragraph I.41)
Following the presentation by the Secretariat, the Chairperson spoke on behalf of Morocco, and confirmed that the mission had taken place at the request of the Moroccan authorities. The mission included an expert with long-standing experience in Morocco, and particularly in earthen architecture.
The Chairperson presented a brief overview of the complex situation at this site, and explained the difficulty for the Government to intervene in a situation where most of the buildings are privately owned. In spite of this, the Government has made the necessary contacts and decided to implement the recommendations presented by the mission. The Chairperson expressed his appreciation of the work undertaken by the expert.
Based on new information and the presentation by the Chairperson, the Bureau congratulated the Moroccan authorities for the measures taken to implement the recommendations of the expert report, and welcomed their proposal to conduct an evaluation of the activities by mid-2001 and to report on progress at the Bureau and the Committee at its meeting in November-December 2001.
The Chairperson made it clear that, during 2001, the Moroccan authorities will do their utmost to implement the mission's recommendations. He also gave the assurance that, should the proposed actions not be achieved, the Moroccan authorities will submit a request for inclusion of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Delegate of Australia commended the Moroccan authorities for their commitment, and stated that the State Party's approach was positive and would conserve its proper role in the spirit of the Convention.
The Delegate of Greece commended the Moroccan authorities for their efforts, and for considering danger listing. She stated that danger listing is an effective tool for the protection of sites.
Island of Mozambique (Mozambique)
(see paragraph I.43)
The Secretariat presented its report, including the recommendations of the ICOMOS mission in October 2000.
The Bureau recommended the authorities of Mozambique give the most urgent priority to the legal protection of the site, and to the appointment of a site manager and the preparation of a conservation plan that would involve the local population. The plan should be based on a rehabilitation and participation approach, including a comprehensive social and economic programme for the Island.
The programme should:
- allow the local people to be economically productive;
- improve the infrastructure and stimulate the economic base of the Island to combine conservation and development;
- determine a specific conservation policy to include the recuperation of the buildings which have potential, such as:
- those that could characterise the Island
- those reflecting the past with integrity
- those belonging to the Government
- those which could serve as adequate lodging for the inhabitants of the Island;
- those which could serve for visitation/tourism/research/training/cultural activities
The ICOMOS Representative reaffirmed the need for action and added that none of the recommendations of an earlier report from 1995 had been implemented. Inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger might be the most appropriate course of action.
The Delegate of Zimbabwe emphasised the need for a more systematic approach to linkages between the Minister of Culture and the agencies responsible for cultural heritage management. He also requested that the ICOMOS report be viewed by the Mozambique Minister of Culture, so that appropriate action could proceed. He added that ICOMOS should be an active player in the process of raising local capacity.
The Delegate of Greece questioned the inscription of this site on the World Heritage List, as there seemed to be a lack of legal instrument for the protection of the site, and questioned ICOMOS on whether this had been taken into account in their evaluation.
The ICOMOS Representative explained that evaluation missions were not always sent to sites before 1993 and that this site had been inscribed in 1991.
The Secretariat further clarified the point, recalling the important work undertaken under a joint UNDP/UNESCO project that included the drafting of legal protection. However, the draft plans have not been implemented. Given the socio- economic situation of Mozambique, it was of critical importance to take practical measures in order to rectify the situation.
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)
(see paragraph I.50)
The Bureau was informed by the World Heritage Centre that the International Technical Meeting to discuss alternative conceptual designs to rehabilitate the Maya Devi Temple was scheduled to take place in March 2001. Noting that the Maya Devi Temple was both a fragile archaeological site and a living site of great religious importance and a major destination of Buddhist pilgrims, the Bureau requested the findings of this International Technical Meeting to be reported to its twenty-fifth session. In the meantime, the Bureau requested the authorities to continue implementing the recommendations made by the Bureau at its twenty-fourth session, and to report to its twenty-fifth session in June 2001 on any further measures taken to enhance the management and conservation of the site.
Fortifications on the Caribbean side of Panama: Portobelo - San Lorenzo (Panama)
(see paragraph I.57.)
ICOMOS stated that the information concerning the lack of management and the precarious state of conservation of the site had been received from two distinguished ICOMOS members. The advisory body's representative also mentioned that, upon receipt of the report that the Secretariat had requested the State Party to submit, the Bureau may decide whether a field mission to review the situation on the site would be necessary.
The Bureau noted with concern the reported threats to the site. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report on the state of conservation by 15 April 2001 to be examined at the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
Archaeological Site of Chavín (Peru)
(See paragraph I.58.)
The Bureau commended the State Party for its efforts to ensure the conservation of the site but emphasised the importance of a Master Plan for well co-ordinated short and long-term actions to be taken. The Bureau furthermore encouraged the State Party authorities to collaborate with the Centre and other interested partners in the endeavour to generate the necessary funds for safeguarding of the site. The Bureau requested the Peruvian authorities to submit a report on the progress made by 15 April 2001 for examination by the World Heritage Bureau at its twenty-fifth session.
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)
(see paragraph I.53)
The Bureau examined the report on the state of conservation presented in the Working Document. The Bureau underscored the information provided by the Secretariat that the Ifugao Rice Terraces are extremely fragile, where human land-use has been in balance with this mountainous environment for centuries. The Bureau recalled that this was the most prominent justification to inscribe the Ifugao Rice Terraces as World Heritage in 1995. There is a continuous and essential shift in the relationship between human land- use and the environment, and the Bureau underlined the need to continuously monitor the socio-economic and physical changes within this cultural landscape. Although a valid GIS system is an important tool to achieve, such monitoring, as previously discussed by the Committee, the Bureau recognized that the problems are complex and a GIS database alone may not be sufficient. The Bureau noted that a comprehensive management plan for the site had not yet been elaborated, in spite of the Committee's request in 1995 at the time of the site's inscription on the World Heritage List. Recognizing the challenges in specifying and implementing a management plan for a complex cultural landscape inhabited and owned by a large population, the Bureau was convinced that such a comprehensive management plan was essential, as in other comparable cases such as Lake Baikal in the Russian Federation.
The Bureau, noting the concern expressed by the Secretariat regarding the sustainability of the on-going GIS project and consequently of the management of the site as a whole, requested the Centre to urgently organize a reactive monitoring mission to the site together with ICOMOS and IUCN, to discuss the following issues with the authorities of the Philippines:
- elaboration of measures to overcome difficulties in activating the GIS system,
- evaluation and provision of technical advice concerning the type and quality of data to be gathered and utilized to enable the full protection and sustainable development of the site, and
- definition of the aims and scope of the permanent agency to manage and conserve the Philippines Cordilleras, currently under consideration by the national authorities.
Recalling the allocation of considerable funds for mapping the Ifugao Rice Terraces by the Committee in 1998, the Bureau expressed its commitment to extend its assistance to support the State Party to overcome the difficulties faced in sustainably managing the fragile cultural resources of this property. The Bureau encouraged the national authorities to give priority to the creation of a permanently staffed agency responsible for the implementation of the site's conservation, preservation and development programmes, including the GIS mapping of the site, as well as its heritage resources. The Bureau requested the State Party to report, through the Secretariat by 1 September 2001 on the progress made with regard to the Above and to report to the twenty-fifth extraordinary session. Finally, the Bureau reiterated the request of the Committee to the State Party to submit the tourism development plan and management plan for the site.
Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Philippines)
(see paragraph I.54)
The World Heritage Centre and the Representative of ICOMOS presented to the Bureau the findings of the ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions to the San Agustin Church in Paoay and San Agustin Church in Intramuros Manila. The Bureau noted that this ICOMOS Mission to the Paoay San Agustin Church formulated an 8-point Recommendation concerning the following issues:
- General conservation;
- Monitoring of movement of the cracks in the main façade;
- Further surveys needed for the structural stability;
- Evaluation of the cause of the cracks and the deformation of the façade;
- Structural safety evaluation in the present conditions;
- Structural analyses for designing the seismic intervention;
- Materials for structural intervention;
- Recommendation for use of a flow-chart for the structural preservation of the Paoay Church;
The Bureau also examined the findings and recommendations of the ICOMOS Mission to the San Agustin Church of Intramuros Manila, which concluded that
The Bureau examined the findings and recommendations of the ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Missions to the Paoay Church of San Agustin and the Intramuros Manila Church of San Agustin. The Bureau requested the State Party to examine the possibility of adopting and implementing the ICOMOS mission recommendations, and requested the State Party to report to the Bureau at its twenty-fifth extraordinary session in November 2001 on the progress made and measures taken.
- It is essential that the community of the Augustinian Order should stay in its original home.
- The original layout or "footprint" of the Monastery is distinct and consists of two courtyards meeting along the diagonal axis of the site. The location of the courtyards on the diagonal axis may have been for reasons of cross- ventilation. It allows a wider visual entry to the Church. The adjacent garden may have acted as a parking place for some of the transport systems used in the past; this would have freed the narrow street and restricted the junction for other road users.
- Before any further interventions for developing the site are decided upon, the following studies should be undertaken:
- formulation of a master plan for the site, addressing the uses of existing buildings in relation to future development needs, land-use studies, and proposals for the ideal development of the site;
- a detailed engineering study of the site;
- a detailed archaeological survey of the site.
The Bureau requested the Secretariat and ICOMOS to make the comparative thematic study undertaken by ICOMOS to be made available to States Parties interested in the subject, as it would contribute in enhancing understanding of similar sites.
The Bureau, recognising the need to review the criteria justifying the inscription of a number of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, underscored the importance and usefulness of the Periodic Reporting Exercise as a mechanism for re-examining the application of natural or cultural criteria applied to sites. The Bureau agreed that the 6-year cycle Exercise would provide the opportunity for revising inscription criteria, removing anomalies and ensuring greater consistency.
Cultural Landscape of Sintra (Portugal)
(see paragraph I.64)
The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the joint mission IUCN/ICOMOS took place from 30 October to 3 November 2000. ICOMOS stressed that during the original evaluation mission assurances had been given by the State Party regarding the implementation of management and conservation programmes. However, little if any progress had been made in the intervening period. These points were raised in the report of the mission and will be dealt with in the coming years. The advisory bodies had made a number of proposals to the local authorities and would continue to maintain contact.
The Bureau encouraged the Portuguese authorities to undertake a restoration programme and to improve the management of the cultural landscape of Sintra during the next six years. This includes the restoration of individual monuments, gardens, parks and forests. It recommended they develop a concept of dynamic conservation, to set up a programme of education and public awareness raising and to ensure the integrity of the buffer zone and avoid undertaking new works. Furthermore, the Bureau requested the State Party to provide a management plan for the site by the end of 2001. Following the joint IUCN- ICOMOS mission, four practical steps are requested:
- Creation of an independent Cultural Landscape Advisory Committee
- Creation of an advisory body/association of residents
- The establishment of a public information, research and archives centre
- An adjustment of the high protection area of the Natural Park to coincide with the core area of the World Heritage site.
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)
(see paragraph I.65)
The Secretariat indicated that it received on 22 November 2000, a report on the mission to Istanbul and Ankara by Messrs Stephane Yerasimos and Pierre Pinon undertaken from 13-18 November 2000. The terms of reference of this mission to review progress in the preparation of the conservation plan of Istanbul, was extended to gathering information and making an initial assessment on the impact on the World Heritage values of Istanbul caused by the on-going construction of the Istanbul subway. The Bureau was informed that the State Party transmitted, by letter dated 16 November 2000, a map indicating the route of the planned subway with the location of stations, as well as an assessment containing technical details on the impact on the Historic Peninsula of Istanbul.< p> The Bureau, upon examining the report of the Secretariat, expressed concern over the delay in the completion of the Conservation Plan by the Greater Istanbul Authority and the detailed conservation plan by the Fatih and Eminonu Municipalities. Regarding the Istanbul subway, the Bureau noted the information provided by the State Party by letter dated 16 November 2000, stating that:
- the route of the Istanbul subway and the Strait Railway Tube Tunnel for the city of Istanbul was approved by the Ministry of Culture;
- the Council has continued to assess the implementation of the projects, the urban design of the stations and bridge to be built on the Golden Horn;
- all excavations of the station areas are carried out under the control of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum Directorate.
- inspection of the cracks on the building of the guardian in the premises of the French General Consulate in Istanbul led the Council to conclude that the damage was not due to design but due to its implementation. The Council, by decision No. 118-78 of 7 June 2000, subsequently decided to issue a warning to the Greater Istanbul Authorities.
The Bureau expressed regret that the State Party did not inform the Committee of this major public work at its planning phase, in conformity with paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines, and requested the Secretariat and ICOMOS: to study the technical information made available by the State Party; undertake a mission to assess the impact of the subway construction on the World Heritage values of the site, and report to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau in June 2001. For matters requiring urgent attention, the Chairperson of the Committee should be alerted for instructions.
Complex of the Hue Monuments (Vietnam)
(see paragraph I.55)
The Bureau noted with interest the work underway in establishing the Housing Improvement Loan and subsidy scheme in co-operation with the Caisse des Depots et Consignation (CDC) within the framework of the Hue-Lille Metropole Programme (France), and requested the State Party to keep the Bureau informed of developments in this regard.
The Bureau, with regard to the emergency rehabilitation needs, requested the Secretariat to support the efforts of the State Party in seeking international assistance. Concerning the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Bureau requested the State Party to consider this as a means to promote international solidarity to meet the rehabilitation needs caused by the floods of November-December 1999.
iv) Reports on the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, which the Bureau noted:
Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg (Austria)
Colonial City of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
Amiens Cathedral (France)
Palace and Park of Fontainebleau (France)
Historic Centre of Puebla (Mexico)
Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatepetl (Mexico)
Historic City of Meknes (Morocco)
The Observer of Germany raised the question of reports which were requested by the Committee at previous sessions and for which no information was brought back to the Committee, such as in the case of Pompei (Italy) discussed at the twenty-first session of the Committee. The Observer of Italy confirmed that the requested reports were submitted. The Chairperson expressed his appreciation for the clarification.
KAKADU WORLD HERITAGE SITEChairman, Ladies & Gentlemen
PRESENTATION IN CAIRNS to the WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
Wednesday 29 November 2000
By Professor Brian Wilkinson ICSU Independent Science Panel [ISP]
Thank you for the opportunity to make this presentation, on behalf of the ICSU ISP, of the ISP's Final Report [WHC-2000/CONF.204/INF 20]. The members of the ISP who prepared the Final Report are:
Professor Jane Plant (Assistant Director, British Geological Survey)
Professor roger Green (University of Western Ontario)
Dr Ben Klink (British Geological Survey)
Dr John Rodda (President, International Association of Hydrological Sciences)
Professor Brian Wilkinson (Formerly, Director Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK)
Representative of IUCN - Professor Pierre Horwitz (Director, Centre for Ecosystem Management, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia)
Terms of Reference of the ISP
WHC [July 1999]
" ... continues to have significant reservations ... relating to mining and milling at Jabiluka" [JMA]
"ICSU to continue the work of the ISP
... to assess, in co-operation with the Supervising Scientist and the World Conservation Union [IUCN], the Supervising Scientist's Response to the ISP Report"It is important to note in relation to the Jabiluka Mill Alternative [JMA] - [ this is for a sub-surface mine at Jabiluka to mill on site and store the tailing wastes deep under ground.] that the ISP assessment has only been made of the approved proposal for the JMA. The ISP findings do not necessarily relate to any new proposals at Jabiluka.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE
the ISP assessment made only in relation to the
APPROVED proposals for JMA
ISP findings DO NOT necessarily relate to any
new proposals for the JMA
The sequence of events leading up to the preparation of the ISP Final Report is given on the cover page of WHC-2000/CONF.204/INF20
The site visit by ISP and IUCN in July 2000 to Kakadu and Jabiluka was particularly important. Additional information was provided in papers, reports and through extensive discussions which gave the ISP a much more detailed insight than formerly into the scientific and other issues associated with the approved proposal for the JMA and its potential to impact on the biology, ecology, hydrology etc of the Kakadu World Heritage Site.
October 1998 WHC concern over natural & cultural values of Kakadu in relation to Jabiluka
April 1999 Australia's Supervising Scientist's Report to WHC
May 1999 ICSU Independent Science Panel Report to WHC
-- Scientific uncertainties
-- 17 recommendations
July 1999 WHC - continuing scientific reservations
ISP, IUCN and SS to attempt to resolve
July 2000 ISP, IUCN site visit
December 2000 ISP, ICUN present final reports
Turning now to the Recommendations which appear in the ISP's Final Report - The Australian government has responded to each of these. The ISP found some of these responses satisfactory and some unsatisfactory. This was brought to the attention of the Bureau last week. It requested the ISP to work with the Australian Supervising Scientist and IUCN to attempt to resolve, prior to the meeting of this Committee, those Recommendations where the ISP viewed the response as being unsatisfactory. The following slides show the ISP's principal Recommendations. Normal text indicates a satisfactory response by the Australian government and bold text and a 'question mark' identifies areas which the ISP believed needed further discussion.
Recommendations not fully addressed or arising from site visit
ISP Recommendation - [Para 9.2(b)]
New proposals for water management system or any other changes to the approved JMA to be subject to:
- early stage discussion involving stakeholders
- rigorous environmental assessment
- fully independent review ?
Contaminant simulation study on water management system required for:
- approved JMA
- any new proposals
ISP Recommendation [Para 9.2 (e)]
Sediment monitoring and analysis on and adjacent to Jabiluka required
ISP Recommendation [ Para 9.2 (f)]
Extend risk assessment to mine life 40, 50, 60 years
ISP Recommendation [Para 9.2(g)]
Landscape and ecosystem monitoring and analyses in place immediately ?
ISP Recommendation [Para 9.2(h)]
Statement of intent that long-term monitoring continues after mining company obligations cease
ISP Recommendation [Para 9.3]
New monitoring and response arrangements for Supervising Scientist at Jabiluka (following leak at Ranger)
- make known to WHC
ISP Recommendations [para9.4]
If 'stand-by arrangements at Jabiluka are protracted the Supervising Scientist to review and report on any proposed action every 5 years
During 'stand-by' the performance of the reverse osmosis treatment plant and irrigation to be subject to:
- rigorous monitoring
- independent scrutiny ?
ISP Recommendation [Para 9.6]
Office of the Supervising Scientist needs:
(1) Jabiluka Project Manager
(2) Water resources specialist ?
ISP Recommendatin [Para 9.7]
Fully independent Advisory Committee to be established?
The Recommendation concerning the new proposals for a water management system or any other changes to the approved JMA was that these should be subject to discussions involving stakeholders, rigorous environmental assessment and independent review. The Australian government, while accepting the first 2 requirements, made no reference to the need for a review procedure.
For the 3 Recommendations, which were concerned with the need for a contaminant simulation study, sediment monitoring programme and a risk assessment for a mine life of 40, 50 or 60 years, the government's response was satisfactory.
Turning to landscape and ecosystem monitoring and analysis [SLIDE 5] - The Panel concluded that the risks to the World Heritage Site, as a result of a carefully designed, operated and monitored JMA as approved, are minimal. Nevertheless the region and the Site will be subject to changes unrelated to mining [climate change, invasive sps etc]. . The ISP therefore considers it prudent and necessary to put in place landscape and ecosystem analyses. In parallel with these a survey and monitoring programme should be established by the Supervising Scientist immediately. The IUCN fully supports this recommendation. The Australian response is unsatisfactory in the view of the ISP in that, while the intent is to undertake this work, it will be subject to resource availability. The WHC should request the government to put this work in place without delay.
The ISP Recommendations concerning long-term monitoring, strengthening the role of the Supervising Scientist and a review of the stand-by arrangements at Jabiluka by the Supervising Scientist have been satisfactorily addressed by the government. However the recommendation that the performance of the reverse osmosis treatment plant and irrigation system should be subject to independent review was not accepted by the Australian government.
The ISP found the quality of the OSS and eriss to be very high but recommended that within the OSS there should be: (i) a designated project manager for Jabiluka and (ii) an in-house specialism in water resource management [SLIDE 6]. The Australian government responded by accepting the need for a project manager but suggested that the water resources management post would be subject to a review of resource requirements. The ISP would wish the WHC to request to the Australian government to allocate resources to enable this post to be filled.
The final Recommendation concerned independent review. The present review arrangements, through the Mine Site Technical Committee, should be retained but they lack transparency and a fully independent perspective. It is noteworthy that a number of senior Australian scientists e.g. Prof. Wasson, White and others have raised issues that led to a reappraisal of some of the Jabiluka design procedures and monitoring approaches. Such independent but informal inputs are very positive, however the ISP and IUCN consider that such important interventions should not be left to chance. These should be focussed through an independent science advisory committee. Following discussion with the Supervising Scientist and IUCN over the last 2 days good progress has been made in relation to the independent review procedure. It appears that this can be accomplished through modifications to, but within the framework of, an existing scientific review committee. There is thus a satisfactory outcome in regard to this final Recommendation of the ISP.
The ISP's overall conclusions are given in SLIDE 7. This also indicates the ISP requirements with respect to additional monitoring, management arrangements and review.
ISP Overall Conclusion
Approved JMA Proposal
• Supervising Scientist has
- Identified the principal risks to the natural values of Kakadu
- analysed and quantified with a high level scientific certainty
- shown risks to be small or negligible
- Unexpected impacts due to mining may arise 9see IUCN Report)
- Other impacts may occur e.g. climate change, invasive species etc, so additional monitoring analyses & clear response procedures essential
• Management arrangements to be improved
• Fully independent review procedure necessary
Finally turning to new proposals for the JMA, [SLIDE 8] these are still under development.The ISP has had little information on these [indeed they lie outside the ISP brief]. However, if it can be clearly demonstrated that they reduce the risks, then they should be accepted. With such proposals there is the need for a detailed environmental analysis, a full stakeholder involvement [particularly of the Traditional Owners who have much to offer] at the earliest stage, transparency of process and independent review so as to ensure that Kakadu is not endangered.
New JMA Proposal
ISP little information on these
If it can be demonstrated that they reduce the risks, then accept
- detailed environmental analyses
- full stakeholder involvement at the earlies stage
- transparency of process
- full independent scientific advisiory committee to ensure that the Park's natural values are not endangered.
Statement by IUCN on Kakadu National ParkThe World Heritage Committee at its 24th Ordinary Session adopted a resolution on Kakadu National Park World Heritage site that was based upon an agreed text between the International Scientific Panel of ICSU, IUCN and the Supervising Scientist of the Australian Government.
At the 24th session of the World Heritage Committee, IUCN made the following statement which sets out its views on the issue of mining at Jabiluka in relation to the Kakadu World Heritage site.
KAKADU NATIONAL PARK WORLD HERITAGE SITE
STATEMENT BY IUCN
- IUCN believes that mining should not take place within designated natural World Heritage sites. IUCN also believes that any mining operations on the edge of, or near World Heritage sites, should be subject to stringent risk analysis to ensure World Heritage values are not threatened. That, of course, is the test the World Heritage Committee should apply in this case.
- There is a lesson to be learnt from the "Kakadu saga". During the evaluation process, more attention needs to be paid to potential threats to World Heritage sites and values. Evaluating possible threats from mining can be difficult and costly. But if the Committee is to avoid the complex and time-consuming arguments which have been a feature of this case, it would be better to identify such potential problems well in advance and as part of the evaluation process.
- IUCN is now satisfied that the currently approved site and mine do not threaten the biological and ecological systems of Kakadu National Park (it is not of course qualified to comment on any possible threats to human health).
It follows that:
IUCN might take a different view about any new or revised proposals that may be forthcoming in future and which would of course require appropriate assessment, including - in line with the precautionary principle - a full EIS for any significantly modified mining plans.It also follows that:
IUCN recognises that there are other values - aesthetic as well as cultural values - which were not examined by the ISP but which are affected by the mine and about which IUCN still has concerns, which it has set out in the past and which have been well documented.Moreover, IUCN appreciates that there are legitimate concerns of the Traditional Owners to be addressed - for example they should be involved in the monitoring programme.
- IUCN very much hopes that the Australian Government will respond quickly and positively to the request that it commence the additional analysis and monitoring programme recommended by the ISP and IUCN. It is self-evident, of course, that these measures should be in place before any mining commences.
- In view of the change in the majority ownership of the Jabiluka mine, IUCN would welcome a message from this Committee to the new owners - Rio Tinto - that they should undertake to comply with all undertakings given by the former owners, and will fulfil all their obligations towards the Kakadu National Park World Heritage site.
29th November, 2000
Statement on the Report of the Independent Scientific Panel of ICSU
by the Supervising Scientist of Australia
concerning Kakadu National Park, Australia
Thank you Mr Chairman for providing me with the opportunity to provide comment on the final report of the Independent Science Panel of ICSU.
I would like to preface my comments by thanking Professor Wilkinson and the members of his panel who visited Kakadu in July, and also to the representative of the IUCN, Dr Pierre Horwitz, for the thoroughly cooperative and professional manner in which they conducted their discussions. The process was a very good example of scientific peer review and by the end of the visit there were no issues of science on which there was any disagreement between members of the panel and members of my team of staff and consultants.
I would now like to draw the attention of members of the Committee to the overall conclusion of the final report of the ISP which states:
Overall the ISP considers that the Supervising Scientist has identified all the principal risks to the natural values of the Kakadu World Heritage site that can presently be perceived to result from the Jabiluka Mill Alternative proposal. These risks have been analysed in detail and have been quantified with a high level of scientific certainty. Such analyses have shown the risks to be very small or negligible and that the development of the JMA should not threaten the natural World Heritage values of the Kakadu National ParkThis conclusion, Mr Chairman, reached after detailed and lengthy consideration of possible threats to the natural values of Kakadu, clearly vindicates the overall conclusion of the report which I submitted to the Committtee in April 1999.
I feel confident, Mr Chairman, that members of the Committee will now be reassured that the scientific issues on which the 1998 Mission to Kakadu expressed concern have all been resolved and that they can reach a firm conclusion that the natural values of Kakadu National Park are not threatened by the proposed development of a mine and mill at Jabiluka.
In reaching its overall conclusion, the ISP made a number of observations related to processes that should, in its view, be followed in the final design of the project and on the ongoing regulation and monitoring process. As Professor Wilkinson has summarised, the ISP listed a series of recommendations on these issues and requested that the Australian Government implement the recommendations. In addition, the representative of the IUCN who accompanied the ISP to Kakadu in July made several recommendations that were taken into account by the ISP in its final report.
I draw to your attention the response of the Australian Government to the recommendations of the ISP and the IUCN. This response is given as an attachment to letter of the Secretary of Environment Australia to the then Chair of the Committee in November 2000. As the Secreatary advised, Australia accepts the intent of all of the recommendations of the ISP and the IUCN and will ensure that their implementation achieves the objectives outlined by the ISP and IUCN. During the course of the past few days, I have had discussions with the Chair of the ISP and with representatives of the IUCN to clarify the position of the Australian Government and to determine specific ways in which the intent of the recommendations can be met.
Probably the most important residual issue for members of the ISP and the IUCN was to agree on a method of implementing the ISP recommendation on the establishment of an Independent Science Advisory Committee. The approach adopted by Australia has been to adapt the existing Committee structure that has been established under Australian law rather than to set up a new structure.
The Australian Government has decided to amend the membership and role of the existing statutory scientific review committee to meet the needs identified by the ISP in its recommendation on the establishment of an Independent Science Advisory Committee. The chair and the majority of the voting members will be appointed following selection by the most appropriate body representing Australian scientists and engineers, possibly the Australian Academy of Science. This Committee will be able to report openly, independently and without restriction. Agreement has been reached on this approach between the ISP, the IUCN and Australia.
An important issue raised by the ISP and the IUCN is that, although we have made rigorous efforts to identify all of the principal risks to the natural values of Kakadu National Park, and have shown these risks to be very small or negligible, unforeseen environmental impacts may occur in the future. The ISP, therefore, considers that, while such effects are unlikely, it would be prudent to put in place a more extensive monitoring program at both a local and a regional level. This program would be designed to detect any secondary, cumulative or interactive effects that may arise from the development of Jabiluka and to distinguish between such unlikely mining-related impacts and other impacts that may occur in the region that are not related to mining.
The ISP agrees that Australia already has in place a monitoring program that addresses the principal risks and that these risks are very small or negligible. In addition, the ISP agrees that risks at the landscape scale are minimal. It is my view, therefore, that the justification for an additional expensive landscape scale analysis and monitoring program is questionable for mining related issues alone.
However, in the broader context of monitoring the natural World Heritage values of Kakadu, a program at the landscape scale has merit. Noting that implementation would have significant resource implications, the Supervising Scientist has recommended that a suitable program be considered by the Government in the context of other programs such as the monitoring of the impact of invasive species.
The ISP and the IUCN wish to see such a program implemented and have drafted, in the Draft Decision before the Committee a recommendation that the Australian Government allocates resources for this purpose.
The ISP recommended that a contaminant simulation study be carried out for the Jabiluka Mill Alternative project as it was described in the Supervising Scientist's report to the World Heritage Committee of April 1999. Similarly, it recommended that the risk assessment for this project should be extended to 40, 50, and 60 years.
Members of the Committee should note that, while ERA has not yet submitted its Amended Proposal for the Jabiluka project, a proposal that is required under the conditions of the approval given by the Government, the company has advised me of a number of measures that it intends to introduce in its final design that will give rise to an even greater level of environmental protection. Thus, the risks associated with the project in its final design will be even smaller than those described in my previous report to the Committee. In these circumstances, it is the Government's view that any further detailed analysis of the project described in my previous report would be redundant. It would also consume resources that would be better directed at ongoing research and monitoring of the Ranger mine and to the development of the monitoring program for Jabiluka recommended by the ISP.
Nevertheless, the Government has given its commitment to the Committee that the contaminant simulation study and the extension of the time scale for the risk assessment recommended by the ISP will be undertaken for the Amended Proposal for Jabiluka when it is submitted by ERA.
As Professor Wilkinson has indicated to you, both the ISP and the IUCN now accept the merit of the Government's approach to these recommendations and have agreed that further analysis of the approved project is not justified.
Mr Chairman, the remit of the ISP was to assess the reports of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee on Jabiluka of April 1999 and June 1999. However, several other issues that had been brought to its attention were considered by the ISP in its report because the ISP considered them relevant to Jabiluka. These included the leak of tailings water at the Ranger mine during the 1999 - 2000 wet season.
I am pleased to report that the ISP fully supported the principal conclusion of my report to the Australian government on the Ranger tailings water leak. That is, the leak had a negligible impact on people and the environment and the World Heritage values of Kakadu National Park were not affected. The ISP also gave its full support to the recommendations made in my report, all of which have been accepted by the Australian Government.
In summary, Mr Chairman, the Australian Government welcomes the final report of the ISP. It has given its commitment to taking measures to ensure that the intent of all of the recommendations made by the ISP is achieved. Following discussions over the past few days, the ISP, the IUCN and Australia believe that the Committee could now support a conclusion that the currently approved proposal for the mine and mill at Jabiluka does not threaten the health of people or the biological and ecological systems of Kakadu National Park that the 1998 Mission believed to be at risk.
Thank you Mr Chairman.
Letter from Yvonne Margarula, Mirrar Senior Traditional Owner
concerning Kakadu National Park, Australia
28 November 2000
Francesco Bandarin Director,
World Heritage Centre
c/- Cairns Convention Centre
Dear Mr Bandarin,
It is with great regret that I write to inform you that discussions during the 24th Session of the World Heritage Committee between the Mirrar and the Australian Government in relation to a new process (as outlined in last week's Bureau decision) regarding cultural heritage protection have broken down.
We have proposed the assistance of the World Heritage Committee in the preparation of terms of reference and development of a new process to consider the protection of Kakadu's living cultural heritage. We remain extremely concerned at the Australian Government's unwillingness to accept, in an advisory or observatory capacity, the assistance of the World Heritage Committee, in spite of the Government's admission that an impasse has been reached.
We submit our suggested text to the Secretariat and recommend it be considered during deliberations on Kakadu at the Committee this week.
Additionally, I wish to raise a matter that has further deteriorated any notion of trust between the Australian Government and the Mirrar delegation. The Australian Government representatives to this forum have misrepresented, improperly and inaccurately, the content of our discussions with the Government to members of States Parties. These representatives have suggested that the discussion focussed on issues related to financial resources rather than a constructive process that would result in the protection of Kakadu's cultural heritage. Such misinformation only undermines any opportunity of future constructive dialogue.
In conclusion I stress that the Mirrar delegation has tirelessly pursued resolution with the Australian Government by constructive dialogue. Our suggestions have been routinely rejected. This process has now reached a point where the integrity of the Mirrar position is in danger of being undermined. We have, therefore, suspended all discussions but are willing to receive advice and direction from the World Heritage Committee to ensure Kakadu's living cultural heritage is protected.
Mirrar Senior Traditional Owner
Chairperson Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation
• PH.: 08 8979 2200 • PO BOX 245 JABIRU NT 0886 • FAX: 08 8979 2299
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.mirrar.net
With reference to the protection of the living cultural values of Kakadu National Park the Committee,
- Welcomes the fact that discussions are taking place between the State Party and the Mirrar Traditional Owners.
- Recalls that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (i998) noted "severe ascertained and potential dangers to the cultural and natural values of Kakadu National Park posed primarily by the proposal for uranium mining and milling at Jabiluka".
- Considers that the Committee's previous decision (June 1999) regarding cultural mapping and the preparation of a cultural heritage management plan for Jabiluka cannot be implemented at this stage and that a new approach founded on partnership between all parties concerned is required to ensure the protection of the living cultural values of Kakadu National Park.
- Recalls that at the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in Paris (2000) ICOMOS indicated its willingness to "participate in activities leading towards resolving cultural heritage issues pertaining to the management of Kakadu National Park".
- Requests that the Committee note that the State Party is prepared to consider a new process to address any outstanding issues relating to the protection of the living cultural values of Kakadu National Park. Any new process would be facilitated by the State Party in consultation with Mirrar Traditional Owners and the World Heritage Committee.
- Proposes a new process beginning with the preparation of terms of reference developed in agreement with the Mirrar Traditional Owners, UNESCO and other interested States Parties. These terms of reference and a progress report on implementation shall be presented, if possible, to the Bureau at its 25th Session in 2001.
- The review process is proposed to consider issues affecting the living cultural values of Kakadu National Park including: -
- the recommended application of the cultural heritage criterion (iii) and the World Heritage cultural landscape categories.
- an examination of the feasibility of extending the boundary of Kakadu National Park and World Heritage Property to ensure increased protection of more of the catchment of the East Alligator River;
- consultation and dialogue with all Traditional Owners and the Kakadu National Park Board of Management is required.
Recommendations of the Technical Workshop on World Heritage and Mining
held at IUCN Headquarters (Gland, Switzerland), 21-23 September 2000
The WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE AND STATE PARTIES are invited to note these findings:
- Mining and conservation specialists are encouraged to work together, taking into account the unique aspects of mining (e.g. mineral potential, deposits) and the unique values and conditions of World Heritage sites; each case needs to be carefully considered, taking account of the conditions and integrity under the World Heritage Convention
- Early in the nomination process, relevant national and local government ministries and agencies, all affected stakeholders and independent third parties should be identified and an open, transparent and effective communication mechanism established, including conflict resolution mechanisms
- An open and transparent multi-disciplinary/science-based approach should be adopted for determining boundaries for World Heritage sites - one that protects World Heritage values and takes into account ecological, cultural, and mineral and other economic values, as well as socio-economic factors
- Tentative lists of potential World Heritage sites should be made public to all stakeholders to encourage input of views and information
- An effective flow of information should be assured between the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, IUCN and ICOMOS regarding mining-related activities and World Heritage sites prior to designation, in compiling state of conservation reports, and during/after emergency situations
- Regarding the evaluation of new nominations, the Advisory Bodies should ask State Parties to confirm that all affected stakeholders, including the mining industry, have been consulted
- Given that World Heritage and mining issues are often polarized, there is a need to protect the process of World Heritage nomination and the state of conservation evaluations
- If a mine is operating near a World Heritage site, facilities should be designed, operated and closed in consideration of World Heritage values and should contribute to the conservation of those values
- Education and awareness programs are required so that local communities understand the importance and the values of World Heritage sites and can benefit from the presence of such areas.
WORLD HERITAGE MANAGEMENT AGENCIES should:
- Clarify and communicate roles and responsibilities regarding World Heritage sites
- Put monitoring programs in place, as well as emergency preparedness and response plans, all with effective indicators, to ensure that the integrity of World Heritage values is not threatened by mining, agricultural, tourism or other activities, and to deal with incidents
- Endeavour to link protected areas planning with broader regional land use planning, so that protected areas are seen as an integral element of their region.
- Increase awareness about mining and recognize that mining companies may be key stakeholders
- Establish communication mechanisms with all affected stakeholders
- Work with mining companies in order to integrate their environmental management and community development programs into the overall management objectives of World Heritage sites.
The mining industry has the potential to make significant contributions as follows:
a) In respect of World Heritage Protection/ Conservation, it can:
- Undertake assessments of unique biodiversity, increase scientific understanding of ecosystems, and contribute to the conservation of flora and fauna affected by exploration, extraction and processing activities
- Support research to expand scientific knowledge and develop improved technologies to protect the environment, and promote the international transfer of technologies that mitigate adverse environmental effects
- Assist in the development of eco-tourism
- Contribute to government capacity in World Heritage management and support site management programmes
- Contribute to the promotion of the World Heritage Convention and sites through building awareness.
b) In respect of Environmental Management and Protection, it can:
- Encourage all those involved in the mining industry to better understand ecosystem management and adopt these principles
- Work with governments and other relevant parties in developing sound, economic and equitable environmental standards and clear decision-making procedures, based on reliable and predictable criteria
- Comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations and, in jurisdictions where these are absent or inadequate, apply cost-effective technologies and management practices to ensure the protection of the environment and worker and community welfare
- Conduct environmental assessments of exploration, infrastructure development, mining or processing activities, including secondary effects, and plan and conduct the design, development, operation, remediation and closure of any facility in a manner that optimizes the economic use of resources while reducing adverse environmental and community impacts to acceptable levels
- Employ risk management strategies and best practices that take into account local cultures, and economic and environmental circumstances in the design, construction, operation and decommissioning, including the handling and disposal of hazardous materials and waste
- Ensure that adequate financial resources or surety instruments are in place to meet the requirements of remediation and closure plans
- Implement effective management systems, conduct regular reviews and act on the results
- Develop, maintain and test emergency plans and response procedures in conjunction with the provider of emergency services, relevant authorities and local authorities to deal adequately with any emergency
- At the initial phases of mining projects, develop closure concepts and/or plans that address environmental and community related issues as well as World Heritage values, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders
- Encourage governments to establish communication mechanisms that will promote dialogue amongst local communities and other affected organizations, facilitate the provision of expert advice and serve in a regular planning and/or oversight capacity; and establish effective processes for conflict resolution.
c) In respect of Community Development, it can:
- Assess the social, cultural, environmental and economic impacts of proposed activities and engage with local communities and other affected organizations in the design of community development strategies, including such a strategy for mine closure
- Contribute to, and participate in, the social, economic and institutional development of communities, and encourage the establishment of sustainable local and regional economic activities
- In cooperation with international agencies, public interest groups and national governments, contribute to the development of local government capacity as well as to plans to address secondary impacts created by mining activity
- Mitigate, to the greatest practical extent, adverse effects on communities by activities related to exploration, extraction and closure of mining and processing facilities
- Provide adequate resources and build requisite capabilities so that employees at all levels are able to fulfill their environmental and community responsibilities
- Develop relevant sustainable development monitoring indicators on a site by site basis
- Respect the authority of national and regional governments, take into account their development objectives, and support the sharing of the economic benefits generated by operations.
Granting of Exploration Licenses
Finally, in respect of granting of exploration licenses, the mining industry should work with stakeholders to create clarity by defining the decision-making process, roles and responsibilities. It is expected that the granting of permits would carry a reasonable assurance of the right to develop, subject to appropriate approval mechanisms based on a clear decision-making process set out in advance.
The conclusion of the workshop was that a Working Group on World Heritage and Mining should be formed to carry forward the work in this important field.
It is important that the World Heritage Committee should give its support to such a Group. The Group's membership should be drawn from various UN Agencies, the Advisory Bodies, ICME, and other interested parties. It could be co-chaired by IUCN and ICME. The Group should work closely with other consultative mechanisms such as MMSD and other initiatives.
If established, the Group would be able assist the World Heritage Committee in this area, and in particular it could:
- If invited, assist the Committee in any review of criteria used for assessing potential World Heritage sites
- Arrange for the case studies presented at this meeting and the recommendations arising from the discussions to be widely publicized, possibly in the form of a best practice guidelines volume
- Explore the interest in preparing a guidance document on World Heritage and Mining
- Plan a workshop and other activities on Mining and World Heritage at the World Parks Congress in 2002
- Investigate the development of databases of existing and potential World Heritage sites and other protected areas, along with mineral occurrences and public domain exploration information. This may involve use of existing map databases of protected areas maintained by UNEP-WCMC
- Increase awareness through all possible means of the issues raised by the interaction of World Heritage sites and mining, involving World Heritage Managers as appropriate
- Investigate sources of funding for the Group's programme of work.
In addition to its collaboration with ICME on World Heritage and mining, IUCN should consider how best to establish linkages with the wider mining sector on a broad range of issues concerning sustainable development, working with appropriate established initiatives.
" Communiqué addressed to UNESCO by
the Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs in the Arab World
concerning Israel's request to inscribe Palestinian sites in the World Heritage List
(12th Conference of the Ministers responsible for Cultural Affairs in the Arab World
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 21-22 November 2000)
We, the ministers responsible for cultural affairs in the Arab World, meeting at our twelfth conference held in Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 21 and 22 November, strongly condemn the hostile Israeli action consisting of a request to inscribe Palestinian heritage sites, the historic Arab cities of Jerusalem and Acre and also the Negev and other natural sites, as Israeli sites in the World Heritage List. Through this uncivilized action Israel is seeking to consecrate its fait accompli policy towards Palestinian land, flouting the 1954 Hague Convention and disavowing all international agreements and conventions, including the World Heritage Convention adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972.
Israel is also intentionally ignoring international resolutions, in particular United Nations General Assembly resolution 181(II) adopted in 1947 and Security Council resolution 242 (1967).
Therefore, on these grounds, we, the ministers responsible for cultural affairs in the Arab world, call upon UNECO and its World Heritage Committee to reject in the strongest possible terms this Israeli request, which is contrary to resolutions under international law, consecrates the occupation, lays claim to manifestations of Arab culture, and seeks to obliterate Palestinian cultural identity. "
Intervention by H.E. Ahmad Abdelrazek,
Ambassador, Permanent Observer of Palestine to UNESCO,
on the ocassion of the Twenty-fourth session of the World Heritage Committee,
27 November - 2 December 2000, Cairns, Australia
Monsieur le Président,
Tout d'abord, Monsieur le Président, je tiens à vous remercier de me donner la parole et je souhaite également remercier les membres du Comité d'avoir permis à la Mission d'Observation de la Palestine de participer, en tant qu'observateur, aux travaux de cette vingt-quatrième session du Comité du patrimoine mondial.
Je souhaiterais exprimer la position de Palestine sur l'inscription d'un site situé à ALQUDS/Jérusalem sur la Liste indicative présentée par Israël.
L'article 3 de la Convention précise « qu'il appartient à chaque Etat Partie à la présente Convention d'identifier et de délimiter les différents biens situés sur son TERRITOIRE »
Si l'Etat d'Israël revendique la souveraineté sur JERUSALEM-EST et même sur JERUSALEM- OUEST, il ne peut récuser les revendications de souveraineté ou de juridictions de l'autre partie Palestinienne au différend sur JERUSALEM.
L'Etat d'Israël, au regard des Nations Unies et du Droit International n'a pas de souveraineté reconnue sur JERUSALEM.
Juridiquement, l'Etat d'Israël ne peut considérer que les biens situés à JERUSALEM soient des biens situés sur son territoire.
Au regard de la Convention, l'Etat d'Israël ne peut présenter une demande d'inscription des biens situés à JERUSALE M , qui ne fait pas partie juridiquement du territoire sur lequel Israël a la souveraineté.
Si en revanche, Israël respecte les dispositions du Droit International et se considère comme une PUISSANCE D'OCCUPATION exerçant sa juridiction sur Jérusalem, il doit dans ce cas, appliquer les dispositions de la CONVENTION DE LA HAYE (Convention de 1954) et, en particulier, l'article 5 sur l'occupation d'un territoire et les modalités de protection du patrimoine culturel dans ce territoire occupé.
Si son objectif est la protection des biens culturels situés à Jérusalem, Israël doit reconnaître que Jérusalem est un territoire occupé et qu'il propose la protection de biens situés sur ce territoire occupé, sous réserve de respecter le droit international.
Dans le cas actuel, nous demandons au Comité de ne pas retenir la demande d'inscription de ce site, situé à Jérusalem, sur la Liste, en attendant que les questions politiques et juridiques concernant la ville soient réglées par les Nations Unies.
Nous nous gardons le droit de soulever des questions sur d'autres points sur la liste ultérieurement.
Intervention by H.E. Aryé Gabay, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Israel to UNESCO
on the occasion of the Twenty-fourth session of the World Heritage Committee
27 November - 2 December 2000, Cairns, Australia
May I first of all congratulate you upon your election to the head of this honourable forum and wish you every success.
So as not to disturb the atmosphere of this forum and contribute to its politisation, let me, Mr Chairperson, make a complete abstraction of all disagreeable political references concerning my country, among others, and reference to occupying forces in Jerusalem, the city of our roots, our Biblical and cultural heritage, place of worship and our national entity.I regret to have to say that the Committee has made a serious error in applying Rule 38 of the Rules of Procedure, namely to suspend Rule 7, 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3, which define the conditions for invitation of observers and representatives of NGOs and professional institutions. In doing so, the Committee has not only gone beyond the directives of the Rules of Procedure but it has also failed in the spirit of the Convention which, wishes to avoid, to the extent possible, the trap of politicalisation in this forum.
Upon receipt of the request for the application of Rule 38, without prior warning, for a question that is not on the agenda, it was difficult for members of the Committee to make any comment, and I can easily understand this.
In this way, you have granted the observer status to a political entity whose intention is certainly not to contribute towards the discussions at a professional level.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a transgression has been made in respect of my country.
Just twenty years ago, Israel, as a State, was refused observer status and the right of response by this same Committee, to allow Jordan to inscribe Jerusalem on the World Heritage List, despite the fact that this city was not located in its territory nor under its jurisdiction or sovereignty.
In one go, Article 11.3 of the Convention and Rule 8.1 of the Rules of Procedure were transgressed. Naturally, the Committee involved Rule 38 for suspension of its application! The irony of the situation is that this happened twenty years, here...in Australia.
Would it not be logical to say that the Committee acts according to political motivations, that there are two rules, two measures or otherwise that, quite simply, the Committee is used for political means by a certain group of countries.
There is not a lack of forums where Jerusalem can be discussed. The problem of Jerusalem, like the Middle East, is discussed by a dozen international organizations, and what is even more absurd, it is also discussed within an organization dealing with education culture and science and this, for thirty years, twice a year.
I advise you, Mr Chairperson, to ask, privately, and "off the record" the opinion of the members of UNESCO of the logic and utility of these debates. You will be enlightened and perhaps you will see an example not to be followed.
Let the specialised organizations deal with the problem of Jerusalem and keep us at a distance from that.
The Convention is not a body that judges the sovereignty of States and their sites and, in this respect Article 11.3 is clear and without ambiguity:
"The inclusion of a property in the World Heritage List requires the consent of the State concerned. The inclusion of a property situated in a territory, sovereignty or jurisdiction over which is claimed by more than one State shall in no way prejudice the rights of the parties to the dispute."
In other words, the Convention, in inscribing this site did not recognise in any way the sovereignty of my country and, consequently, the demands of the Palestinians are not affected in the least. But, even more absurd, Mr Chairperson, is the following:
- Israel wishes to inscribe on the World Heritage List MONT ZION that is situated in an UNCONTESTED PART of Jerusalem since 1948. One only has to look at the map of Jerusalem, edited and published by the UNO to realize this.
- Furthermore, it concerns an extension to the Old City of Jerusalem which, as I have already told you, was already inscribed on the World Heritage List, by Jordan, twenty years ago here in Australia.
- The inscription of this site shall only be discussed in a year's time, so why all this fuss and why transgress the rules and procedures?
The Convention concerning the protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage is itself an intellectual site that requires protection. Do not allow political contamination, as one day we may have to inscribe this forum on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
I can assure you, Mr Chairperson, that Israel will be among the first to welcome the adhesion of the Palestinians to this forum, as soon as they accede to the status of a State, in the framework of the peace process. In this respect, I should mention that our Tentative List already includes regional cooperation projects with the Palestinians and Jordanians, and I hope wholeheartedly that the day for this cooperation is not far off.
For the moment, let us have the courage to proceed with rigour and integrity, the spirit and letter of our Convention and the rules and procedures that guide it. This can only improve our work.
Thank you, Mr Chairperson.
Cairns, 1 December 2000
UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL,SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL
CONVENTION CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF THE WORLD CULTURAL
AND NATURAL HERITAGE
WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
27 November - 2 December 2000
Item 16 of the Provisional Agenda: Provisional Agenda of the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO Headquarters, June 2001)
- Opening of the session by the Director-General of UNESCO or his representative
- Adoption of the agenda and the timetable
- Report on the activities undertaken by the Secretariat since the twenty- fourth session of the Committee
- State of conservation of properties inscribed on List of World Heritage in Danger and on the World Heritage List
4.1 State of conservation of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
4.2. Reports on state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
- Information on tentative lists and examination of nominations of cultural and natural properties to the List of World Heritage in Danger and the World Heritage List
- Requests for international assistance
- Provisional agenda of the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee (December 2001)
- Other business
- Adoption of the report of the session
- Closure of the session
Return to the Report of the 24th Session of the World Heritage Committee