Speech by Mr. Henrik Lilius,
President of the World Heritage Committee
On the occasion of the Opening of the World Heritage Committee session
Helsinki, Finland, 11 December 2001
Members of the World Heritage Committee,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to open the 25th session of the World Heritage Committee. I have the challenging task to chair this Committee session and to guide World Heritage during the next 6 months.
Let me begin by thanking our former Chairperson, Mr Peter King from Australia, for his immense personal commitment during the last year.
In 2001 we have made a lot of progress for the future of World Heritage and I would like to highlight some of the major issues.
During the meeting of the Drafting Group for the revisions to the Operational Guidelines which I was pleased to attend, we made a major step towards a user-friendly format of the main document. I hope that the revised Guidelines will guide us, and all partners in World Heritage conservation.
Concerning the reform process, following the 13th General Assembly of States Parties in October, we now have a World Heritage Committee, which is more representative of all regions and cultures of the world. I would especially like to welcome the new members of the Committee -- Argentina, India, Lebanon, Oman, Nigeria, Russia, Santa Lucia and the United Kingdom. Most of these new members of the Committee have also chosen to make a declaration to the General Assembly that they will limit their term of office to four rather than six years. This will allow a greater rotation of Committee membership and will open the way for new countries to contribute to the work of the Committee. This progressive step followed the most generous and forward-thinking example of the Italian Government in 1999, making their seat on the Committee available after only two of the six years of their mandate.
I will continue to follow your decisions with regard to the reform process. I am convinced that despite the enormous tasks in front of us, you will welcome the efforts achieved in such a short time.
In this regard I would also like to express my satisfaction with the preliminary typology of sites now under preparation. During the past years we have had some major achievements with respect to the representivity of the World Heritage List. We have moved the World Heritage List from cathedrals and other monuments to the concept of sites and landscapes, including technological heritage, vernacular architecture and the heritage of transport. On the natural side we have seen the inclusion of sites from a number of regions underrepresented and countries, such as Malaysia and Suriname. These are unique sites displaying the biological and geological diversity of our earth. However, there is much more to be developed in this regard - particularly for natural heritage, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Following the Committee's decision to only examine 30 new nominations in 2003, we will now have the time for a period of reflection about the categories and types of heritage on our national tentative lists and the World Heritage List. Our objective must be for the World Heritage List to represent a greater diversity of all cultures and environments.
The World Heritage List should represent the democratic idea of sharing our heritage with all of humankind. Every individual will find a site on the List with which it can relate and identify. The Convention is there to contribute to a better understanding of the cultural and natural diversity of the world. It helps people to be aware of social and cultural difference and to overcome conflict to find a peaceful solution to protect heritage in all parts of the world.
In closing, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Committee for your trust and confidence in me and my election as Chairperson. It is a great pleasure for me working with you in the implementation of such a prestigious instrument as the World Heritage Convention. Furthermore, I very much appreciate the continuous commitment of UNESCO, its Director-General and the Director of the World Heritage Centre and his staff.
Speech of the Director-General of UNESCO,Madam President,
Mr Koïchiro Matsuura
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee.
First let me convey my sincere thanks to our hosts from Finland for organizing this session here in Helsinki. This is the first World Heritage Committee session to be held in the Nordic region, and our congratulations go to you for this. We are honoured, Madam President of Finland, by your presence here with us today, which we take as a further sign of your country's long-standing commitment to UNESCO and its action to protect the cultural and natural heritage of humankind.
The diversity of Finland's cultural and natural heritage provides a stunning setting for this meeting. We meet here within the walls of the modern grandeur of architect Alvar Aalto's Finlandia Hall. It is a testimony to the traditions of modern design and style for which Finland is renowned. Around us we have also admired the extraordinary innovation of Finland's wooden architecture and flown over the exceptional beauty of the wild landscapes of coast, lakes and peatlands.
Diversity - whether in education, science, culture or communication - was prominent on the agenda of UNESCO's recent session of the General Conference. One of the most important contributions to diversity was the adoption, by acclamation, of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, the first major international standard-setting instrument designed to promote cultural diversity. Cultural diversity has thereby been recognized by all Member States to be as vital for humankind as is biodiversity in the natural world. The protection of cultural diversity thus becomes an ethical imperative, inseparable from human identity and dignity.
This is an important source of satisfaction for me.
Underwater heritage that was previously outside the scope of existing legal instruments - now also has its own new convention: the International Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, which was also adopted during our recent General Conference. This new Convention prohibits the pillage and destruction of ancient shipwrecks and sunken archaeological sites for commercial exploitation. It gives priority to in-situ preservation of heritage that has been under water for at least 100 years. International law on the protection of the cultural heritage is thus considerably reinforced by this Convention.
These are two major steps forward and I welcome them both wholeheartedly. At the same time, however, one cannot ignore the fact that much remains to be done in certain areas We need to strengthen the fields of application of existing instruments and broaden the principle of protection to new areas of heritage.
I am thinking in particular of the shocking acts of deliberate destruction of heritage which we witnessed as helpless bystanders this year.
The demolition of the Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan has generated an overwhelming level of concern by the international community and civil society. This tragic case has highlighted the importance of effective prevention of such unacceptable behaviour, through a strengthening of sanctions if need be. It is in this context that the General Conference has invited me to prepare a Draft Declaration against the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage. The aim of the Declaration would be to reinforce provisions contained in existing international cultural heritage conventions such as the World Heritage Convention. Our legal instruments will mean nothing unless they can give a greater guarantee of protection. Commitment and action by each of the States Parties to the Convention is required.
Another area which calls for serious and urgent investigation is that of intangible heritage. As you know, even before assuming my present position in the Organization, as Chair of the World Heritage Committee I had been concerned with the need to broaden the scope of heritage protection. During my chairmanship, the acceptance by the Committee of customary law and traditional management was broadened, paving the way for international recognition of the vital role of traditional forms of governance. Intangible cultural values associated with sites are also increasingly recognized as an integral component of their world heritage values. However, there is an intrinsic limit to the World Heritage Convention which does not deal with intangible heritage as such.
It is my pleasure, therefore, to inform you that I have been authorized by the General Conference to begin preparatory work towards an international legal framework for the protection of intangible cultural heritage. This new convention will need to be elaborated in the coming years. We shall further define what is called intangible cultural heritage and examine the best form for a new standard-setting instrument on the protection of such cultural heritage. This will have to be developed with reference to the ground-breaking work of this Committee in the area of World Heritage cultural landscapes and the recognition of traditional culture and practice through World Heritage listing.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The international community is looking to UNESCO to rise to the challenge and add strength to all of its efforts to protect heritage. How can we meet such high expectations?
During my term as Chair of the Committee, and since then, in my capacity as Director-General of UNESCO, I stressed the importance of addressing the problem of heritage protection and conservation at its roots. To take proactive measures for preventive action, we must ensure that our conservation work is development-oriented, for conservation to be part of the development process.
I count on you, as members of the Committee to steer the future course of the Convention to make it a powerful tool for sustainable development, as it has proven to be for the protection of the environment. Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds of the OECD Member States alone, will amount to over US$50 billion this year to support developing countries, including many social and economic infrastructural development projects. The recognition of the importance of World Heritage sites must serve to promote the attribution of ODA funds for the safeguarding and development of cultural and natural heritage and for the defence of diversity.
To strengthen the legal basis for heritage protection and for heritage conservation to become a vector for socio- economic development, a spirit of cooperation and genuine partnership with all sectors of society will be required. I think that we must continue to explore new forms of partnerships with the key actors of heritage conservation: local and regional governments, development co-operation agencies, universities, private foundations, the corporate sector and the growing number of NGOs. The multiplication of our efforts in the long term and the creation of a support network for World Heritage conservation through such partnerships will be vital and necessary to respond to the growing challenges facing World Heritage sites.
The year 2002 which marks the 30th Anniversary of the Convention and recently declared as the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage by the UN General Assembly will, I hope, provide an opportunity to broaden this partnership for World Heritage protection and management.
To this end the General Conference of UNESCO has approved a series of initiatives as part of the 30th Anniversary. The June session of the World Heritage Committee to be held in Budapest, Hungary will provide a timely opportunity to take stock of lessons learnt and chart our future course. With the generous support of the Italian Government, an international congress will be held in Venice in November 2002 to develop partnerships to support the strategic orientation of the Convention which I count on the Committee to develop.
As you know, much of the conservation responsibility and effort rests on the States Parties with key contributions from local and regional governments, public and private organizations. Many countries do not have the necessary technical and financial capacity to cope with this challenge. They rely on UNESCO, the World Heritage Fund and extrabudgetary resources made available by other States Parties and private foundations.
I wish to thank all those States Parties who have generously supported World Heritage in recent years. I also pay tribute to the United Nations Foundation which has granted a very large contribution to the World Heritage Centre to implement projects to benefit natural World Heritage sites, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I encourage you to proceed, with the necessary caution and experimental attitude, to develop a stable and strong network of partners to support you. I encourage you to find the best way to promote and focus the positive energy of governments, local authorities, the private sector and civil society at large.
In concluding, and wishing this Committee well in its deliberations, I again give you my assurances that I will spare no effort in safeguarding the diversity of the worlds' cultural and natural heritage. I call on you all to support me in this challenge.
Speech by Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic of FinlandLadies and gentlemen,
Heritage comprises of all the manifestations and messages of intellectual activity in our environment. Heritage mirrors a nation's soul and reflects personal identity in a chain from past to future generations.
In terms of heritage, be it cultural or natural, sustainable development will remain mere rhetoric without an operational content. It is essential to build sustainable development on sustainable ethics. We can ask ourselves whether our ethics is on a sound basis and do we truly cherish our intellectual, cultural and natural heritage, passing its message on to future generations?
Ten years ago the Conference on Environment and Development in Rio raised sustainable development as a central concept both in international cooperation and in national action. Every country bears the primary responsibility for sustainable development as well as for cultural and natural heritage. When the ethical norms in the management of cultural and natural heritage rest on a sound basis, sustainable development can be promoted in various ways.
In ecologically sustainable development, economic growth must be accommodated to the limits imposed by nature. This is a great challenge for political decision-making and technologies. International conventions and other common commitments increase our possibilities to foster our common heritage - fostering World Heritage is an element of sustainable development.
Socially just development means an aspiration to distribute welfare equitably. All people have the right to satisfy their basic needs. To achieve this goal, we must combat poverty and exclusion. For this work, education offers a vast range of possibilities. We have made a strong political commitment to education by adopting the Dakar Framework on "Education for All". This framework is an important step in achieving the goals of the Millennium Declaration to guarantee equal education for every boy and girl in this world. This challenge is particularly great concerning girls.
At the same time we must help also illiterate adults learn to read and write. Illiteracy hampers inter alia people's participation in common affairs and construction of the society. Thus illiteracy weakens democracy.
One fundamental characteristic of intellectual and creative heritage is that sharing does not decrease it, on the contrary. It is society's responsibility to create possibilities for such sharing. Education and culture are both essential tools for this.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let us look at heritage from the perspective of children and young people.
In children and young people, we have the key to a future society where cultural tolerance and respect for difference shall come true. Family primarily transmits traditions, but school also has a great responsibility for passing on heritage in ail its forms. School lays the foundation for an appreciation of culture and for tolerance, We must encourage networking and co-operation between schools and we have to promote dialogue between cultures at all levels. There is a need for UNESCO to support its Member States in developing values education. This is education for peace, human rights and democracy in other words, education for the prevention of intolerance, discrimination and conflict. In this respect I see great potential in the World Heritage Education Project initiated by UNESCO. This project deserves our strong support.
Minorities are often left out from power centres. The position of minorities is essential in the preservation of indigenous cultures. By working together we can remove obstacles and ensure minorities the right to their own culture. Responsibility for nature and its diversity, for the living environment and cultural heritage cannot be conceded to others, it rests with everybody. I am pleased to note that this meeting will deliberate the establishment of a World Heritage Indigenous Peoples Council of Experts. There is a close link between this Council and the Indigenous Peoples Forum established by the United Nations.
One paradox in the preservation of heritage is that we must conserve in order to renew. The vitality of culture is born out of diversity - in a society that gives peace, welfare and culture a chance.
The challenge facing the world is to reach across cultures, religions and history to forge a new vision for development that rests on a shared interest in sustainability, stability and prosperity. Such a vision offers the prospect of a more human, inclusive globalisation one that embraces cultural diversity.
I welcome therefore the decision of UNESCO's General Conference to focus the Organisation's cultural programme on diversity, intercultural pluralism and dialogue. Let us hope that the Declaration on Cultural Diversity adopted by the General Conference, will mark the take-off towards greater respect for the diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and co-operation. The declaration is an important input to the observation of the International Year of Dialogue among Civilisations. Civilisations or cultures are changing, developing and adapting themselves to new times and new realities through interaction with each other. This interaction creates multiethnic and multicultural societies, rich and diverse in their heritage.
Preserving heritage obviously means preserving its diversity. The current international context prompts us to sharpen our focus on this dialogue. Preservation of cultural diversity is inseparable from action to strengthen intercultural dialogue. Both are at the heart of mutual understanding.
The UN General Assembly has declared the year 2002 as United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. This not only shows how highly we value our common heritage, but also underlines the need for safeguarding it for future generations. UNESCO, having a central role in this effort, faces compelling challenges in fulfilling this mission.
We have to keep in mind that the world heritage is about more than monuments and natural wonders. The intangible ideas and beliefs that constitute our collective memory must never be neglected.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me give a positive example from my own country, Finland gained her independence 84 years ago, we fought a civil war and we have had to fight three wars against foreign enemies. Still we have reached a high standard of living and in a recent OECD-study Finnish students scored highest marks in exams of reading and writing. In fact when comparing the national averages among OECD countries, Finland is above the average in reading, mathematics and natural sciences, We can thank our comprehensive education for the advancement in building a knowledge based society in Finland. By giving also girls equal possibility for education at all levels we have at least doubled our resources.
Let me conclude with a quotation from the Declaration on Cultural Diversity: "Heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced and handed on to future generations as a record of human experience and aspirations, so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures".
I wish the World Heritage Committee the best of success in its important work.
Address by the Minister of Culture of Finland, Ms Suvi LindénMadam President,
Mr Chairperson of the Committee,
Distinguished delegates and observers,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss has said that world culture is in fact global cooperation between cultures, in which each culture maintains its unique characteristics.
This is what the World Heritage Convention and the World Heritage Committee are all about. The protection of cultural heritage promotes dialogue between cultures. We must learn to understand and respect difference - to recognise its value as an intellectual and cultural wealth.
One vital objective for the World Heritage Committee is to achieve balance in the World Heritage List. The need to include new countries and new kinds of cultural heritage is a challenge to experts. Procedures and criteria must be defined in a way which enables us to protect the common heritage of humankind.
National resources are often inadequate for protecting cultural and natural heritage. Countries which have knowledge, know-how and economic resources play a key role in international cooperation. On the other hand, countries which have numerous sites on the World Heritage List need to hold back and help those countries which have no listed sites as yet. The protection of cultural heritage is a generally recognised value in all societies, but the resources available for the work vary greatly.
For a country, having sites on the list is a significant acknowledgment. A listed site gives publicity and draws positive attention to the town or region. At its best, it boosts self-respect, revitalises traditional skills and crafts, stimulates tourism and business. Having said this, I think it crucial to bear in mind that the ultimate aim is to protect the sites and not to use them for other purposes.
We must learn to see protection in a new way and develop new action models which accommodate the whole variety of global heritage. The current efforts made by the World Heritage Committee to simplify procedures and to renew the operational guidelines are an important step on this road. For instance, it would be very much easier to include the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples if the criteria of cultural and natural sites were combined into one set of guidelines.
All the manifestations of cultural heritage are fragile and subject to various hazards. Historical buildings and artefacts have always suffered in warfare. Heritage is often destroyed with a clear intent to undermine the identity of a nation. Unesco's efforts to intervene in acts constituting a crime against the common human heritage are especially valuable and necessary in our days. In this work ft is important to make use of existing instruments for safeguarding cultural property and heritage and commitment to them.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Finland greatly appreciates the work done by the World Heritage Committee and its secretariat, the World Heritage Centre, in implementing the World Heritage Convention.
Finland has actively taken part in its work since we became its member in 1997. For us hosting the 25th session of the World Heritage Committee is both an honour and a vote of confidence. Helsinki and the Finlandia Hall have been the venue of many important international meetings, which were often said to have proceeded in the "Helsinki spirit".
Side by side with this session, there is another Unesco event, the International Workshop on World Heritage Education, which is held at the near-by National Museum. I would like to refer to President Tarja Halonen's address and reiterate how important it is to encourage new generations to appreciate the value and significance of the world heritage.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the organisation of this session. Our gratitude is also due to the World Heritage Centre staff for their valuable input. I hope that this session will deliberate decisions in a positive spirit, with a view to making both the local and the global public appreciate the value of cultural and natural heritage and the role it plays in boosting identity and promoting mutual understanding.
Speech of the Minister of Environment,Ladies and Gentlemen,
Minister for International Development Affairs, Finland,
Ms Satu Hassi
We have enterered a new millennium with an enormous amount of ecological knowledge and awareness. Satellite technology has vastly improved our means of monitoring environmental changes in the atmosphere, on the continents and in the oceans - and in real time, too. Yet it still is difficult to obtain a global reaction to negative environmental changes. These are mainly anthropogenic, caused by man himself. To address such issues is the same as addressing established praxes within another state or a branch of industry, or interfering with long- established prerogatives or benefits of a group of people.
We know that natural vitality and biological diversity are waning from year to year. The WWF Living Planet Index states that one-third of the biological diversity of the world has been lost during the last 25 years. An increasing number of species dependent on indigenous biotopes, habitats and cultural landscapes lose out in competition with other species. Efficient land use, agriculture and forestry shrink or change the habitats of these species. In these situations our reactions have been all too slow, or else steps have been difficult to take on account of political or other reasons. Therefore, some species will unavoidably become extinct. Some, fortunately, can still be saved with special efforts.
The Convention on Cultural Heritage is an important instrument in our fight for the preservation of species. Many states possessing globally important threatened or rare species habitats have already ratified this Convention. It is important to make it known in states which have already ratified this Convention. It is important to make it known in states which have not yet begun ratification. For instance, the participation of countries in Africa has meant that game reserves or national parks, which we know from nature films, have been included as part of the World Heritage. In the spirit of the Convention they have thus become part of humanity's joint heritage, and all parties to the Convention carry the responsibility for their preservation. These areas can now also receive economic contributions from UNESCO.
The status of World Heritage sites means increased income from tourism, which is highly important for the African states. In some areas, eco-tourism has even expanded to the extent of becoming difficult to manage. But the states that are parties to the Convention are not alone in their fight against these problems. They can draw upon UNESCO's global funds of expertise as well to identify and solve the problems arising.
There is hardly anyone among us who doubts that the inclusion in the World Heritage of the African game parks, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, Australia's Great Barrier Reef or the Brasilian rain forests is eminently justified. All these areas display habitats of globally unique species, or exceptional biodiversity.
The World Conservation Union, IUCN, plays a central role in the selection of new natural heritage sites to the World Heritage List. Many parties to the Convention, among them Finland, have realised that the IUCN draws a very neat line. This can be illustrated by the fact that although Finland ratified the Convention as early as 1987, so far we have not been able to provide a single natural heritage site to the List. Nevertheless, we keep on trying.
Finland appreciates the line taken by the IUCN and also adopted by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, based increasingly on conscious selection and a Global Strategy. As far as the natural heritage is concerned, the IUCN seems to stick strictly to the principle of the Seven Wonders of the World, that is, the List should only include objects of outstanding universal value, and among such, preferably only one of each, the best and most representative one of its kind. It is an excellent idea to name, as "hot spots", concentrations of biodiversity and areas defined by the WWF calling for urgent action. We support this policy, but I would like to mention that also in Finland there are some natural sites of unique value, such as the western coastline, where the landrise is the fastest in the world, and northernmost unbroken pine forest in the world close to lake Inari in Lapland.
Most of the natural heritage sites of the World Heritage List lie on land. The Global Strategy aims at more marine sites, for instance in the Pacific. I embrace this endeavour, too. So far, not nearly all ocean species have yet been found. Some researchers think the combined biological diversity of the oceans is more extensive than the land-bound diversity. On the other hand, the increasing sea traffic, unsustainable fishing practices and other kinds of over-exploitation and collection of the ocean's resources and, in places, wrongly placed and misguided tourism, constitute threats against the varied life in the oceans and their littoral areas.
Finland will continue along the lines adopted to work for the natural heritage, to promote the implementation of the Convention where the globally most valuable and also most threatened areas are to be found. In practice this means that in the Finnish development cooperation we promote democracy in the Convention states, give aid to help nominate World Heritage sites, both natural and cultural sites, and help set up proper administration and maintenance units for sites already included on the World Heritage List. Finland has also given aid to help preserving several World Heritage sites of those I would like to mention the programme to protect environment at the Machu Picchu in Peru and the protection of the surroundings of the Lalibela rock churches in Ethiopia.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On my own behalf I would like to wish all of you a very pleasant meeting and constructive lobbying during lunch and coffee breaks. As the Minister responsible for both Environment and Development Cooperation I hope that we receive tangible proposals for how Finland could in best way contribute to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in both fields, in the side of cultural heritage and in the side of natural heritage, both in Finland and in the poorer countries, which need the financial help of richer countries. The humankind is, anyway, one; and all of us are responsible for preserving the World Hetitage for the generations coming after us.
Statement by the Observer of IsraelMr. Chairman,
I would like to address the issue of the presence of a PLO Representative in the meetings of the implementing bodies of the Convention and the Conference of the State Parties.
On November 23, 2001, an Egyptian proposal to amend the Rule 8.2 of the Rules of Procedure was submitted to Mr Bandarin. According to the proposal the words "permanent observer missions to UNESCO" will be inserted after the words "non- permanent organizations" so that permanent observer missions to UNESCO will also be listed among the various bodies that may be authorized by the Committee, to participate in its sessions. While the proposal was submitted in accordance to Rule 9.2, once again, it must be pointed out that the purpose of this proposal is clearly political since its implication will legitimize the presence of the PLO at the meetings of the Committee and hence contribute to its politization. Even if the proposal were to be accepted legally, the PLO will still not be able to take part in the Committee's sessions, since Rule 8.2 allows for the participation of bodies which "have activities in the fields covered by the Convention".
While such a presence was permitted at the Committee's meeting in December 2000, it was understood that it would not set a precedent or become a justification for any future PLO participation in the meetings of the Committee. There is absolutely no justification in the Convention and Rules of Procedure for such participation. Suspension of the Rules of Procedure is clearly not the appropriate way to deal with the matter. Hence the participation of a PLO Representative at the Committee's sessions has no legal basis.
Israel's legal position on this matter, which was brought to the attention of the Committee in its last meeting in Australia and in further correspondence with Mr Bandarin and Chairman King, is based on the fact that Rule 8.1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee, requires that only States Parties to the Convention, which are not members of the Committee, may attend the sessions of the Committee as observers. Since the PLO Representative does not represent a Party to the Convention or a State for that matter, this Rule cannot be applied to the PLO Delegation.
Article 10(2) of the Convention and Rules 7, 8.2 and 8.3 deal with other appropriate participants that may take part in the meetings of the Committee and are not State Parties to the Convention: According to Rule 7 and Article 10(2) of the Convention "the Committee may at any time invite public or private organizations or individuals to participate in the meetings for consultations on particular problems". According to Rules 8.2 and 8.3, various bodies, which "have activities in the fields covered by the Convention" may be authorized by the Committee, to participate in the sessions of the Committee.
In view of the spirit of the Convention and its objectives, especially the professional character of the Committee, the aim of these articles is undoubtedly to enable the Committee to invite organizations or individuals for the sole purpose of professional consultation regarding aspects dealt with by the Convention. Clearly the PLO Representative does not fit these criteria and his presence is nothing but a politically motivated action by states intent on politicizing the work of this Committee and thus serves no substantive or functional purpose.
Giving the PLO Representative the opportunity to participate and express political views in the discussions of the Committee, a body whose deliberations are meant to be purely professional, is obviously in contraction to the letter and the spirit of the Convention and the Rules of Procedure. Moreover, in doing so, the Committee will itself contribute to the politization of a forum whose primary missions are to
- Encourage countries to sign the Convention and ensure the protection of natural and cultural heritage, and
- Encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List.
In view of the above, I would respectively urge you, Mr Chairman, to prevent the politization of this Committee and thus decide not to permit the presence of a representative of the PLO at the deliberations of this Committee.
At the same time, I want to express my wish that the day will come soon after a peace agreement is reached, when Palestinian experts will join their Israeli counterparts in the work of this Committee on behalf of a State Party.
Thank you Mr Chairman.
Budget for Afghanistan Mission
Estimated Budget Breakdown for Fact-Finding & Consultative Mission: US$32,000 (a) Travel Costs:
- International Airfare US$1,500 x 4 persons = US$6,000
(Director and Secretariat/World Heritage Centre,
ICOMOS cultural heritage expert,
IUCN natural heritage expert)
- Domestic Travel within Afghanistan US$4,000 (approximate)
- Daily Subsistence Allowance 4 persons x US$100 (average) x 15 days = US$6,000
- Insurance and other miscellaneous costs US$2,000
US$18,000 (b) Fees:
(International expert fees: US$200 x 20 days x 2 experts = US$8,000)
US$8,000 (c) Reporting costs:
(Photographic, cartographic, and other documentation costs)
US$2,000 (d) Organizational support: US$4,000
Budget for Afghanistan Scientific Documentation
Estimated Budget Breakdown for Scientific Documentation: US$17,000 ICOMOS/ICCROM Co-ordination Services and Documentation costs for Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan US$10,000 IUCN Co-ordination Services and Documentation costs for Natural Heritage of Afghanistan US$7,000
STATE OF CONSERVATION OF PROPERTIES
INSCRIBED ON THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST
Extract from the Report of the Rapporteur of the twenty-fifth extraordinary session
of the Bureau, Helsinki, Finland (7-8 December 2002) (WHC-01/CONF.208/4)
PART I: Reports on the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List for examination
MINING AND WORLD HERITAGE
III.1 The Bureau recalled that the results of the technical workshop on World Heritage and Mining were reviewed by the last session of the Committee. It was informed that the proceedings of the workshop were published by the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME), IUCN and the World Heritage Centre. In July 2000 a copy was sent to all Committee members and in November 2001 to all new Committee members for information.
III.2 The Bureau also noted the change in the organization of the mining industry relating to the Global Mining Initiative's (GMI) decision to put in place a new organization. On 21 May 2001, the Board of Directors of the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME) agreed to transform the organization into the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), to be based in London. ICMM has been given a broader mandate by the membership to focus principally on providing sustainable development leadership for the industry. An environmental scientist has been appointed the Secretary-General of ICMM in October 2001 and the inaugural meeting of the Governing Council of ICMM has been held on 24 October 2001 in London. Issues related to mining and biodiversity will continue to be a priority for this new organization The membership comprises leading companies from the mining, metals and minerals industry (represented by their Chairmen/CEOs), as well as office bearers of regional, national and commodity associations.
III.3 The objectives of ICMM are as follows:
- to initiate, conduct, promote and communicate research and analysis into the interaction of the world's mining, mineral and metal industries with the economy, the environment and communities;
- to seek to lead change within these industries by stimulating discussion and coordinating activities between and among member companies, others involved with the industry and the industry's regional, national, commodity and international associations;
- to develop and communicate a clear and authoritative position on global issues affecting the future of the mining, mineral and metal industries;
- to determine and promote global best practice performance standards within these industries;
- to maintain a high-level dialogue with government and inter- governmental bodies, non-governmental and community organisations, academic and professional institutions and other stakeholders.
III.4 IUCN noted there are a number of initiatives underway at present relating to mining and the environment and reaffirmed its view that mining should not be permitted within World Heritage sites.
III.5 The Bureau noted that following the creation of ICMM, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN will review the proposal for the establishment of a Working Group on World Heritage and Mining, as proposed by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-fourth session and will report back to the twenty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee.
Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
III.6 The Bureau noted that two articles were published on illegal poaching in Cameroon, with particular mention of Dja Faunal Reserve.
III.7 IUCN noted that such a situation can negatively impact protected area relations with local people. IUCN reported that, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife monitoring programme of IUCN and WWF, convened a technical workshop in Yaounde, Cameroon from 17-20 September 2001. The workshop, entitled "Links Between Biodiversity Conservation, Livelihoods and Food Security and the Use of Wild Meat", aimed to: forge functional links among the species conservation, food security/community development and commercial sectors in order to identify means to address conservation and development concerns linked to the unsustainable use of wild fauna for food; contribute to the process of identifying, prioritising and planning practical responses to address priority conservation and development concerns related to the use of wild fauna for food; and provide input to a GEF proposal related to the use of wild fauna to contribute to sustainable livelihoods in Central Africa.
III.8 IUCN and the Centre noted that the UNESCO/FAO African World Heritage Forest Initiative (AWHFI) concept document, currently being developed for submission to the UNF Board for the July 2002 round of biodiversity grants, includes Dja Faunal Reserve. The Centre and IUCN observed with concern that the reports on poaching and logging, if accurately reported, suggest that it may be necessary to consider whether the site should be placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. They acknowledged that the problem is due to a combination of factors including law enforcement, political commitment, cultural differences, resources, and food availability. In light of the recent Wild Meat workshop it is hoped that prompt and effective action will be taken by the State Party to address these damaging trends.
III.9 The Bureau adopted the following decision for transmission to the Committee for examination at its twenty-fifth session:
"The Committee welcomes the recommendations of IUCN, and calls upon the State Party to take urgent action to halt illegal poaching in the Reserve, and requests a full report from the State Party on this situation by 1 February 2002. This report shall be submitted for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee (June 2002), at which time it will decide on the need for a mission to the site. Furthermore, the Committee commends the chief executives of major European logging firms active in Central Africa, representatives from various conservation NGOs (WCS, IUCN, WWF) and officials from the World Bank and the European Union) for their initial efforts in bringing stakeholders together to tackle the environmental problems associated with logging operations. The code of conduct should be supported, and the Committee urges the CEO-AWG to strengthen its efforts to involve Asian companies in the work of the group and to undertake every effort to include all logging companies working in Cameroon."
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)
III.10 The Centre and IUCN had received a letter from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) noting that IUCN had requested KWS to nominate Mt Kenya World Heritage site for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger, and expressing opposition to the 'proposed de- listing of Mt Kenya World Heritage site'. The letter noted that the management of the site had recently been transferred from the Forest Department to the KWS with the aim of enhancing management and enforcement. The KWS reported that it had extended the boundaries of the site to include the natural forest, and was in the process of preparing an integrated management plan. IUCN had responded to the State Party by: clarifying its role as an Advisory Body; outlining the process involved in listing sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger; explaining the implications of inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and outlining the purpose of monitoring missions and the need for such missions to be approved by the State Party. The Centre and IUCN noted that the delay in receiving an invitation from the Kenyan State Party for a monitoring mission appears to be related to a misunderstanding on what was requested by the Bureau in June 2001. The KWS was of the understanding that the request for a mission with the view to considering whether the site should be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger constituted automatic inclusion in this List, as well as subsequent removal from the World Heritage List.
III.11 The Bureau adopted the following recommendation for transmission to the Committee for examination at its twenty-fifth session:
"The Committee requests the State Party to invite a mission to the site as soon as possible to enable an independent assessment of the state of conservation of the World Heritage site."
Banc d'Arguin National Park, Mauritania
III.12 The Bureau was informed that the issue of 23 June 2001 of the New Scientist included an article on Banc d'Arguin National Park. Entitled "Breaking the Banc: Africa's largest marine sanctuary is failing", the article describes the threat to the Park's fish stocks posed by 'tens of thousands of traditional fishermen' and 'hundreds of giant foreign trawlers' that fish at the edge of the Park boundary. The article puts most blame on the large international trawler consortiums, many of them European (the largest European vessel can hold 7,000 tonnes of fish and is dedicated full time to Mauritanian waters), who have the financial power to buy fishing rights from the Mauritanian Government. It notes that the trawlers have displaced traditional fishermen who are increasing pressure to be allowed inside the Park and the World Heritage site.
III.13 The Centre and IUCN noted the importance of working with traditional fishermen to help address their concerns. A vital element of effective management of the coastal zone is the protection of key ecosystems such as those within the World Heritage site. The increasing involvement of international trawlers is a cause for grave concern as it can potentially negate such initiatives.
III.14 In September 2001 the Park reported to IUCN that two pre-exploration permits for petroleum exploration within the Park had been signed by the Government of Mauritania. The Park is currently seeking to undertake an urgent assessment of the legal situation in Mauritania and its obligations under international conventions, including the World Heritage Convention, in order to halt the exploration and production permits. It is seeking assistance to undertake this assessment. The Park reports that the situation with the proposed road between Nouadhibou and Nouackchott, which will pass close to the boundary of the Park, remains inconclusive.
III.15 The Bureau welcomed the recommendations of IUCN and requested a report from the State Party by 1 February 2002 for examination by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau. This report should address the following issues: the status of petroleum permits relating to oil exploration within the Park; threats to marine resources of the Park, and the status of the road between Nouadhibou and Nouackchott.
Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal)
III.16 The Bureau learned that an IUCN/Centre monitoring mission to the site was undertaken from 5 to 15 July 2001. The full mission report was provided as an information document WHC- 2001/CONF.207/INF.7. As suggested in the report, IUCN and the Centre proposed that an aerial survey should be conducted as a matter of urgency. This survey should determine the number and distribution of giant eland in Niokolo-Koba NP's eastern part and the adjacent Faleme Hunting Zone. Because of the present low density of giant eland, a total coverage of the primary giant eland area in Niokolo-Koba NP is recommended. A sample count following standardised methodology could be undertaken in the remaining areas of Niokolo-Koba NP and the Faleme Hunting Zone.
III.17 All National Park staff working in Niokolo-Koba or visiting the Park should be encouraged to record detailed giant eland information on standardised data sheets whenever possible. Observations should include standardised information such as date, habitat type, locality, group sizes and number of calves. Other regular visitors to Niokolo-Koba NP, such as tour operators, could also be encouraged to collect specific information on giant eland. It is desirable to protect a small number of giant eland outside Niokolo-Koba NP. The present six giant eland in Bandia Reserve could serve this purpose. No further captures and relocations of giant eland from Niokolo-Koba NP to areas outside the Park should be considered for the time being. A short field research project on giant eland should be considered for submission requesting support from the World Heritage Fund. This project should collect detailed population data, movements and habitat use. A one-year field project should be able to achieve the initial goals. Radio collaring of a few selected individuals would be essential to ensure that study animals could be reliably located.
III.18 Effective law enforcement (anti-poaching operations) will remain of critical importance, not only as far as the survival of giant eland is concerned but also other species in the Park. It was proposed that the services of a specialist consultant be sought to consider various alternative law-enforcement strategies. This must be done in close co-operation with National Parks' authorities as well as community representatives in the Niokolo-Koba region. The project "The protection, reproduction and veterinary control of large antelopes, such as the Derby eland" proposed by the Tropical and Sub-tropical Agronomy at the ITSZ CZU in Prague, should be reviewed by all key stakeholder groups. The project could play a major role in ensuring the survival of the giant eland.
III.19 The Bureau adopted the following recommendation for transmission to the Committee for examination at its twenty-fifth session:"The Committee endorses the recommendations of the IUCN/Centre mission, and requests the State Party to review the document and report back with an action plan for implementation of the recommendations by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Committee (June 2002)."
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania)
III.20 The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Centre and IUCN had received a report of extensive and increasing domestic crop cultivation in the Ngorongoro Crater and wider Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), 97% of which constitutes the World Heritage site. A letter from the Centre was addressed to the Permanent Delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania to UNESCO requesting verification of the situation with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area authorities. The same letter was copied to the Frankfurt Zoological Society that has undertaken projects in NCA. Concerns have been raised over the expansion and the negative impacts on wildlife and the Masaai traditional pastoralism. Specifically the concerns raised relate to:
- Cultivation on very steep slopes;
- Growing pressure for alternative land use which has reduced most of the Maasai's grazing lands, making Ngorongoro the last sanctuary with intact grazing land;
- Steady increase in residents in Ngorongoro, mainly through immigration from other areas;
- Changes in the agricultural practices of the Masaai pastoralists.
III.21 In response to the above report, the Conservator of Ngorongoro in his letter to the Centre dated 7 August 2001, noted that in 1995 the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority commissioned a team of experts to consider the issue of domestic cultivation. The study concluded that the cultivation practised by the Masaai pastoralists was not a threat to conservation and pastoralism interests. It recommended cultivation carried out by non-Masaai pastoralists should be halted as it posed a threat to the integrity of the Conservation Area. It also noted that increasing numbers of immigrants who might not abide by Masaai relations and customs, could threaten the functioning of the Masaai's social institutions which regulate land use.
III.22 Further, the Conservator of Ngorongoro noted that the following actions have been enforced:
- Identification of immigrants and human and livestock census;
- Acquiring alternative land for cultivation outside the Conservation Area for resettling of immigrants and where domestic cultivation could be carried out;
- Follow up study to the 1995 study;
- Implementation of a DANIDA-funded project aimed at revitalising the livestock- based economy in order to ensure that cultivation remains secondary to livestock;
- Continuing the grain importation scheme to help the resident population gain access to grain at cost price, and therefore discourage crop cultivation.
III.23 The Frankfurt Zoological Society expressed concern that "without a decision from the government, cultivation will continue and threaten not only one of the world's most famous wildlife areas but also one of the last grazing lands for the Maasai cattle".
III.24 IUCN noted that the serious encroachment and destruction of the highland forests at the northern edge of the site continues. IUCN noted further that cultivation, even at a very low level, excludes use of the area by larger wildlife species in the long term, and that only a very small percentage of the NCA is suitable for cultivation because of rainfall, soil and slope conditions. IUCN also noted that:
- the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was separated from the Serengeti and gazetted as a multi-use conservation area, hence sustainable use such as grazing is allowed;
- Limited subsistence cultivation was allowed in the early nineties due to food shortages, declining livestock and population growth. This alone was not a serious threat. What has become a serious threat is the commercial farming introduced by immigrant farmers, and this is what needs to be addressed urgently;
- There is some disagreement about the impact of the Masaai practising agriculture within the NCA. There is the possibility that Masaai agriculture (distinct from traditional pastoralism or livestock rearing), is also negatively impacting on the site;
- The management of the NCA requires more effective scientific guidance.
III.25 The Bureau adopted the following recommendation for transmission to the Committee for examination at its twenty-fifth session:
"The Committee requests the State Party to provide a report on the encroachment situation in the northern section of the World Heritage site and on the impacts of commercial farming introduced by immigrant farmers on the integrity and values of this World Heritage site by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Committee."
Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
III.26 The Bureau was informed that the Centre and IUCN had received several reports concerning the proposed Ewaso Ng'iro Hydroelectric Project (ENP) in Kenya, and its potential impacts on the Serengeti and Mara ecosystems. The State-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company is proposing to build three dams along the Ewaso Ng'iro River that would generate 180 MW of electricity and which would cost 350 million dollars by the time of completion in 2007. This scheme, if implemented, would link the Mara River system through a 3.5 km tunnel with the upper drainage of the Ewaso Ng'iro (south) River, thus reversing the Mara's flow into the Ewaso Ng'iro River, finally draining into Lake Natron in the east instead of Lake Victoria in the west.
III.27 There have been a series of Environmental Impact Assessments and discussions on the ENP which have held its implementation up. Potential impacts, if implemented, include downstream effects on Lake Natron in Tanzania (possible extension to the proposed Rift Valley Lake Reserves World Heritage site) and potential ecological impact on the Serengeti National Park. IUCN has received a report by the Frankfurt Zoological Society, which noted potential impacts of the project, if implemented, on the conservation of the Serengeti National Park:
- The main feature of the Serengeti Ecosystem, which extends across several protected areas, including the World Heritage site, is the wildebeest migration. Wildlife numbers in this system are controlled by the dry season rainfall (and consequent grass availability) in the Mara River system. Presently, the Serengeti Migration consists of approximately 1.2 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras. This was an important feature at the time of the inscription of this site.
- If the Mara River were to dry up, most of the wildlife migrants would perish and the Serengeti Migration would collapse irreversibly. There is concern that though the ENP makes allowances for maintaining some water flow in the Mara River, even during severe droughts, these drought times would also produce the worst power shortages in Kenya. Consequently, there would be unpredictable pressure on the demand for channelling all available Mara water into the Ewaso Ng'iro Hydroelectric project.
- Even under normal climatic conditions the project might endanger the Serengeti World Heritage Site and impact tourist revenues in Tanzania and Kenya. In June 2001, Tanzania National Parks, together with the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Australian Institute for Marine Science developed an ecological model to test the possible impact of the Amala weir water diversion project on the Serengeti Migration (Modeling the Impact on the Serengeti Ecosystem of the Proposed Amala Weir Water Diversion Project in Kenya, Gereta, E., Wolanski, E., and Borner, M., 2001.).
It is understood that the East Africa Community has discussed this issue and the proposal has effectively been dropped for the time being.
III.28 IUCN has been notified that WWF East Africa Regional Office is commencing design of a Mara River Catchment Basin Initiative. This will focus on conserving the Mara River Catchment's unique biodiversity; ensuring the maintenance of natural functions by balancing the supply and demand of biodiversity products, and developing alternative livelihoods for communities. As part of the Initiative's preliminary phase, WWF has recently commissioned a report on the hydrology of the Kenyan side of the Mara River, in order to consider the land use changes and impacts of these on the flow and quality of the River. IUCN noted that the Serengeti National Park is one of the field sites for the Enhancing our Heritage Project funded by the UNF. IUCN considered that there is merit in the State Parties of Kenya and Tanzania establishing a joint committee through the Commission on East Africa Cooperation arrangement to undertake further in-depth studies on the entire catchments of the Ewaso Ng'iro, Lake Natron, Mara River systems.
III.29 IUCN noted that the Serengeti is not only a World Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve, it is also the main tourist attraction in Tanzania, a country where tourism revenue is the largest foreign exchange earner. It also noted that the very reason that the Serengeti is a World Heritage site - the wildebeest migration, could be potentially threatened by any future implementation of the ENP. IUCN recognised that any negative impact on the dry season range of the wildebeest has potentially major ramifications for the very criteria on which the Serengeti listing is based. IUCN also noted that the Mara River is habitat for riverine forest containing many rare forest birds and other fauna, and upon which large populations of crocodiles and hippopotamus depend. It is clear that there is a high element of risk in the diversion of water from the Mara. The Mara diversion cannot be considered in isolation, it must be considered in the context of other ecological problems such as rapidly changing land use and deforestation in the catchments, as well as the impacts of climate change. Most serious ecological/environmental problems arise because of a complex combination of factors. In such cases, IUCN believes that the precautionary principle must be applied to avoid any actions that increase the risk of the Mara drying up.
III.30 The Bureau noted that the ENP project has been discussed by the East African Community and has been abandoned for the time being. The Bureau noted the potential impacts of any implementation of the ENP scheme on the Serengeti World Heritage site and requested that it be kept informed of developments by the State Parties of Tanzania and Kenya.
Asia and the Pacific
World Heritage Properties of Australia
Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
III.31 The Bureau was informed that on 10 September 2001 the Australian Government released a scientific report addressing the effect of land use activities on water quality in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The report - Great Barrier Reef Catchment Water Quality Action Plan - recommends specific end-of-river pollution targets for 2011 for all 26 catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. The Plan was prepared by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) at the request of the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council and the Commonwealth Minister for Environment and Heritage. A scientific working group reviewed available data and existing national water quality guidelines, prioritised catchments according to the ecological risk presented to the Reef, and recommended minimum targets for pollutant loads that would halt the decline in water quality entering the reef. The Plan is available on the GBRMPA web site at: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/. The Plan notes that over the last 150 years, the sediment load has increased by 300-900%, phosphate by 300 -1500%, total nitrogen by 200-400%, respectively and that pesticide residues are now detectable in sub- tidal sediments. For the 2001-2011 decade, the plan proposes the reduction of sediment by 38%, nitrogen by 39%, phosphorous by 47%, and chlorophyll by 30-60%, respectively. It is also proposed to reduce the detectable levels of heavy metals and pesticides.
III.32 The Plan recommends that the targets be incorporated into relevant plans under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) and the Natural Heritage Trust. For catchments not covered under the NAP, the report recommends that the State Government prepare, and submit to the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council, integrated catchment management plans that set out the action required to meet the water quality targets. The Plan suggests specific actions, notably a mix of regulatory and non-regulatory measures that need to be taken to improve the quality of water entering the World Heritage site including:
- Reforms to ensure that all environmentally significant activities in the catchments are subject to proper environmental impact assessment and approval processes and that conditions are attached to ensure activities are carried out in a manner that protects and improves water quality
- Promotion of 'constraint mapping' for current and future agricultural development
- Protection and rehabilitation of catchment areas at risk such as freshwater wetlands and riparian vegetation
- Establishment and enforcement of standards for sewage, wastewater and storm- water discharge from coastal developments to watercourses
- Promotion of environmental management plans for agricultural activities, which promote farming practices that minimise downstream impacts
- Promotion of full compliance to Industry Codes of Practice, and
- Initiation of public and catchment specific education programmes about the connectivity between land use and the impacts on the Reef.
III.33 WWF-Australia has estimated that the cost of a significant restoration programme to mitigate pollution and to clean up the waters flowing into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) would be in excess of AU$300 million. It has identified the following actions as key to success: (i) an immediate and permanent moratorium of land clearing in the GBR catchment; (ii) urgent legislative protection for coastal freshwater wetlands; (iii) all agricultural activities to be regulated under the Queensland Environment Protection Act 1994; (iv) fertiliser and pesticide use to be licensed; (v) legislative discharge limits for acid sulphate soil to be set; and (vi) a major GBR catchment riparian re-vegetation and wetland restoration programme to be designed and financed.
III.34 IUCN had noted that the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Water Quality Action Plan initiative directly addresses one of the major issues raised in the ACIUCN report on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, relating to the need for more effective catchment management in lands adjacent to the Park.
III.35 The Observer of Australia noted that since the report has come out only recently, the Bureau should not yet urge specific actions to implement the Action Plan. Time should be given for the Australian authorities to consider relevant measures for implementation of the Plan. A meeting concerning the measures to be taken will take place shortly. Australia agreed to report back soon after the meeting.
III.36 The Bureau commended the State Party on the release of the Water Quality Action Plan, setting targets for improvements and the recommended actions to achieve the targets. The Bureau invited the State Party to provide regular reports to the Committee on the implementation of the Water Quality Action Plan as well as on the implementation of the Focused Recommendations and Framework for Management adopted for the site by the State Party and ACIUCN in 1999.
Fraser Island (Australia)
III.37 The Bureau noted that on 30 April 2001, a 9-year boy was killed by dingoes on Fraser Island. This was the first recorded death in Australia by dingoes of a human over 1 year of age. This death prompted a re-evaluation of the risk posed to humans by dingoes and a re-assessment of the management strategies outlined in the draft Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy (March 2001). The revised Strategy is now with the Queensland Government awaiting approval.
III.38 Immediately following the incident, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) undertook a cull of 31 dingoes to reduce the immediate risk to people from habituated dingoes that were frequenting areas heavily used by people. This cull was a one-time operation. A Risk Assessment Report (Risk Assessment: Risk to humans posed by the dingo population on Fraser Island, EPA, May 2001) was commissioned by the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Risk Assessment provides direction for the immediate management of dingoes on Fraser Island and provides site-specific management recommendations. As such, it is complementary to the draft Fraser Island Dingo Management Strategy. The Risk Assessment outlined some previously unused management options at particular sites, including: (a) fencing of campgrounds and recreational areas; (b) active deterrence of animals in the vicinity of popular visitor areas; (c) restriction on taking of food to certain locations; and (d) time restrictions for visitors at some sites. Additional island wide management approaches recommended include: (i) limiting visitor numbers using a variety of approaches; (ii) significantly increasing fines and penalties for feeding dingoes; (iii) enhancing public education and awareness programmes; (iv) increasing enforcement through additional ranger presence; (v) increasing monitoring and research on the dingo.
III.39 The need for consultation with the Island's residents, tour operators, the Fraser Island Community Advisory Committee, native title claimants and the Island's World Heritage Area Management Committee on appropriate limits and mechanisms is emphasised in the Risk Assessment Report. IUCN has received expert advice that the impact of the cull is unlikely to have any adverse impacts on the long-term viability or survival of the dingo population. The Fraser Island dingo population is of great relevance and high importance to the status of Fraser Island as a World Heritage site. Although the Fraser Island dingo population is not 100% pure, Fraser Island represents the best opportunity to establish and maintain a self- sustaining population of wild genetically pure dingoes.
III.40 Elsewhere in Australia, and other range countries in Asia and Africa, most populations are, or will soon be, predominantly hybrid. The IUCN Canid Action Plan lists the dingo as a threatened species. With the 2nd edition of the Plan currently in preparation, the conservation status of the dingo is under review and may be upgraded to endangered.
III.41 Fraser Island does not have an exclusive Plan of Management, rather, it is catered for in the Great Sandy Region Management Plan (GSRMP). The GSRMP covers the Great Sandy Region National Park, of which Fraser Island is a part, and also adjacent marine areas and some lands outside the protected area. Released in 1994, it was prepared as a regional conservation plan with input from numerous government departments. It does not have statutory status. The GSRMP is about to undergo a detailed review. The process will involve substantial stakeholder and community input and is scheduled for completion in March 2003. The review is explicitly considering a specific management plan for the Fraser Island World Heritage property, as well as a commitment to new legislative requirements for the World Heritage site.
III.42 On the 27 July 2001 the Queensland Government announced the allocation of an extra AU$1.75 million towards the management of Fraser Island. AU$1 million has been earmarked this financial year for dingo management on the Island; the other AU$750,000 is to be spent employing eight permanent rangers for the Island. The Observer of Australia informed the Bureau that the Development Strategy has been recently released and that a copy of it will be provided for the Secretariat.
III.43 The Bureau commended the State Party/QPWS on the Risk Assessment and the draft Dingo Management Strategy and welcomed the State Party's consideration of a variety of options including the imposition of visitor limits. The Bureau invited the State Party to provide further information on the visitor management strategy as it is developed. The Bureau welcomed the review of the GSRMP and its explicit recognition of Fraser Island as a World Heritage area requiring special management plans and legislative frameworks to protect the World Heritage site for perpetuity.
The Sundarbans (Bangladesh)
III.44 The Bureau was informed of details of the Government of Bangladesh plans to explore "Block 5" of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest for oil and gas. Shell has publicly declared that it has no plans for exploration activities in the Special Reserved Forest (SRF). The World Heritage site comprises three sections of the SRF at the coastal edge. Shell has furthermore acknowledged the following:
- The Sundarbans is also a Ramsar site. The Ramsar Convention has confirmed that the Ramsar site is synonymous with the SRF and does not extend beyond the SRF;
- Shell will carry out extensive environmental and social studies and stakeholder engagement before conducting any activities elsewhere in Block 5;
- As regards the socio-economic impact zone outside the northern peripheries of the SRF, Shell will be discussing the implications of oil and gas exploration with the Ministry of Environment and Forest;
- Shell recognizes that one of the main objectives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) -Government of Bangladesh Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP) is to reduce the poverty level of the 3.5 million people living in the impact zone and provide them with alternative livelihood options in order to encourage them to leave the forest;
- By providing economic activities, and in the case of successful exploration of clean gas, Shell can add value to the objectives of the SBCP and be a party to providing sustainable development opportunities in the region;
- Shell-Bangladesh is aware of the need to consider the potential indirect impacts on the SRF of any of its future activities. Such activities, whether inside the socio-economic impact zone, or elsewhere in Block 5, will be continued only after full environmental and social impact assessments and in consultations with all stakeholders;
- The current phase of the project consists of exploration only. If hydrocarbons are discovered and it is decided subsequently to develop them, further EIA and SIA studies will be undertaken, together with continuing stakeholder consultations.
III.45 On 20 September 2001, Shell convened its first workshop in Dhaka to share information about the ensuing work programme, oil and gas exploration and emergent issues and questions. It distributed briefing papers to stakeholders and invited responses and discussion. A web site has been launched with updated information on Shell's activities in Bangladesh: http://www.shell.com/bd/. The Bureau noted that IUCN Bangladesh is in discussion with Shell about their activities and will continue to advise them as and when requested.
III.46 The Bureau learnt that the Steering Committee, established by the Government of Bangladesh for smooth implementation of the Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP), has invited IUCN Bangladesh to be a member. As part of the SBCP, IUCN Bangladesh will conduct independent monitoring of biodiversity of the Sundarbans, drawing on wetland, marine and protected area specialists from its international network. The UN Foundation has provided a planning grant for another project to be executed jointly by UNDP Offices in Bangladesh and India for promoting trans-border co- operation between the two countries for improving the World Heritage site's biodiversity conservation. The planning grant project activities are underway and a larger proposal for possible financing by the UNF and UNDP will be the principal outcome of the planning phase. UNDP has appointed consultants for preparation of the project proposal.
III.47 A media report claims that "due to the high level of salinity, 30 Bengal Tigers have died within the past 10 years. Autopsy reports revealed that liver damage has caused the death of these Tigers". The article mentions a proposal by the Bangladesh Forest Department for a five-year, US$2 million project called "Tiger Project: Sundarbans" which, though proposed in 1991, has not been implemented. IUCN has received advice that salinity levels are not a special threat to the tigers in the Sundarbans as they have adapted to water with salinity levels higher than in other parts of its range in South Asia. There may well be indirect threats to the tigers if salinity-induced changes impact other components of its habitat; i.e. its principal prey species, and habitat structures and distribution.
III.48 The 'crown death' of Sundri trees, the dominant mangrove species in the Sundarbans, could be attributable to salinity, sedimentation, pest attack and natural successional processes, although salinity is frequently cited as the primary reason. The SBCP has initiated a study on the death of the Sundri trees. IUCN has received preliminary media reports of a planned 'Biodiversity Project' - comprised of an 'Ecopark' and mangrove arboretum - for Karamjal, situated in the Sundarbans East Zone under the Chandpai range. Karamjal is a captive breeding centre for many critically endangered species of the Sundarbans. The Ecopark will cover an area of 30 hectares and play a vital role in conserving forest resources while also being a tourist attraction for international visitors.
III.49 The Bureau commended the State Party for its efforts, in particular via the SBCP and other projects, to strengthen conservation of the site, and to provide alternative livelihood options to forest exploitation so that local communities acknowledge the positive influence World Heritage site protection has for the whole region. The Bureau welcomed Shell's careful and transparent planning of its hydro- carbon exploration activities in Block 5 and its commitment to undertake full social, economic and environmental impact studies before any production occurs, and to continuing open dialogue with stakeholders. The Bureau noted that proposals for oil and gas exploration are outside the boundaries of the World Heritage site and expressed its opposition to any mining or exploration activities within the site. All oil and gas exploration as well as other development activities in the vicinity of the World Heritage site must be carefully planned to minimise environmental and social impacts.
Sundarbans National Park (India)
III.50 The Bureau learned that the "Project Tiger status report" for 2001, prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) of India, refers to a system of National Waterways through the mangrove forests of Sundarbans including the Tiger Reserve. If implemented, the project will affect the ecosystem adversely by large- scale human activities, dredging of streams and oil spills of numerous vessels carrying cargo.
III.51 The Bureau expressed its concern over the potential threats posed by the proposed National Waterways project to this site and requested that the State Party submit, before 1 February 2002, a detailed report on the project and its potential impacts on the site for review at its twenty-sixth session in April 2002.
Kaziranga National Park (India)
III.52 The Bureau noted that the State Party had not yet provided the report requested before 15 September 2001 as requested by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session in June 2001. The Centre intends to organize an IUCN/Centre mission to Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, India, in February 2002, and that mission could visit Kaziranga National Park as well.
III.53 The Bureau reiterated its request, that the State Party submit a report on major management issues and welcomed the possibility of the IUCN/Centre mission visiting this site during its visit to Assam, India in February 2002. The Bureau recommended that an up-to-date state of conservation report on the site be submitted to its twenty-sixth session in April 2002.
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
III.54 The Bureau was informed that the State Party had submitted a report on the state of conservation of the site using the format prescribed in the periodic reporting brochure and this report has been reviewed by IUCN. The Bureau learned that:
- The 25-year Management Plan for the site was completed in June 2000. The Plan comprises the expansion of the Park, to include an extension at Gili Banta and a connection to Gili Mota. The proposed extensions will add 504 square kilometres to the area of the Park, 479 sq.km. of which will be marine habitat. The new Park would therefore comprise 27% terrestrial and 73% marine areas. The proposed extension is based on the high level of coral and fish diversity and associated aesthetic value and the importance of areas providing migratory corridors for cetaceans.
- The plan also includes a new zoning system for the Park, dividing the Park into 7 zones covering both marine and terrestrial environments as follows: core zone; wilderness zone with limited tourism; tourism zone; traditional use zone; pelagic use zone; special research and training zone; and traditional settlement zone. Regulations have been formulated for each zone. A map of the Park is being completed and will be disseminated widely.
- According to the ongoing coral reef and fish monitoring programme conducted by The Nature Conservancy of USA (TNC) and Park personnel, a slow recovery, i.e. 2% increase in hard coral per year, has been occurring around Komodo since 1996. Eight demersal fish spawning grounds have been identified within the Park waters. As a consequence, the Park has applied regulations to prohibit demersal fish exploitation during the spawning season.
- In the terrestrial sector, forest fires occur frequently, largely due to human activities during the dry season. Deer poaching has been a significant threat to the integrity of the Park, with poachers using fire to herd deer. Park patrols involve local police, navy and army personnel, as Park rangers are not equipped with firearms.
- A floating boat patrol, equipped with communication systems to allow contact with Park headquarters, has been added to the law enforcement programme. Overall, the incidences of dynamite and cyanide fishing and deer poaching have declined significantly with improved and intensified patrolling.
- Park regulations prohibit anyone from entering the Park without a permit, except local people practicing traditional fishing. Despite this prohibition, illegal entry by fishermen originating from other islands continues to be a major issue.
III.55 TNC has been working on an innovative management scheme for the Park, involving the private tourism sector and the Government of Indonesia (GOI) in a partnership to establish sustainable financing for the Park. IUCN has been playing a supportive role and providing some technical input, in co-operation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which is helping to support the project. The Indonesian Government formally wrote to the UNESCO Office in Jakarta, Indonesia, requesting UNESCO's views on the joint TNC/GOI/tourism sector initiative. The establishment of a tourism concession is seen as a sustainable financing mechanism to be tested within the framework of the implementation of the 25-year Management Plan and has been supported by IUCN and UNESCO. The need to closely monitor the work of the concession and all other projects designed to support the implementation of the 25-year Management Plan has however been stressed by all stakeholders.
III.56 The Bureau welcomed the several initiatives to strengthen protection of the site and acknowledged the important contributions that TNC, IFC, GEF, the tourism sector and other partners are making towards the long-term conservation and sustainable financing of Komodo National Park. The Bureau noted with concern that the illegal entry of outsiders from other islands continues and invited the GOI to consider providing increased resources for patrolling the marine environment of the Park, especially in the light of the recent extension to the marine component of the Park. The Bureau recommended that the State Party provide, by 1 February 2002, a status report on the establishment of the tourism management concession and a timeframe for nominating the extensions to the Park for inclusion in the World Heritage site, to enable the Bureau to review the information at its twenty-sixth session in April 2002.
Lorentz National Park (Indonesia)
III.57 The Bureau was informed of the following steps taken by the WWF Office in Irian Jaya: (i) institutional strengthening of three local NGOs to develop skills in Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA), project planning and monitoring, identification and development of alternative income sources, community organisation, advocacy and communications; (ii) promoting community-based approaches to natural resources management by documenting traditional practices of the three main ethnic groups using the Park's resources; (iii) identifying alternative sources of income in order to minimise community dependence on forest resources; (iv) encouraging the recognition of community rights and knowledge and enhancing community participation in site management; and (v) co-operating with Park management to develop an overall management plan as well as plans for the utilisation of various management zones.
III.58 WWF-Indonesia has financed a range of activities up to the year 2001 and is in the process of submitting proposals for financing a number of new initiatives for the period 2001/2002 and beyond. The Bureau noted the following issues identified by WWF as requiring immediate attention:
- Organisation of an integrated planning workshop bringing together all concerned parties;
- Building transparent relationships amongst NGOs, ethnic communities, private sector and the Government;
- Establishment of an institution with multi-stakeholder representation for management of the area; and
- Financing programmes targeted to research, communities and institutional development and the overall long-term planning and development of the site.
III.59 The US$30,000 grant approved by the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau will be used for the organisation of a series of strategic planning workshops involving the participation of all stakeholders. The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Australian Government has approved AU$250,000 for capacity building for the management of the site. The Delegate of Australia expressed the interest of his Government to work together with the Indonesian authorities, IUCN and the Centre to implement the capacity building project.
III.60 The Bureau noted the variety of support that is becoming available to the site for strategic planning, capacity building and NGO and community support initiatives. However, recommendations from these activities need to be implemented to ensure a positive impact on the conservation of this site. Hence, the Bureau encouraged relevant donors to support the implementation of recommended priority actions and to co-ordinate their activities. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to work through its partners, particularly the UNESCO Office, Jakarta and the IUCN Asia Regional Programme and IUCN/WCPA Vice-Chair for Southeast Asia to promote co-ordinated development and execution of projects and activities in support of Lorentz. The Bureau recalled that in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee made at the time of the site's inscription in the World Heritage List in 1999, a IUCN/Centre mission to the site is due in late 2002. The Bureau recommended that a full status report on the conservation of the site and the planning of its future management be submitted to the twenty- seventh session of the Bureau in April 2003.
Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia)
III.61 The Bureau learnt that the State Party is considering a proposal to enlarge Mulu World Heritage site to include Gunung Buda. The proposal however, is raising concern amongst indigenous groups and the wider conservation community because of the reported lack of inclusion of indigenous peoples and their claims in the decision to extend the Gunung Mulu World Heritage site. The recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in Sarawak has been upheld by the historical legal decision on Rumah Nor. On the 12 May 2001, the High Court of Sarawak upheld the customary rights of the Iban village Rumah Nor when it found that the Borneo Paper and Pulp company, which had begun logging the forest claimed by the villagers, did not have the right to destroy Rumah Nor's rainforest.
III.62 Following this decision, the people of Gunung Buda lodged a claim with a land tribunal seeking an injunction to the rule that they should have a share in the management of the Gunung Buda area. The Government argued against this on the grounds that there was no properly surveyed boundary of their claimed lands, and so the claim was denied. Thus the indigenous peoples are opposing the inclusion of Gunung Buda in the Gunung Mulu World Heritage site.
III.63 The Bureau recalled that when it referred the nomination of Gunung Mulu to the State Party at its twenty-fourth session it had sought, amongst others, "■assurance that the new management plan addresses issues relating to local peoples' use of and benefits from the Park as well as the new contractual arrangements for management of the Park■". The Committee, when it inscribed the site on the World Heritage List at its last session in Cairns, Australia, had suggested that the "■authorities be encouraged to review additions to the site for their World Heritage potential when the gazetting process is completed".
III.64 The Bureau was also informed of three on-going initiatives aimed at enhancing management of Gunung Mulu National Park:
- Implementation of the Plan for Management of the Park - This plan was reviewed as part of the evaluation of the nomination of the site. Current status includes examination of options for contracting out management of the Park to the private sector, while overall regulatory responsibility remains with the Ministry of Forestry, Department of National Parks of Sarawak. The Plan of Management for the Park has been drafted in a manner that supports this possibility;
- Community development for areas outside the Park; this initiative aims to develop options for better planning and development around the Park boundaries, particularly in the Mulu area, including issues of land title, planning processes etc. This initiative could enable locals to manage better, and benefit from, the opportunities that come with World Heritage listing;
- Preliminary drafting of a project concept to secure international assistance with capacity building for management of the Park - to focus on staff capacity and skills development.
III.65 The Bureau welcomed the possibility of the extension of the Park and noted with satisfaction the initiatives to improve site-management and staff capacity building. The Bureau however, invited the State Party to give due consideration to the involvement of indigenous peoples and other local communities in planning and implementing decisions regarding the extension of the site, and to seek their full co-operation in its management and in extending the site to include Gunung Buda. The Bureau recommended that the State Party provide a report, before 1 February 2002, on the results of its negotiations with indigenous communities for review by its twenty- sixth session in April 2002.
Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal)
III.66 The Bureau was informed that in response to its request at its twenty-fifth session in June 2001, the State Party has submitted a report, dated June 2000, entitled: "Environmental Impact Statement (EIA) for the Jagatpur Madi 33 kV Subtransmission Line Project". The report states that the transmission line will pass through approximately 6km of the Park and World Heritage site between Dhrubaghat and Bankatta, and through 500 metres and 1,000 metres of buffer zone forests at the same two locations. The project foresees the erection of eleven-metre high concrete poles and the stringing of lines. It will be aligned along the existing Hulaki road and hence require the clearing of a two-metre wide corridor. In total, 331 trees of endangered species - Shorea robusta; Acacia catechu, Bombax ceiba and Cedrella toona will be removed. The EIA has not yet been approved by the Government of Nepal.
III.67 According to the report, loss or alteration of habitat, construction disturbances to wild fauna, likely hunting and poaching by project workers, decline in water quality associated with erosion and silting, pollution from temporary workers' camps, and bird deaths from collision with the transmission lines are foreseen as negative impacts. Mitigation measures proposed include: reforestation of two hectares of community land near the Park with the guidance of the Park authorities; a Community Forest Support Programme in three locations to be implemented in conjunction with Park authorities; an Environmental Awareness for Conservation Programme (EAC) to be implemented by NGOs, and a Habitat Management Programme to be implemented by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
III.68 The Kasara Bridge is under construction over the Rapti River that constitutes the northern boundary of the Park and World Heritage site. No EIA was conducted for the project. Due to budget uncertainties and restrictions, the road will require a few years for completion. The road will pass through the Park and World Heritage site, but will partly follow the current designated Public Right of Way to Madi Village. The alignment from Kasara Bridge to the public right of way has not been decided. One option is to follow the Park/World Heritage site periphery along the Rapti River for 3-4 km.
III.69 The Bureau learnt that the provision of electricity will help reduce the need for kerosene for lighting and firewood for cooking, the two major sources of the local population, and also provide a source of fuel for lodges and hotels in the area. This should have a positive impact by reducing the amount of wood collected from the Park. Nevertheless, the Bureau was concerned about the impacts associated with the construction of the transmission line and road within the World Heritage site and noted the IUCN position that similar threats have prompted Danger Listing in other cases.
III.70 The Bureau noted that the State Party has not yet approved the plan to construct the transmission line through the Park and urged the State Party not to proceed with the plan to construct this line and seek alternatives that would have minimal impacts on the integrity of the Park. The Bureau noted that the Kasara Bridge and the associated road along the northern periphery of the Park might be a less impacting option to improve transport in the region. The Bureau recommended that the State Party take into due consideration these suggestions and inform the Centre of its decision on the proposed transmission line and the routing of the road and provide a detailed report on the status of the projects by 1 February 2002, for consideration at its twenty-sixth session in April 2002.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)
III.71 The Bureau recalled that at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session in November 2000 it had requested the Centre and IUCN to monitor developments with regard to the resolution of the dispute over land reclaimed by the Forest Department that had previously been leased to a private company. The private enterprise concerned, Sinharaja Plantations Organic (PVT) Ltd., has written to the Director of the Centre raising preliminary objections against the reacquisition of land released earlier by the Government for organic tea farming. In October 2001 the enterprise informed the Centre that it has placed the action of the Conservator of Forests to reclaim the land before the judiciary of Sri Lanka in order to claim compensation. The enterprise has requested the Bureau to refrain from arriving at any decisions concerning the parcel of land that it claims until the question has been settled legally.
III.72 The Bureau took note of the fact that the Forest Department of Sri Lanka and the Sinharaja Plantations Organic (PVT) Ltd., have entered a legal process regarding the 62 hectares parcel of land advised by IUCN to be outside of the World Heritage area. The Bureau requested IUCN to monitor the outcome of the legal process and report on their implications for the conservation of the site to the twenty-seventh session of the Committee in 2003.
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
III.73 In accordance with the request of the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 2000, the Ha Long Bay Management Department (HLBMD) submitted the sixth annual progress report on the conservation, management and promotion of the Ha Long Bay World Heritage Area. The Bureau learnt that IUCN reviewed the report and has expressed broad support for the efforts of the HLBMD to manage this extremely complex World Heritage site located in an intensive economic development zone.
III.74 The Bureau noted that the project proposal for the Institutional Capacity Building of the Halong Bay Management Department, prepared by IUCN-Vietnam, HLBMD and the Quang Ninh Provincial Authorities, has been widely circulated and finalised in close collaboration with relevant institutions and the Province. The proposal is currently being shared with potential donors. The UNESCO Ha Long Bay Eco-Museum Feasibility Project, financed by UNDP, has been completed and a final 135-page report on the feasibility study and a video have been transmitted to the Centre by the UNESCO Office in Vietnam on 17 October 2001. IUCN served as a member of the Steering Committee of this Project. Discussions have been held in collaboration with the Eco-Museum project and the Institutional Capacity Building project. The final proposal of the Ha Long Bay Eco-Museum Feasibility Project, envisages the development of an "Ecomuseum Hub" in the vicinity of Ha Long Bay and the design and elaboration of a variety of interpretation packages based on themes identified in the study.
III.75 The feasibility study follow-up places strong emphasis on the establishment of a project team of Vietnamese staff of the HLBMD supported by two international facilitators. Intensive capacity building and skills transfer, particularly in the fields of planning, data collection and integrated interpretative management of the area are proposed. A comprehensive analysis to develop strategic partnerships between the Ecomuseum and key stakeholders has been undertaken and a number of thematic areas for collaboration have been identified. For example, a theme on the fishing traditions of Ha Long will directly involve floating fishing villages, terrestrial fishing communities, boat builders and major institutions such as the Viet Nam Institute of Oceanography, the Institute of Marine Products and local authority agencies such as the provincial Fisheries Department.
III.76 The Bureau learnt that tourism has increased by 135% between 1997 and 2000 and is a critical management issue at this site. The Bureau noted IUCN's satisfaction with the fact that the direct management and control of the caves has been brought under the authority of HLBMD, and the expectation that this would ensure appropriate measures to present the caves, control tourism and minimise impacts. The Feasibility Study's effort to propose a "Ecomuseum Hub" and an Interpretative Management Plan aim to spread the visitor resources in and outside of Ha Long Bay and thereby support the intensity of visitation to the World Heritage site without reducing the number of tourists visiting the broader region. The feasibility study estimates that total cost of the development of the "Ecomuseum Hub" and other interpretation theme products is likely to cost US$17 million over a 4-year period. The Quang Ninh Province has committed US$3 million and intends to seek other funds from external sources.
III.77 During a visit to Japan in early October 2001, a representative from the Centre met with officials of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA). These officials confirmed that the Environmental Management of Ha Long Bay continues to be one of the priority projects of JICA and that discussions with the Government of Vietnam are underway in order to implement the Environmental Management Plan as soon as possible. The Delegate of Japan informed that more information regarding the JICA assistance will be provided at the Committee session.
III.78 The Bureau commended HLBMD efforts to conserve the site and acknowledged efforts of the State Party to support the development of a range of projects to address management issues at the site. Given the considerable international interest in the site, the Bureau urged the HLBMD to continue and strengthen its efforts to co-ordinate projects in order to ensure optimal use of resources and skills available via HLBMD's association with IUCN and UNESCO Offices in Vietnam and other partners. The Bureau reiterated the recommendation made at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session regarding the early implementation of the recommendations of the JICA/Government of Vietnam Environmental Management Plan for Ha Long Bay and invited the State Party to submit by 1 February 2002 a progress report on what has been achieved in this regard for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in April 2002.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
III.79 The Secretariat informed the Bureau that no invitation was received to carry out a mission to Los Katios following the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau. The Bureau learnt that an IUCN representative had visited Bogota, Colombia, in November 2001. IUCN noted that the Special Administrative Unit for National Parks of Colombia is increasingly implementing management activities in the area, and that it works with local communities to enhance their support of management activities.
III.80 The Bureau acknowledged the efforts made by the State Party towards the conservation of this site and recommended that it invites a field mission to the site when appropriate.
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
III.81 The Bureau was informed that a progress report was received on 10 October 2001 from the Director of the Charles Darwin Research Station noting the implementation of a number of programmes aiming to enhance the institutional capacity of the Park Administration. The report also noted the status of regulations concerning tourism, fisheries and quarantine, as well as progress achieved in the preparation of the Strategy 2010 for the Sustainable Development of the Islands.
III.82 Galapagos Special Law: On 18 September, 2001, Ecuador's Constitutional Court voted in favour of the Galapagos Special Law, following a day of public inquiry held in response to a lawsuit brought forward by the Association of Industrial Tuna Fishermen (ATUNEC), which challenged the Special Law's constitutionality. The final decision of the Constitutional Court of Judges - eight votes in favour and one abstention - represents an important achievement in the continued efforts to protect the Galapagos Islands under the regulations of the Special Law. Since its approval in March 1998, the Galapagos Special Law has faced continued attacks, primarily from the industrial fishing sector based in continental Ecuador, which seeks fishing rights inside the Galapagos Marine Reserve (proposed in entirety as an extension to the World Heritage site). The Special Law granted exclusive fishing rights in the Marine Reserve to artisanal fishermen and calls for a system of quotes and zoning to control fisheries. However, the Special Law can only be fully enforced after all the regulations and by-laws on key management issues such as fisheries have been approved. According to information received, dated 19 September 2001, two of the key regulations (on tourism and fisheries) are likely to be approved by the President's Office by the end of November. The third regulation on quarantine, introduced species and agriculture is in the process of local consultation. The fourth regulation, which covers Environmental Management and pollution issues, is the least advanced. The President of Ecuador visited the site in November 2001 and reiterated the Government's support for the declaration of the Marine Reserve as a World Heritage site.
III.83 Enforcement and Control of the Marine Reserve: Earlier in 2001, the vessel Sirenian, owned and operated by the environmental NGO Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, commenced a five-year tour of duty to help the Galapagos National Park Service clamp down on illegal commercial fishing operations within 40 miles of the Islands. This collaborative operation, given a favourable ruling by the Ecuadorian Court, is the first conservation patrol of the Galapagos by a foreign vessel officially supported by the Ecuadorian Government. A loan by the Inter-American Development Bank for US$ 10 million has been approved for enforcing controls in the Marine Reserve. Logistical assistance and institutional strengthening are the two most important elements of this project. Galapagos National Park hopes to purchase four more boats and a helicopter to cover the whole area. At the moment, the Park possesses two vessels, ten speedboats, twelve wooden boats and personnel of 50 to patrol the 133,000 km2 marine area. Despite the assistance of the Ecuadorian Navy, this is clearly not sufficient. Only 5% of entrance fees to the GNP are directed towards controlling the Reserve.
III.84 Illegal shark fishing: Destructive shark fishing, where the shark fin is cut from the live shark and the mutilated animal is dumped back into the sea, continues in the Galapagos Marine Reserve due to the high demand for shark fins for the Asian market. The fishing techniques used also negatively affect other species, including marine birds. During 2001, 22 fishing boats were caught, 5,600 shark fins confiscated and 3,000 pounds of meat seized. According to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, half the boats caught fishing illegally in the Galapagos were not punished. But progress on this matter has been made: Canela II, a Costa Rican long liner caught fishing out of the port of Puntarenas, was confiscated by the Local Court of Galapagos and the order was upheld by the Court of Appeal. This is a legal precedent, as never before in Ecuadorian legal history has a fishing boat been confiscated for illegal fishing.
III.85 Sea Lion Poaching: On the 16 July 2001, fifteen (11 male and 4 female) mutilated sea lion - Zalophus wollebaeki - corpses were discovered on La Loberia Beach on San Cristobal Island. This is the first time such action has been reported in the Galapagos Islands. The Charles Darwin Research Station, the Galapagos National Park Service and a veterinarian of the Araucaria Foundation undertook autopsies of nine of the animals. The autopsy report makes the link between the incident and the increasing demand from Asian markets for the male genitals of sea lions and seals for use in traditional medicine, as aphrodisiacs and amulets.
III.86 Invasive Species Eradication Programme: In early 2002, the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park Service will commence a five-year programme to combat invasive species. Funding of US$18 million is being provided over six years from the United Nations Foundations and GEF, while other sources are estimated to amount to US$19 million. Biologists and Park staff will use a combination of measures to remove some alien species, make a dent in other populations, and bolster controls to keep other exotics out of the Islands.
III.87 Tourism: Progress has also been reported on the SmartVoyager certification programme, a joint initiative of the Rainforest Alliance and Conservacion y Desarrollo (C&D) of Ecuador. The programme aims to give a "green seal" of approval to tour boats operating in the Galapagos Archipelago that meet certain environmental and social criteria. Full details of the certification programme can be found at: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/programs/sv/ objectives.html
III.88 The Bureau adopted the following decision for transmission to the Committee for examination at its twenty-fifth session:"The Committee, recognising the continued and increasing threats posed to the marine and terrestrial flora and fauna of the Islands, urges the State Party to make all efforts to finalise the specific regulations under the Special Law and enforce them as soon as possible. The Committee commends the ruling by the State Party's Constitutional Court to uphold the Galapagos Special Law. It also commends the Ecuadorian Government for supporting the "Sea Shepherd" patrols in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, as well as efforts to protect the marine ecosystem in the Reserve. The Committee also commends the Smart Voyager initiative, given the nature of tourism visitation to the Galapagos and the impacts of tourism on the fragile environment and in light of the proposed Marine Reserve. It believes that consideration should be given to promoting similar schemes in other World Heritage sites. The Committee furthermore notes that the sea lion incident demonstrates the need to enhance the capacity of the Park to reinforce patrolling and control of the Islands."
Sian Ka'an (Mexico)
III.89 The Bureau was informed that IUCN received a report informing that land on the strip of dunes between the ocean and the coastal lagoon of Sian Ka'an was being advertised for sale by a real estate agent in the town of Akumal. While this is consistent with State Party law and regulations on protected areas that maintain ownership of private lands, including the right to sell those lands, the rapid escalation of tourism development in the area since the mid 1980's is of considerable concern.
III.90 However, in the framework of the UNF "Linking biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism at World Heritage sites" project, it is noted that most of the beachfront is in private hands. This has been the case since the Reserve's conception. The management plan has set a policy that private lots can be sold, but not divided, limiting tourism development within the Reserve. The management plan for the site also sets a moratorium on further construction on the private land until the preparation of the Ecological Land Use Plan has been finalised for the site. Authorities wish to fix tourism regulations in the near future to try to raise the quality of tourism and to control its growth. These initiatives will be complemented by a new one from the Sian Ka'an authorities on a transferable development rights strategy to deal with all the beachfront holdings. The authorities hope to identify receiving areas and remove the density (development potential) from critical portions of the World Heritage site, while compensating property owners in those areas.
III.91 IUCN has received notification from the Municipality of Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen, State of Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, of a scientific gathering planned for 5-10 November 2001. The event - "RIVIERA MAYA ECO'01: Safeguarding the Fragile Ecosystems of Solidaridad" is being convened with the aim of developing integrated programmes that consider protection, conservation, recovery and management of the areas unique biodiversity on a sustainable basis. The Municipality of Solidaridad, which includes part of the World Heritage site and the Biosphere Reserve, expects the construction of approximately 80,000 hotel rooms in the Municipality in the next 10-15 years, associated with a 24% annual population growth. Currently, the area receives 5,500 tourists a day. IUCN believes the transferable property rights strategy holds some promise for reducing development pressures, and if successful, may have the potential to be applied in other World Heritage sites. IUCN therefore acknowledged the innovative attempt by the Park authorities to find a solution to the development problems facing the site, and requested the State Party to provide more information on the strategy.
III.92 The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report on the impact of increased tourism development on the World Heritage site and strategies to address negative impacts. It also requested a report on progress achieved with the revision of the management plan for the World Heritage site by 1 February 2002.
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
III.93 The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Ministry for the Environment had sent a letter to the Centre dated 19 September 2001 that was transmitted to IUCN for review. This letter noted that, following one of the recommendations from the UNESCO/IUCN mission to the site in 1999, a "Participatory Long-Term Action Plan" for the site has been developed. The letter also noted the interest and commitment of the State Party to participate in the UNF-financed project "Enhancing our Heritage: monitoring and managing for success in World Natural Heritage sites". Information was received at IUCN that INPARQUES, in charge of administration for Canaima National Park, is facing serious financial difficulties, that are negatively affecting the protection of the site. Deforestation and rubbish dumping around tourist camps within the Park has also been reported. According to information received, tension between indigenous communities, the Federation of Indigenous People of the Bolivar State (FIEB) and national authorities remains high with regard to the issue of the power line project. IUCN stated that the 1999 mission provides for the framework of action. The assessment of the Action Plan is needed and the capacity of the management agency should be reviewed.
III.94 The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a comprehensive report on the conservation of Canaima National Park, including measures taken to enhance the capacity of INPARQUES to effectively protect and manage this site. The Bureau urged the Venezuelan Government to provide a report on the implementation of all recommendations of the UNESCO/IUCN 1999 mission by 1 February 2002.
Europe and North America
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/ Poland)
III.95 The Bureau noted that IUCN reviewed the "Background to Management Guidelines for Bialowieza Forest", an outcome of the Technical Working Group (TWG) created within the framework of the Bialowieza Forest Project. IUCN noted that the Guidelines document is the result of a trial process for establishing a decision-making procedure concerning the future of the Forest, its social functions, and the protection of natural values of primeval forests. The TWG is the only forum assembled to date that has included representatives of a wide range of stakeholders and has involved intensive consultations within the communities affected by management of the Forest. The Bialowieza Forest Project is supervised by the Ministry of Environment and supported by Danish Co-operation for the Environment in Eastern Europe (DANCEE). The objective of the Project is to achieve a sustainable approach to the management of the Forest, ensuring the protection of natural values and supporting development of local communities.
III.96 The Bureau commended the efforts of the TWG and the Bialowieza Forest Project to bring all stakeholders together to create a common vision for the World Heritage site. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide regular progress reports in relation to the implementation of this project.
Pirin National Park (Bulgaria)
III.97 The Bureau noted that the Ministry for Environment and Water submitted a report on the conservation status of Pirin National Park, which was reviewed by IUCN. The report included the following information on the Territorial Development Plan (TDP) developed for the Bansko ski zone within the site: The TDP passed all the Environment Impact Assessment procedures under Bulgarian Law. It was later submitted to the High Expert Ecological Council (HEEC) of the Ministry for Environment and Water that requested changes and protection measures. The final version of the TDP is 818.46 ha, with ski runs and facilities occupying 99.55 ha of this area. The TDP aims to upgrade an existing ski zone, the most significant element of which is a cable car. It is considered to greatly reduce the negative impacts associated with crowding, traffic congestion, and rundown facilities. The development aims to ensure the achievement of one of the major goals of the National Park, namely encouraging ecotourism and generating income for the local people. The Management Plan for the Park is to be developed with financial assistance from the ongoing Bulgarian-Swiss Biodiversity Conservation Programme. This is expected to be completed in 2001. On 12 July 2001, the sitting of the three- member High Administrative Court of Bulgaria ended with a rejection of the BALKANI Wildlife Society appeal against the decision of the Ministry of Environment and Water to grant permission for the TDP.
III.98 Furthermore, the Bureau noted that the State Party invited a UNESCO/IUCN mission to the site. IUCN also received a Brief from the "Save the Pirin Campaign", a coalition of over 30 Bulgarian NGOs opposed to the development. IUCN noted the State Party's belief that "the only solution to the problem of the sustainable development of the Pirin NP is to bind the goals of the Park to the interests of the local people", and that the TDP offers this opportunity. IUCN acknowledged that it is important that local populations benefit, where possible, from World Heritage designation. IUCN noted that any development in the World Heritage site must be carefully planned to minimise environmental impacts. IUCN questioned whether the TDP project in Pirin National Park could be considered to promote ecotourism and whether it is compatible with World Heritage status. It also noted that the total area covered by the TDP is 818.46 ha, whereas the current proposed ski runs and facilities cover less than 100 ha. This is a substantial increase.
III.99 The Bureau adopted the following decision for transmission to the Committee:
"The Committee notes the concerns over the Territorial Development Plan (TDP) which it anticipates will lead to further incremental development within the remaining larger area. It requests the State Party to ensure that tourism development does not take place in the remaining TDP area in the future. The Committee urges that the mission invited by the State Party be carried out as soon as possible."
Gros Morne National Park (Canada)
III.100 The Bureau noted that following its request, the Canadian authorities provided a report concerning the site, which was reviewed by IUCN. The report noted that logging in the Main River watershed near Gros Morne National Park has not commenced. Parks Canada is working with the forestry company and provincial government to ensure that the proposed harvesting regime takes into account potential impacts on the World Heritage values and the ecological integrity of the site. The Bureau thanked Parks Canada for the report provided and requested the State Party to inform the Centre as soon as new developments occur.
Nahanni National Park (Canada)
III.101 The Bureau noted that following it's request, the Canadian authorities provided a report concerning potential impacts of increased mining activity in the region surrounding Nahanni National Park World Heritage site. IUCN noted that a study is currently underway to determine preferred boundaries for three adjacent areas which are proposed as additions to the Park; that the Deh Cho First Nations have proposed that the Park Reserve be expanded to include part or all of the South Nahanni River watershed and that the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) governs land and resource use in the Nahanni area and that the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board has authority. The areas potentially affected by this activity are within the watershed of the South Nahanni River. In two cases, the areas potentially affected are in one of the three candidate areas that are identified as proposed additions to the Park Reserve.
III.102 The Bureau noted that Parks Canada is concerned that the number and location of the proposed developments could result in cumulative impacts on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, including changes to water quality, habitat fragmentation, changes to wildlife movement and resulting impacts on biodiversity. Parks Canada is continuing to work in the processes established under the MVRMA and De Cho Process to address its concerns. It is continuing efforts to expand the Park Reserve into the three candidate areas identified and to work with other jurisdictions towards a comprehensive conservation regime for the balance of the watershed.
III.103 The Bureau noted the importance placed by Parks Canada on the issue of cumulative impacts from proposed mining near this World Heritage site and the measures underway to solve or minimise this problem. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a progress report on the implementation of the MVRMA and De Cho Process by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
Caves of the Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, (Hungary/Slovakia)
III.104 The Bureau was informed that IUCN reviewed reports concerning the preparation of a new version of the mining law by the Slovak Ministry of Economy. The new law is believed to remove or weaken the present restrictions on mining operations in protected areas. The reports also claimed that mining companies are seeking to open new limestone mines in the Slovak Karst, and claims the granting of limestone exploitation licenses by the Slovak Government is imminent. SOSNA, a Slovak environmental NGO, has proposed to the Slovak Minister of Environment the re-categorisation of the Slovak Karst from a Protected Landscape Area to a National Park and the development of local sustainable tourism and biological farming.
III.105 The Delegate of Hungary informed the Bureau that the issues raised concern only the Slovak part of this transboundary site.
III.106 The Bureau commended the State Party on the process of changing the status of the Protected Landscape Area of Slovensky Karst to that of a National Park. This will complement the adjacent Aggtelek National Park in Hungary and, in doing so, facilitate more cohesive and equivalent management of the two sections of the World Heritage site. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide an update on the proposed revisions to the mining law and specific implications for the World Heritage site by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
Aeolian Islands (Italy)
III.107 The Bureau was informed that IUCN received reports of legal proceedings taken to oppose the implementation of the Landscape Territorial Plan for the Aeolian Islands. The Plan (Piano Paesistico delle Isole Eolie), which was prepared by the Superintendent of Culture and Environment on behalf of the Sicily Region, which is fully responsible for the management of the World Heritage site. It covers the seven Islands in their entirety. The main goals of the Plan are to preserve the natural condition of volcanic bodies, structures and coastal areas and to establish clear rules and criteria to guide human interventions in relation to the landscape of the Islands. The Bureau also noted that it is understood that the Mayors of two of the four townships on the Islands - Lipari and Leni - have opposed the Plan and have requested the Court to deliver a judgement in order to cancel the Plan. A group of non-governmental organisations is supporting the Sicily Region's Plan in Court. If the Plan is not implemented, it is understood that the rules regarding conservation, new constructions and general human activities on the Islands will be decided on a case- by-case basis by the different City Councils. The NGO Italia Nostra, has reported that these Councils have stated their intention to increase by at least 4 times the present level of tourist accommodation. IUCN noted the actions of Italia Nostra in support of the Landscape Territorial Plan, which is particularly important given its significance as the only (potential) plan governing the World Heritage site. IUCN also noted that at the time of nomination, the State Party mentioned its commitment to the preparation of a separate management plan for the World Heritage site, to be placed within the Landscape Territorial Plan.
III.108 The Observer of Italy confirmed that there was a court decision on 4 December 2001 which is not yet public, but that it is hoped to be available soon. Collaboration with the Region is already underway and new information may be provided at the time of the Committee session.
III.109 The Bureau expressed its concern to the State Party on the local government opposition to the Landscape Territorial Plan, noting that the inscription of the site was partly based on the existence of this Plan. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide information on the implications the court action has on the preparation of a Management Plan for the World Heritage site. It also requested that information be provided to update on: progress in development of the Management Plan; the protective and educational/interpretative actions undertaken for the site, and proposed development plans, particularly with respect to tourism on the Islands, how such tourism development may affect the World Heritage site and how it will be dealt with within the Landscape Territorial Plan and Management Plan. The Bureau requested that this information be provided by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
III.110 The Bureau noted that the State Party invited a UNESCO-IUCN mission to this site following the recommendation from the twenty-fourth session of the Committee. The mission took place from 25 August to 3 September 2001. A Representative of IUCN and the Director of UNESCO-Moscow Office, representing the World Heritage Centre, conducted the mission. The Bureau furthermore noted the full report of this mission contained in information document WHC- 01/CONF.207/INF.8, and reviewed all information as stated in the working document WHC-01/CONF.207/3. It noted in particular the series of recurrent problems and new potential threats that IUCN believed are seriously threatening the integrity of this site, including:
- inadequate implementation of the Federal Baikal Law,
- the frequent violations of the Federal Law on the Protection of the Environment and of the Federal Law on Environmental Impact Assessments in relation to logging activities, illegal hunting, over fishing and development/infrastructure,
- that there is still no overall management plan for this site, as requested by the Committee at the time of inscription, and
- the abolishment of the Baikal Commission, an intergovernmental body comprising federal and regional authorities as well as scientific institutions, in 2000;
- an increase in illegal poaching and logging
- decline of the Baikal Seal population
- that the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill (BPPM) continues to be a serious threat to the integrity of this site
- pressure on the forests of the Lake Baikal region.
III.111 In addition to these recurrent problems, the Bureau expressed concern about a number of new potential threats to the integrity of this site including a project to develop a gas and oil pipeline to China which was confirmed and that the Government of the Republic of Buryatia has granted a license to Buryat Gas Company. A number of Bureau members noted that no indication was received from the State Party concerning the inclusion of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. As the Russian Federation is now a member of the World Heritage Committee, this question will be raised at the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee.
III.112 The Bureau adopted the following decision for transmission to the Committee:
"The Committee notes that little substantial progress has been achieved towards enhancing the protection of Lake Baikal, and addressing issues repeatedly raised by the Committee, and that there are new emerging threats that pose unprecedented risks to the integrity of this site. The Committee therefore decides to inscribe Lake Baikal in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee notes that this should be viewed as a positive measure to attract international support to enhance the capacity of the State Party to deal with the complex issues related to the conservation of this site.
The Committee furthermore notes the following as key milestones in assessing future progress:
- Development and enforcement of all related regulations and by- laws required for the Federal Baikal Law to become fully operational. These regulations and by-laws should be developed through a participatory and transparent process involving local people and all key stakeholders dealing with the protection and management of this site.
- Development and implementation of an integrated management plan for the whole Baikal region, with emphasis on the protection of the World Heritage site. Priority should be given to develop an adequate ecological zoning of this site to enforce the Federal Baikal Law. This plan needs to include a comprehensive monitoring system on the state of Lake Baikal. Adequate human and financial resources are required to ensure its long-term implementation.
- Development and implementation of adequate institutional and co-ordination mechanisms for implementing the Federal Baikal Law, its regulations and by-laws. This could take the form of a renewed Baikal Commission or a similar institutional arrangement that would enhance co-ordination between federal and regional authorities while involving also NGOs, scientific institutions and other stakeholders.
- Development and implementation of a comprehensive programme to adequately address the pollution problems affecting this site, giving particular priority to the case of BPPM, but also including other sources of pollution that are affecting the integrity of this site.
- Detailed consideration of various scenarios for the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper Mill, including total phasing out of the Mill. This requires a long-term strategy and must be associated with the development of alternative livelihoods for local people as the BPPM is the main source of employment in the region.
In addition, the Committee requests that the State Party provides an urgent response by 1 February 2002 in relation to these issues, particularly on the development of a gas and oil pipeline to China, and the potential impacts of this project on the integrity of this site, as well as the proposed oil and gas exploration in the Selenga Delta. The Committee furthermore requests the World Heritage Centre to undertake all possible efforts to encourage the World Bank, GEF, UNF, and other relevant international donors to provide urgent support, in the form of soft loans, grants and projects, to enhance the State Party efforts to address the complex conservation and development issues facing Lake Baikal."
Volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russian Federation)
III.113 The Bureau noted that the situation in and around the Bystrinski Nature Park (BNP) remains uncertain: The Kamchatka Park Service has appointed a new Park Director, however there has been little progress in dealing with threats to the BNP as the Park is receiving no financial support from the Government. Legal uncertainties continue: the boundaries of the BNP are not officially defined, and zoning of the BNP remains incomplete. This situation constrains the Park Director in monitoring hunting, preventing poaching and forest fires, and controlling tour operator activities within the BNP without authorization. Indigenous populations have expressed concern.
III.114 The Bureau noted that gold mining operations have started at Manuch, following an unannounced change to the boundary of the BNP. The mine is 5km from the 'new boundary' of the Park in the south-eastern section, or approximately 12km inside the boundary of the BNP as inscribed by the World Heritage Committee. Neither the Forest Service, the Park authorities, nor leaders of local indigenous communities were informed of the mine development. IUCN also informed the Bureau of a report that a road is planned connecting Esso, in the centre of the BNP, with Palana, the capital of Koriak Autonomous Region. The road will bisect the Park, and no monitoring or control programmes have been outlined. IUCN noted that this road will open up large areas to poaching and hunting and in the light of the extremely limited capacities of Park authorities and the Forest Service, the potential for major impacts on the Park are high.
III.115 The Bureau noted that IUCN has been working with local and indigenous communities in Esso and Anavgai in the Bystrinksi Nature Park within the framework of the CIDA-funded project "Building partnerships for forest conservation and management in Russia". The project aims to build partnerships with local communities for the development and marketing of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as mushrooms, berries, herbal teas and medicinal plants, thereby improving livelihoods and conserving the forest.
III.116 The Bureau adopted the following decision for transmission to the Committee:
"The Committee notes with concern threats to the Bystrinsky Nature Park and notes conflicting reports relating to the gold mine operation and its relationship to the World Heritage boundary. The Committee requests the Centre to work in consultation with the State Party to prepare a mission to the site to review the state of conservation including the issues noted above and to ascertain whether a case exists for inscribing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger."
Western Caucasus (Russian Federation)
III.117 The Bureau was informed that IUCN reviewed a copy of the State Party periodic report for the Western Caucasus prepared following the June 2001 Bureau meeting. The report mentions that illegal trespassing continues to be significant, largely related to the proximity of tourist centres and hostels to the preserve's boundaries. Furthermore, there has been a weakening of conservation controls over the last 5-10 years, with an absence of such controls in the Lagonaki Plateau and Fisht-Oshtensky Massif, which are popular areas for trekking and mountaineering. In September, IUCN received reports that the Court of Adygea intended to exclude part of the Western Caucasus Zapovednik (the World Heritage site) to allow for tourist development and the construction of a road.
III.118 IUCN noted a number of issues of concern, including the tourism and ski facilities development, as well as illegal hunting. Concerning the proposed road, IUCN noted that in an official letter at the time of the inscription it was stated that: "The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Republic of Adygea informs you that at the present time the authorities of the Republic of Adygea are considering a new route for the Maikop-Black Sea Coast highway, avoiding the Caucasus Natural Reserve and other specially protected territories, including the Caucasus nomination. The above-mentioned activities are being carried out for the purpose of execution of the order by President of the Republic of Adygea Dzharimov. So the insinuations that the Adygean authorities have tried to build the highway right through the Caucasus State Natural Biospheric Reserve have no grounds."
III.119 The Bureau furthermore noted that the issue of the road through the Lagonaki Plateau was discussed at the time of inscription of this site and that assurances of the State Party to abandon this route was key to the site being inscribed on the World Heritage List. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide information on the developments mentioned-above, and specifically the status of the removal of areas from the site and the status of the road by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
Golden Mountains of Altai (Russian Federation)
III.120 The Bureau noted that following the UNESCO-UNDP mission to the site information was received in August 2001 from the UNESCO Moscow Office of support for an international consultant to provide expertise to the Republic of Altai with regard to the road project. The Russian authorities, through the Vice Head of the Section of Especially Protected Natural Territories, informed the Centre that the Federal Road Fund agreed to finance the preparation of technical and economical grounds (TEG) for the road project, carried out by the Omsk Academy of Architecture and Construction, which will review the three variants of the proposed highway. At present, this has not been considered by the Government of the Republic of Altai.
III.121 The Bureau noted the need for an international consultant to assist the Government of the Republic of Altai in the issue of the revision of the road project and encouraged the authorities to submit a well-defined international assistance proposal. Such a project should be reviewed and carried out in close consultation between the State Party, IUCN, the Centre and the UNESCO Moscow Office.
Doñana National Park (Spain)
III.122 IUCN informed the Bureau about a number of issues concerning the site: the Expansion of the Port of Seville up the Guadalquivir River and outside the World Heritage site, a project funded by sea shipping subventions of the EU, the National Park Management Plan still under discussion, the decline of the Iberian lynx and the imperial eagle population, the Rocío Pilgrimage, twice a year, involving large numbers of pilgrims walking through the Park to El Rocío village at the northern boundary of the Park, grazing at the site, and the impact of road building outside the Park. Furthermore, there are issues of illegal water extraction and the Restoration Plan for Aznalcollar Mine. Another concern lies with the funding for the required restoration works, as Apirsa has declared bankruptcy, and Boliden Ltd has denied responsibility.
III.123 Concerning the Project Doñana 2005, IUCN noted that progress continues to be slow despite the importance of this project. In May 2001 the Project established its Scientific Board, however there has been little scientific input into the Project's activities. A new co-ordinator for the project has been appointed and it is expected that this will help to speed up project implementation. The report from the State Party notes that some of the recommendations from the October 1999 Seminar are still to be acted upon, for example, in relation to: coordination; definition of public riverine domain; watershed restoration; promotion of sustainable agriculture; development of pilot projects; and prospective studies.
III.124 The Secretariat informed the Bureau of the results of the 2nd International Meeting on the Hydric Regeneration of Doñana (Huelva, 26 - 28 November 2001). The Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, representatives of UNESCO, and IUCN participated. Both the representatives of the Ramsar Bureau and the World Heritage Centre also participated in the meeting of the Patronate of the Park chaired by the Minister for the Environment. It noted the Doñana 2005 project is probably the most ambitious wetland environmental regeneration project currently underway in Europe. The participants of the Conference reviewed progress and made a number of specific recommendations for the improvement of the implementation of the project. Furthermore, it was recommended that the Ramsar Convention meeting scheduled to be held in Valencia, Spain in November 2002 should be an occasion for a review of the regeneration of Doñana. The Bureau was furthermore informed of an information note on the situation of Doñana National Park prepared by the Spanish authorities and received by the World Heritage Centre, that reviews a number of issues indicated by IUCN and stating that the site has a management plan since 1984, currently in its 2nd revision, and that grazing remains a concern. At the same time the efforts to alleviate the consequences of the mining accident have to be acknowledged. The information was provided to IUCN for review.
III.125 The Observer of Spain informed the Bureau that both IUCN and the Centre were involved in the Doñana 2005 review and that new information was just provided by the States Party to the Centre. He stated that there was no need for Danger Listing of this site.
III.126 The Bureau commended the State Party on the Doñana 2005 initiative, which provides an excellent framework for integrated land management. The Bureau noted that a number of concerns have been raised in relation to the integrity of this site. Accordingly, the Bureau requested the State Party to provide a full report on the threats to the site, and on how they will be addressed, by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
St Kilda (United Kingdom)
III.127 The Bureau noted that the report provided by the Scottish Executive was transmitted to IUCN on 18 September 2001 for review. It recalled that the Committee proposed that the boundaries of the site be expanded to include the marine area and the management plan be revised. The authorities informed the Centre that they would be targeting a submission date in time for the twenty-sixth session of the Committee. IUCN commended the State Party on the research and surveys, and for maintaining the moratorium on the issuance of new oil licenses nearer to the site than those already in existence. IUCN requested that details of the risk assessment process to be put in place be provided along with the draft management plan as soon as possible and noted the collaboration of a number of organisations in the process of delineating the proposed new boundaries of the site. It encouraged the State Party to include in the revised management plan strict prohibition of all oil, gas and other exploration, in both the site and the buffer zone.
III.128 The Bureau commended the State Party for the progress report provided and requested the authorities to submit a report by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau. The Bureau encouraged the State Party to complete the new boundary identification as soon as possible so that work can commence in earnest on the management plan. It requested the State Party to clarify the role and involvement of the site authorities in the decision-making process for issuance of licenses in the site, in the buffer zone and outside the buffer zone. The Bureau also welcomed the outcome of the consultation meetings held as part of the preparation of the management plan. The Bureau reminded the State Party that any revised nomination dossier for cultural values and revised boundaries should be submitted by the deadlines established by the Committee.
Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom)
III.129 The Bureau noted that the Centre received a number of letters, notably from the National Trust, raising concerns with regard to commercial development in the area surrounding the site, and the private sale and redevelopment of a complex for visitor facilities. These letters were transmitted to the State Party for comments and to IUCN for review. IUCN noted that the Department of Environment announced that it would bring forward proposals for the production of a management plan for the entire Causeway Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which includes the World Heritage site, later this year. IUCN noted that major development, including the re-development of the visitor centre, should be considered in the context of such an integrated management plan and must be compatible with its status as a World Heritage site.
III.130 The Observer of the United Kingdom informed the Bureau that concerning the visitor centre and related development proposals, a decision was taken on 4 December 2001 not to sell any land. Furthermore he stated that the management plan for the World Heritage site is under preparation.
III.131 The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report on the situation of the site by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau, to include progress with the production of the management plan for the Causeway. The Bureau expressed its concern with piecemeal development in and around the site, in the absence of such a plan.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America)
III.132 The Bureau noted that a report on this site would be presented to the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
III.133 The Delegate of Greece noted that a number of issues come up regularly, such as mining, tourism and infrastructure development, and the authority of different administrative levels. Rather than treating these issues only on a case-by-case basis, general policy frameworks should be developed with regard to these issues. The Chairperson noted that this is a very good suggestion that would enable the revision of problems common to many World Heritage sites in a more systematic manner.
III.134 The Representative of IUCN stated that a general policy framework is a good starting point to review site-specific cases. For a number of themes this process has commenced, as in the case of mining and World Heritage. The World Parks Congress, scheduled in September 2003, would be another occasion and an opportunity to discuss these issues in a broader context.
III.135 The Delegate of Thailand underlined that such a general debate would not prevent the discussion of specific problems of the state of conservation of World Heritage sites.
MIXED (NATURAL AND CULTURAL) HERITAGE
Kakadu National Park (Australia)
III.136 The Bureau noted that reports concerning the proposal to develop the Jabiluka uranium mine relevant to the state of conservation of Kakadu National Park have been received since the twenty-fourth session of the Committee (Cairns, 2000). Complete details of information presented to the Bureau are contained in Working Document WHC-01/CONF.208/10 (see pages 29 - 32).
III.137 The Bureau noted that new information on the status of the Jabiluka mine site had been received from the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) on 4 December 2001 following a site inspection on 16 November 2001. The report refers to significant environmental concerns regarding the "Standby, Environmental Management and Planning phase" and calls for prompt and appropriate rehabilitation at Jabiluka. More specifically, the report raises concerns that social, cultural and environmental issues are apparently regarded as secondary to cost considerations in the development of the Jabiluka mine. The GAC consider the current regulation and indefinite use of contaminated water to irrigate the Jabiluka mine site as unacceptable. Other reported concerns include reference to the management of the mineralised stockpile and contamination of groundwater. The GAC report has been provided to the State Party, IUCN and ICOMOS for review and comment.
III.138 The Bureau was informed that the State Party had written to the Centre on 26 November 2001 advising of continuing progress in reestablishing dialogue between the State Party and the Mirrar Traditional Owners. As a part of that dialogue, the State Party has proposed that the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) consider a process for cultural mapping at Jabiluka based on the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter. The GAC have agreed to give their consideration to this process.
III.139 The Delegate of Thailand referred to the fact that members of the Bureau and the Centre had received reports and information directly from non-governmental organizations in Australia. He suggested that the proper procedure would be, in the first instance, for discussions to take place between the NGOs and the State Party. The representative of the Centre assured the Bureau that all reports on the state of conservation of Kakadu National Park had been transmitted to the State Party to verify the source and content of the reports. In responding to the Delegate of Thailand, the representative of IUCN highlighted the importance of inviting a representative from the conservation NGO community to join the newly established Independent Science Advisory Committee (ISAC).
III.140 The Representative of ICOMOS noted that with the current pause in development of the Jabiluka uranium mine and with the price of uranium dropping worldwide, a reprieve to a previously intractable problem had been found. He noted that a process for cultural mapping of the Jabiluka Mineral Lease was being developed by the State Party in consultation with the GAC. He reported that Australia ICOMOS would be involved in this process and was willing to make contributions in the form of seminars and discussions.
III.141 The Chairperson commented that progress to resolve cultural issues at Kakadu had, to date, not been adequate. He therefore welcomed the possibility of serious discussion and progress in developing a process for cultural mapping with the involvement of ICOMOS. He emphasized the need to consider in this case both intangible and tangible heritage values.
III.142 The Delegate of Greece commented on the reluctance of Traditional Owners to divulge information on secret sites. In response, the representative of ICOMOS outlined the need to devise a culturally appropriate process of cultural mapping. He informed the Bureau that ICOMOS had begun work on the preparation of guidelines for cultural mapping of places of importance to indigenous peoples. The representative of the Centre informed the Bureau that in a report dated 13 November 2001, the GAC had noted that the Mirrar had already provided culturally sensitive information regarding the Jabiluka area on numerous occasions. The Mirrar remain opposed to providing further information as part of the development of the Jabiluka Project. As stated in the GAC report, "In the interests of advancing dialogue with the Australian Government on the protection of cultural heritage at Kakadu, the Mirrar, however, are willing to examine a process of cultural mapping removed and separate from the management/development of the Jabiluka Project."
III.143 The Observer of Australia noted that the pause in the development of the Jabiluka uranium mine, until at least 2009, had been beneficial in providing the opportunity to improve the dialogue with the Mirrar. According to the mining company, development of the mine would not proceed without the consent of the Traditional Owners. He noted that the protection of the cultural values of Kakadu National Park required good consultation and dialogue with all Traditional Owners in the Park, and that the Mirrar was one of some 25 clan groups. In this regard, discussions were ongoing in the Kakadu National Park Board of Management on the protection of cultural values. He noted that Aboriginal people formed the majority, and chaired the Park Board of Management. He emphasized that the process of cultural mapping at Jabiluka would need to be one in which all parties, including the Mirrar Traditional Owners, would have confidence. In relation to the new information referred to by the Centre, the Observer of Australia, in support of the observation made by the Delegate of Thailand, noted that his authorities would be able to respond more quickly to any issues if they were raised directly with them. Direct contact in this manner would help resolve any issues.
III.144 The Bureau noted that new information is available concerning the reestablishment of dialogue with the Mirrar Traditional Owners and scientific/technical issues relating to water management and rehabilitation of the Jabiluka mine site. The Bureau requested the State Party, Advisory Bodies and World Heritage Centre to consult during the few days prior to the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee to develop a new proposed decision to the Committee. Therefore, the Bureau transmitted the state of conservation report on Kakadu National Park to the Committee for decision.
Tasmanian Wilderness (Australia)
III.145 The Bureau noted that IUCN has provided the Centre with information on two development proposals relevant to the state of conservation of this site.
III.146 The Basslink project to construct an electricity connector between Tasmania and the Australian mainland could change the operating regimes at the current Gordon River Hydro Electric Scheme, including changes in the utilisation of the turbines (both number of turbines and the time of their activation) and associated water release. The Gordon River Hydro Electric scheme is entirely within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA). When this site was inscribed on the World Heritage List, the Committee had expressed concern about the impacts of the Gordon power scheme on the Gordon River. The Committee had imposed a set of conditions including monitoring of riverbank erosion and the health of the meromictic lakes that are key features of this site. IUCN has expressed concerns that the proposed project may impact the meromictic lakes, inter-tidal zone and riparian vegetation and lead to increased seepage erosion and loss of mid-tidal macro-invertebrates and snag habitat.
III.147 The second project concerns a proposed ecotourism resort at Planters Beach, Cockle Creek East. The resort will comprise a lodge, 60-80 accommodation units, an 800-metre extension of the current road into the Park, a jetty, walking tracks, spas, a tavern, 92 car park spaces and four bus bays. The proposed location of the resort is within the boundaries of the South West National Park, but outside the World Heritage site. It is however within the area covered by the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan of 1999 (TWWHAP). Therefore, for the development project to proceed, the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment had proposed that the WHA Plan be amended to allow for addition of a new 'Visitor Services Site'. The proposal and proposed amendment to the WHA Plan were publicly announced and submissions called for in April 2001.
III.148 The Centre reported information from the State Party, received on 26 November 2001, which emphasised that assessments of both development proposals were underway. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the Basslink project is under preparation and will be assessed as part of the Combined Assessment and Approvals Process by a Joint Panel comprising representatives of the Commonwealth, Victorian and Tasmanian Governments. The proponent of the project has prepared an Integrated Impact Assessment Statement (IIAS) and invited public comment; the Joint Panel will take into account the revised IIAS in its assessment of the proposed Basslink project.
III.149 The Cockle Creek East development proposal has been considered under the Commonwealth's Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999. On 5 October 2001, the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage concluded that the proposed development is unlikely to have a significant impact on the World Heritage values of the Tasmanian Wilderness Heritage Area and therefore does not require approval under the Act. However, the proposal is being assessed under the Tasmanian State Legislation and under the provisions of the New Proposals and Impact Assessment Process of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1999.
III.150 The Australian Observer noted with regret the fact that IUCN reports on the two projects were not transmitted to the concerned authorities in his country for comment prior to their inclusion in the working document WHC-01/CONF.207/3 in accordance with normal procedure. He stressed the need for the Centre to request the State Party for information and verification on all reports on the state of conservation of properties.
III.151 The Bureau noted that processes for the assessment of the environmental impacts of the two projects were currently underway. The Bureau invited the State Party to submit detailed status reports on both projects, including outcomes of any EIAs prepared for these projects, to the Centre before 1 February 2002. These reports would enable the Bureau to undertake a comprehensive review of these two projects in relation to the conservation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area at its twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in April 2002.
Tongariro National Park (New Zealand)
III.152 The Bureau noted the report on the state of conservation of Tongariro National Park concerning the management of the ash build-up at Crater Lake, Mount Ruapehu contained in Working Document WHC-01/CONF.208/10 (page 33).
III.153 IUCN emphasized that eruptions within the Crater Lake are a regular and ongoing natural feature. IUCN considers that proposed engineering works to manage the ash build-up at Crater Lake might establish a precedent within Tongariro and other national parks. IUCN recommends that natural processes be allowed to function and measures be implemented to protect both public safety and infrastructure. ICOMOS recalled that the mountains of Tongariro National Park are sacred to the Maori and that a culturally appropriate solution needs to be found to the management of the ash build-up.
III.154 The Bureau was informed that a representative of the State Party was expected to attend the twenty-fifth session of the Committee. The Bureau therefore decided to transmit the state of conservation report of Tongariro National Park to the Committee noting that new information may be provided.
III.155 The Bureau noted that preliminary reports on the state of conservation of this site received by IUCN are worrying. The reports note that the limestone cliffs are becoming discoloured and, despite the authorities prohibiting visitors from entering the travertines and the placement of signs explaining the fragility of the site, many visitors continue to enter the travertines. In addition, the collection of pieces of limestone are being taken as souvenirs. Few guards patrol the site, and there is little or no law enforcement.
III.156 The Bureau requested the State Party to submit a report on the situation of the limestone cliffs, and on the overall management of the site before 1 February 2002 for examination by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in April 2002.
Europe and North America
Historic Distric of Québec (Canada)
III.157 As requested by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session, ICOMOS undertook an evaluation mission to the site (15 to 21 October 2001). Following this mission, ICOMOS made the following recommendations:
- the Point-à-Carcy port project is acceptable so long as it serves as a port-of-call and an arrival port, but not as a homeport;
- There should be strict noise and traffic control during loading and unloading periods;
- The planned second phase of the project should be implemented as soon as possible, so as to make the quay available to the general public;
- Immediate consideration should be given to the conversion of the Champlain Maritime Station into a terminal for departing and arriving cruise ships;
- The boundaries of the World Heritage site should be adjusted so as to include the entire Pointe-à-Carcy esplanade;
- An urban plan for the area must be agreed upon in asoociation with the Municipality;
- The three-member commission should be strengthened by the appointment of a non-Canadian expert;
- The Port Administration of Québec should provide the World Heritage Committee with a synthesis of the project as it stands, following modifications over recent years.
III.158 The Bureau took note of the information provided by ICOMOS and requested that the full report of the ICOMOS expert mission be transmitted to the State Party. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide, by 1 February 2002, a report on the activities undertaken for examination by its twenty-sixth session in April 2002.
City-Museum Reserve of Mtskheta (Georgia)
III.159 The Bureau noted that the UNESCO-ICOMOS mission, for the UNDP-SPPD project for the Study and Development of a Heritage and Tourism Master Plan for Mtskheta, Georgia, identified the following serious problems at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the most significant monument of the City of Mtskheta:
- the construction of two large underground storage areas, irreversible and disproportionate to the monument;
- the on-going construction of a new bell tower right over the original gate of the wall enclosing the cathedral grounds;
- the behaviour of the Cathedral in the case of an earthquake will be difficult to predict due to past and current works carried out in the immediate vicinity of the monument;
- the erection of additional constructions in concrete and aluminium, at a short distance from the Cathedral, entirely changing the external appearance of the walls of the courtyard.
III.160 The Bureau invited the Georgian authorities to request an ICOMOS-UNESCO evaluation mission to the site to ascertain the state of conservation and notably the progress of the ongoing and future work. This mission should also identify corrective measures and solutions to establish appropriate protection and management mechanisms for the Cathedral. The Bureau requested the State Party to prepare a report on the state of conservation of the site comprising up-to-date information on all the restoration and construction projects at the site, before 1 February 2002, for examination by its twenty-sixth session in April 2002. This report should be reviewed by the evaluation mission to the site.
Classical Weimar (Germany)
III.161 During its last session, the Bureau had requested the German authorities to prepare a progress report on the road project foreseen in the vicinity of the Tiefurt Castle and its Park at Weimar, presenting the adopted mitigation measures. In response to a question from the Delegate of Thailand, the Observer of Germany indicated that the authorities were still awaiting the report from the Municipality of Weimar.
III.162 The Bureau requested the German authorities to present a progress report, by 1 February 2002, for examination at its twenty- sixth session.
Hanseatic City of Lübeck (Germany)
III.163 In July 2001, the Secretariat learnt of a construction project in the centre of Lübeck. Following discussions and reservations expressed by ICOMOS, the World Heritage Centre and the German authorities, concerning the proposed height and architectural style of the buildings, an extensive report was sent to the Secretariat on the construction project by the Mayor of Lübeck on 12 September 2001. According to this report, the current buildings (post office building and townhall) which are located in the area of the construction project, have no national heritage character and are not considered worthy of protection. The height of the two new buildings will be compatible with the other buildings in the street/square and will therefore not have a negative visual impact on the World Heritage site. The modern architecture of the new buildings provides a neutral framework for the town hall. Following examination of this document, ICOMOS had informed the Secretariat that, in their view, the style and the height of the proposed new buildings on the market square are inappropriate to the ensemble of the site and proposed that another solution be found which is more compatible with the existing buildings surrounding the open area and the particular skyline of Marienkirche and the Petrikirche.
III.164 The Observer of Germany remarked that the authorities of the city and notably the conservator, were in favour of this project, which whilst being a contemporary construction and a new element in the architectural landscape, respected the historical structure of the City.
III.165 The Chairperson proposed that a working group comprising the International Committee of Historic Towns and Villages (ICHTC) of ICOMOS, and the local and national authorities be set up and meet in Lübeck to identify appropriate solutions. The Delegate of Hungary, Chairperson of the ICHTC, stated that this was not a unique case and that the results of a working group could serve as a basis for a study on historic city centres that face these situations.
III.166 The Bureau requested that the working group meet as soon as possible in Lübeck to identify appropriate solutions. The Bureau requested that the report of the working group be submitted to the twenty-sixth session of the Committee (June 2002).
Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter, and Church of Our Lady, Trier (Germany)
III.167 The Bureau, at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session, requested the German authorities to formulate and implement planning regulations that will ensure the long-term preservation of the archaeological remains in this area. At the request of the Minister of Culture of the Land Rhenanie-Palatinat, ICOMOS undertook a mission to the site on 23 - 24 September 2001 to assess the state of conservation of the site. The ICOMOS expert noted that the Roman Amphitheatre is well conserved, however, there is a conservation problem notably connected with the water table, concerning the important Roman remains revealed at the site of the former brewery. In general, the ICOMOS mission noted damage to the Barbara Baths, Porta Nigra and the Imperial Baths caused by bad weather, deficiencies in staffing, a shortage of maintenance personnel to monitor state of conservation of structures, and inadequate on-site interpretation. Furthermore, the ICOMOS expert identified two potential extensions to the existing site which are: the Viehmarkt, where extensive rescue excavations have revealed substantial remains of a large Roman thermal establishment and the Simeonstift, the history and location of which are intimately linked to those of the Porta Nigra. The ICOMOS mission recommended:
- A major project for the study and re-excavation of the Barbarathermen, followed by scientific conservation and the implementation of a management plan, should be initiated without delay;
- A scientific study of the extent and nature of degradation of the stones of the Porta Negra, followed by the implementation of appropriate conservation measures;
- Serious consideration should be given to the appointment of additional security and maintenance personnel at the archaeological sites;
- Projects should be undertaken to improve the interpretation and signage at the archaeological sites;
- Consideration should be given to the nomination of the Viehmarktthermen and the Simeonstift as extensions to the World Heritage site, subject to the opening to the public of the Viehmarktthermen and appropriate changes so as to improve its presentation.
III.168 The Observer of Germany thanked ICOMOS for its mission and recommendations. However, he indicated that the problems raised by this mission only concerned two or three monuments at the site, which comprised nine in total. He also emphasized that the improvement projects which concerned notably the conservation and the signage at the site had been entrusted to a private company. He also indicated that all the monuments at the site are open to the public, including those that ICOMOS had suggested to be included in the extension. With regard to the question of the extension of the site with other monuments, the Observer of Germany informed the Bureau that as the work foreseen at the Collegiale St Simeon had not commenced, the Ministry deemed it too early to request an extension.
III.169 The Representative of ICOMOS underlined that a management plan existed for some of the monuments but that for others there was no information provided regarding this point. Several delegates empahasized the importance of an integrated management plan encompassing all the monuments at the site. The Chairperson proposed that a management plan for each site be established and that coordination between these plans be ensured.
III.170 The Bureau took note of the ICOMOS mission report and information provided by the State Party. The Bureau requested the German authorities to continue to implement the necessary measures for the establishment of appropriate management plans for each monument and to ensure coordination between these plans. It also requested the State Party to pursue its efforts in the framework of the conservation and presentation of the site, and to provide a detailed report on the implementation of these measures for examination by its twenty-sixth session in April 2002.
Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin (Germany)
III.171 The Bureau had requested the German authorities to collaborate with ICOMOS in the assessment of the Havel waterway improvement project and to submit a report for examination by the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau. Through the German National Committee of ICOMOS a report was prepared by Stiftung Preussischer Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg which calls attention to the threat the project will cause to the buildings located at the Havel waterfront. Notably, the Heilandskirche in Sacrow and the Maschinenhaus Park Babelsberg could be adversely affected by the project.
III.172 The Bureau took note of the concerns raised by ICOMOS and the Stiftung Preussischer Schlösser und Gärten Berlin- Brandenburg regarding the negative impact of the Havel waterway improvement on the landscape on each side of the river. The Bureau also noted that the State Party had informed of the delay in the project and that an official decision would not be taken before 2004. In this context, the Bureau requested the German authorities to undertake all necessary measures to ensure that the values of the World Heritage site be taken into consideration in the framework of the official urban planning public process and the ICOMOS be invited to participate actively in this process. The Bureau requested the State Party to prepare, by 1 February 2003, a detailed report comprising updated information on the status of the project for examination by its twenty-seventh session in April 2003.
Acropolis, Athens (Greece)
III.173 After examination of information provided by a group of residents on a 32-metre high building proposal, in the vicinity of the Acropolis, ICOMOS informed the Secretariat that it considered the project unacceptable due to its proximity to the World Heritage site. This construction would significantly block the view from certain points, and cause adverse visual impact on the site. The Bureau noted that numerous protests had been made complaining about this project, notably by NGOs, the Department of Architecture of the University of Athens and by the Directors of Institutes of Nordic Countries in Athens, whose buildings are located within the perimeter of the building project. The Secretariat was also informed that the 3rd Department of Antiquities of Athens had undertaken archaeological research at the site where the construction is foreseen because of recent discoveries of archaeological remains.
III.174 By letter of 29 November 2001, the Permanent Delegation of Greece, informed the Secretariat that the land area upon which the building would be constructed is outside of the buffer zone of the Acropolis site and also outside the historic centre of the city of Athens. The Delegation had also informed that the building licence granted for the project was provisional mainly because the area falls under the archaeological jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and that since September, the 3rd Department of Antiquities of the Ministry has been carrying out excavations at the site and that remains have been found. The Delegation added that the building licence was dependent upon the results of the ongoing excavations.
III.175 After examination of this information, ICOMOS informed the Secretariat that it was satisfactory to have confirmation that the parcel of land was under the archaeological jurisdiction of the Ministry and that the excavations had been undertaken. However, ICOMOS noted that the main objection to this project was the size of the proposed building that was considered as possibly causing negative visual impact on the World Heritage site.
III.176 The Delegate of Greece emphasized that the jurisdiction applied to the site concerned by the project was clear and that this was outside of the buffer zone and the World Heritage site. She furthermore informed that the responsible Ministry was anxious to protect the site and its visual aspect. She mentioned that, in this framework, the law forbade constructions above a certain height. The Delegate of the State Party furthermore, reaffirmed that no building licence had yet been granted and that this would only be done in accordance with the results of the excavations undertaken.
III.177 ICOMOS remarked that the principal concern remained the height, 32 metres, of the proposed building, and that this would constitute a new emergence in the landscape. The Chairperson remarked that it would be useful to carry out a visual impact study. The Bureau took note of the building construction project adjacent to the World Heritage site. The Bureau requested the State Party to keep the World Heritage Committee informed of the evolution of this project.
Historic Centre of Naples (Italy)
III.178 The Bureau noted that the Italian authorities have taken action to halt the demolition of 27 ancients building in the Historic Centre of Naples and congratulated the State Party for protecting the World Heritage values of the site.
The Curonian Spit (Lithuania/Russian Federation)
III.179 At the request of the State Party, an ICOMOS/UNESCO (UNESCO Moscow Office) mission assessed the impact on the site of a proposed oil extraction operation. The ICOMOS expert visited the Lithuanian part, while the UNESCO Moscow Office representative (ecology specialist) had discussions with the Russian side (including the Lithuanian Consulate and World Ocean Museum in Kaliningrad, Russian Federation). Both experts obtained similar information. The UNESCO Moscow Office received documentation on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project. The D-6 Krakovskaya oil deposit is located at a depth of 27 - 30m in the Baltic Sea shelf, 22km off the coast of the Curonian Spit. In 1985 the USSR established that the environmental aspects of the project were not safe and that the existing technology could not ensure a safe oil exploitation. In August 2000 the company Lukoil announced that work would commence. The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs repeatedly requested official information on the project from the Russian Federation. However no reply was received. During a boat visit of the area, the mission noted that construction work is being carried out on the platform and that the construction will be completed by 2002. While the platform has no visual impact on the World Heritage site, ICOMOS considers the potential impact of an oil spill as immense. In case of accident, the wind and sea currents would drive the oil spill in the direction of the Baltic shores of Lithuania, the Spit and as far as Latvia. The recommendations of the ICOMOS mission are:
- An environmental impact assessment (EIA) should be carried out, by either a joint Russian-Lithuanian team of experts or by an independent international consultancy;
- The Russian company should allow Lithuanian experts access to the technical data relating to safety provisions;
- The two countries should collaborate in the preparation of a risk-preparedness programme.
III.180 The Bureau took note of a fax received on 7 December during its session from the UNESCO National Commission of the Russian Federation informing that neither the State Committee for Ecology or its successor, the State Committee for Natural Resources had agreed to any mining exploration projects. ICOMOS emphasized that the mining exploration was located at no great distance from one of the most fragile cultural landscapes inscribed on the List and that the risk of an oil spill was high. If this happened, the impact on the site would be great.
III.181 The Bureau took note of the information provided by the ICOMOS expert and the report on the mission of August 2001. It thanked the Lithuanian authorities for their efforts to ensure the protection of the Curonian Spit. In view of the urgent situation, the Bureau requested the State Party of the Russian Federation to submit a report before 1 February 2002, on the project concerning the Russian part of this transboundary site and on technical data relating to safety provisions, for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-sixth session in April 2002. Furthermore, the Bureau requested that the environmental impact assessment be carried out, without delay, jointly by a Lithuanian-Russian team of experts and that the outcome of this study be communicated to the Bureau, at its next session.
City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications (Luxembourg)
III.182 Following a meeting between the Delegation of Luxembourg, the Chairperson, the Secretariat and the Representative of ICOMOS, the Bureau was informed that awaiting the opinion of the Secretary General of ICOMOS, the examination of this site would be referred to the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee.
Megalithic Temples of Malta (Malta)
III.183 The Bureau, at its twenty-fifth session, requested the State Party to inform the Committee on progress of actions undertaken following damage caused by vandalism that occurred in April 2001. A report on the restoration project of the Megalithic Temples was sent by the Permanent Delegation of Malta to the Secretariat on 18 October 2001. This report informed that a strategic restoration plan had been prepared by the Department of Museums and implemented during May to July 2001. It also informed that security measures had immediately been undertaken following the acts of vandalism, as well as a general reinforcement of security at the site. The report also contained information concerning ongoing and long-term protection and conservation projects for the Megalithic Monuments.
III.184 The Bureau took note of the information contained in the report and expressed its satisfaction as to the speed with which the remedial actions had been undertaken and for the conservation and protection measures established to protect all the Megalithic Temples of Malta. The Delegate of Greece noted that, in these cases, appropriate measures should be undertaken to combat vandalism.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)
III.185 The Bureau noted that a site visit to Auschwitz under the leadership of the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, Mr Peter King, took place on 1 and 2 July 2001, to assess the issues relating to the management of the site and the establishment of a buffer zone. The full mission report was presented to the Bureau as Information Document WHC-01/CONF.207/INF.6. The Bureau was also informed that it was sent to the Polish authorities for review and comments.
III.186 The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the mission covered the management of the World Heritage site, its buffer zone (including the 300 to 1000 m silence zones), related sites, government responsibilities and local communities, as well as management planning and financial issues. The report contains very specific recommendations for each of these issues, including those for the International Group of Experts.
III.187 The Bureau noted that as a result of the site visit, discussions with the Polish authorities and concerned parties were held in a constructive atmosphere to achieve progress with regard to the protection of the site and confidence for the overall future management in consultation with all stakeholders. The mission in particular acknowledged the commitment by the Polish Government to the preservation of the World Heritage site. However, the need for a policy for the conservation and overall management of the surroundings incorporating a coherent silence and protection zone, an appropriately zoned buffer area and satisfactory long-term protection or integration of the area between the two camps was emphasized. The excellent quality of management at the World Heritage site and the commitment and dedication of the staff of the museum was noted. However, a number of issues were identified: social and commercial development, private property rights in neighbouring areas, longer term suitable investment, appropriate tourism and education programmes, inventory of related sites, co-ordination between the different levels and a dialogue between the city of Oswiezim and the village of Brezinka. The mission also recommended that the terms of reference and structure for the work of the International Group of Experts and the formation of two sub-committees, one on museology and conservation and the other one on urbanism and planning be determined as soon as possible. This will enable the International Group of Experts to proceed with the work on an on-going basis.
III.188 The Bureau was informed of a letter received from the Deputy Secretary of State of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration of the Republic of Poland dated 5 December 2001, informing the Centre that he had taken over the responsibility for the implementation of the Auschwitz Government Strategic Programme. This Programme will be continued for the period 2002-2006. The authorities furthermore invited UNESCO to undertake a further visit in the second half of 2002. Concerning the discotheque, the regional governor has now reversed the decision and refused to grant permission to operate the facility.
III.189 The Observer of Israel commended the Secretariat for the excellent support and underlined that the mission obtained very positive views concerning the management of the site. He informed the Bureau, however, that a number of issues remain to be solved, including the discotheque, the supermarket and the work and structure of the International Group of Experts. He requested that this be followed very closely, as steps need to be taken to ensure the work, structure and timetable of the International Group of Experts. As no technical assistance request was received from the Polish authorities, his Government would provide an amount of up to US$20,000 for the actions required.
III.190 The Observer of Poland reconfirmed the appreciation of his Government for the mission and its findings. He stated that his Government was pursuing juridical procedures with regard to the discotheque and the Carmel Convent. Concerning the technical assistance request, he informed the Bureau that this is now under consideration and that the function, structure, competence and terms of reference of the International Group of Experts required clarification. He confirmed the conclusions of the report and informed the Bureau that the complexity of different Government levels should be acknowledged. He assured the Bureau of a close follow-up of all matters with UNESCO.
III.191 The Bureau adopted the following decision for transmission to the World Heritage Committee for action:"The Committee takes note of the report of the site visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp and its surroundings and thanks the Chairperson, Mr Peter King, for his great commitment concerning this site. The Committee urges the State Party to implement the recommendations of the mission as soon as possible and requests the authorities to provide a report by 1 February 2002 with details on the status of the implementation of the recommendations and a timeframe."
Historic Centre of Sighisoara (Romania)
III.192 The Bureau noted the information contained in the Working Document WHC-01/CONF.207/3. It also noted the information provided by the State Party that underlined that the special programme including the "Dracula ParK" project, as well as the creation of an Interministerial Committee for its monitoring, had been approved by the Government in July 2001, launched in November 2001 and for which the implementation is foreseen for May 2002. The Bureau also took note that the first phase of this project comprised a feasibility study, that the complex envisaged is located 6 Km from the town centre and will be constructed on a vast area and a rehabilitation and revitalisation of the town of Sighisoara was foreseen thanks to the income from the "Dracula Park".
III.193 The Bureau took note of the view of ICOMOS who considered that although such a project would permit an increase in tourism in the region where the economy is weak, its impact could have a negative effect on the values for which Sighisoara was inscribed on the World Heritage List. This would include the alteration to the visual integrity of the historic town itself, even if the project is located at a distance of 6 Km, and the effects of mass tourism on the World Heritage site and its immediate surroundings.
III.194 The Observer of Germany emphasized that the area covered by the project was foreseen to be sixty hectares and that there was a risk that the town would become the focal point of an amusement park on the lines of a "Disneyland" . He thought that the authenticity of the town would be greatly threatened by a project of this kind. He also recalled paragraph 56 of the Guidelines that invited States Parties to inform the Committee of all construction projects that could modify the value of the property.
III.195 The Delegate of Hungary indicated that this was a serious problem which concerned a project involving mass tourism and which would be very different from that generated by the town itself. He emphasized that there was no question of preventing tourism but that one must be prudent. He also noted that the proximity of the ParK to the town was very dangerous. He suggested that another location be found for the construction of the Park.
III.196 The Representative of ICOMOS indicated that the distance separating the Parc project from the town was 1.5 Km as the crow flies, that the impact on it would be vast and that a large number of elements of the Park would be visible from the town. He also indicated that a cablecar project existed to link the Park to the town. He finally mentioned that ICOMOS was not against a project that could generate income for the region, but he strongly recommended that another location for the project be found as far away from the town of Sighisorara as possible.
III.197 After this debate, the Bureau adopted the following recommendation for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fifth session:
"The Committee notes with concern the building project for an amusement park in the vicinity of the site, and which could have a negative impact on the integrity and the ensemble of the site. The Committee notes with disquiet the information provided by the State Party and notably the fact that the Romanian authorities had already approved the project as well as the implementation of the special programme foreseen for May 2002. The Committee urgently requests the State Party to undertake the projected environmental impact study as soon as possible; it informs the State Party that assistance could be granted for this purpose. Furthermore, the Committee strongly encourages the State party to explore all other possible solutions for an alternative location for the construction of this amusement park. The Committee requests that a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS mission be undertaken to the site as soon as possible and that a report on the mission be presented at its twenty-sixth session (June 2002)."
Kizhi Pogost (Russian Federation)
III.198 The Bureau took note of the information contained in the World Document WHC-01/CONF.207/3. It also took note that a request for emergency assistance from the State Party to hold an international workshop at the site had been received by the Centre and was approved on 14 October 2001 for a total amount of US$29,540. This workshop would also include the elaboration of a workplan for the safeguarding of the site.
III.199 The Delegate of Finland underlined that the site has been facing permanent and continual problems since its inscription, notably with regard to the conservation work, management and security measures. He proposed that given an increasing number of wooden churches are being inscribed on the World Heritage List, or were being proposed for inscription, a network of experts and responsible persons at the different sites could be created to respond to different problems. He also recommended that in the future, direct assistance from the Committee to the responsible person at the site be proposed.
III.200 Recalling the structural problems encountered at the site, the Representative of ICCROM indicated that a multidisciplinary conservation plan had been adopted for the site in 1995 but that it had never been implemented. He supported the proposal of the Delegate of Finland and informed that ICCROM would provide assistance, recommending, however, that this approach be global and that all questions affecting the site be treated.
III.201 The Representative of ICOMOS commended the Delegate of Finland for this proposal. He indicated that the services of the International Committee for Wood and Vernacular Architecture of ICOMOS were at the disposal of the Committee for the study suggested by the Delegate of Finland.
III.202 After this debate, the Bureau adopted the following recommendation for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fifth session:
"The Committee takes note of the information provided by ICCROM and thanks the authorities of the Russian Federation for having initiated the process to ensure the protection of the site. In view of the alarming state of consevation of the site, the Committee requests the Secretariat to work in close collaboration with the authorities of the Russian Federation and the Advisory Bodies with regard to the international workshop on conservation measures for Kizhi Pogost. Furthermore, the Committee requests the State Party to provide a detailed update of the situation, by 1 February 2002, and requests the Centre to provide a full report on the results of the workshop, in collaboration with the authorities of the Russian Federation and the Advisory Bodies, for its twenty-sixth session in June 2002."
SpiÜskř Hrad and its Associated Cultural Monuments (Slovakia)
III.203 In June 2001, ICOMOS received information that a travertine quarry below Drevenik, on the south-western edge of the inscribed site, was operational and that quarrying was going ahead. The permit is of limited duration and is scheduled to end in 2002. ICOMOS considers that the main threat to the site comes from the blasting operations, and to a lesser extent, from the large quantity of dust produced by extraction and transportation.
III.204 The Bureau took note of the report provided by ICOMOS and requested the Slovakian authorities to provide a report on the situation by 1 February 2002, for examination by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
Route of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
III.205 The Bureau took note of the reservations made by ICOMOS concerning the dam project that represents a threat for a part of the Route of Santiago de Compostela. It expressed its concern with regard to the impact of the dam which risks flooding a part of the Route of Santiago de Compostela and requested the Spanish authorities to study all alternative solutions to avoid any negative impact on the values and integrity of the World Heritage site.
III.206 The Observer of Spain informed the Bureau of progress achieved with ICOMOS on this question following the recommendation formulated by the Bureau during its twenty-fourth session. He indicated that after the meetings to be held between representatives of the national and regional governments and ICOMOS-Spain representatives, information would be updated and sent to the Centre. He also indicated that research would be carried out to establish the true trail of the Route to its source. He informed the Bureau that the national and local Governments would do nothing to endanger the historical integrity of the Route.
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated sites (United Kingdom)
III.207 The Bureau noted the information received from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom emphasizing that in order to improve the site's setting, the Government proposes to remove two roads from the immediate vicinity of the monument. In this regard, it is proposed that the A303 road run through a 2km tunnel near the stone circle, whilst the other road (A344) should be closed and converted to grass. It is also proposed that the present rather poor visitor facilities and car park should be removed and that a new visitor centre (with car parking and interpretative facilities) should be build a short distance away, outside the site. However, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport underlined in its letter that all these proposals will be subject to examination under normal planning procedures and that full consideration will be given to the overall archaeological and environmental implications. ICOMOS informed the Secretariat that it was in full agreement with the proposals and that the cut-and-cover tunnel is a feasible project that will not cause any damage to the archaeology and the environment on the site.
III.208 Concerning Silbury Hill, part of the World Heritage site, the Secretariat has been informed by numerous letters that the site was threatened by collapse. The State Party informed the Centre that the present problem has been caused by the collapse of the filling of a vertical shaft. In May 2000, a squared-shaped hole about 1.8m wide opened up to a depth of just over 10m. This was covered immediately with a scaffolding cover. However, before any plan could be implemented further collapse occurred. Under these circumstances, English Heritage decided to commission a seismic survey, but this was delayed due to the fact that the Hill was situated within an area infected by Foot and Mouth Disease. The State Party informed the Secretariat that appropriate action is being taken to repair Silbury Hill and safeguard it from further damage. Furthermore, ICOMOS informed the Secretariat that the existence of the pit at the top of the Hill had been known for many years and it was not considered a threat to stability until it began to widen under the impact of the unusually heavy rainfall earlier this year. ICOMOS is of the opinion that both the technical and archaeological problems are being addressed as matters of urgency and that the long-term future of the monument is not threatened.
III.209 The British Ministry of Culture has informed the Secretariat that the seismic survey commissioned for Silbury had been carried out, and that its results which are presently being analysed, will be transmitted to the Centre together with proposals for the restoration of the monument, as soon as possible.
III.210 The Bureau noted the information transmitted by the State Party concerning the planning and the protection of the site of Stonehenge. The Bureau also noted the views of the State Party and ICOMOS on Silbury Hill which is part of the World Heritage site. It requested the State Party to work in close consultation with the Centre and ICOMOS regarding the planning and protection of the site and to present a progress report to the Bureau at its next session in April 2002.
M'Zab Valley (Algeria)
III.211 The Secretariat informed the Bureau on the findings of the mission sent to the M'Zab Valley in September 2001. The expert reported on the adverse impact on the built and natural environment of the site of the significant socio-economic changes, which occurred in the Valley over the past decades. As adequate protective legislation is lacking, the report stressed the need to urgently provide assistance to the Algerian authorities in establishing appropriate protective mechanisms for the various ksour. In this respect, the Secretariat also informed the Bureau of the requests for International Assistance submitted by the State Party of Algeria, currently under review, for the organization of training activities and for technical co-operation, aimed at improving the management of the site.
III.212 The Bureau invited the State Party to co-operate with the Centre in the elaboration of a Development and Safeguarding Plan for the M'Zab Valley. The implementation of International Assistance, based on international experience and respecting the local artisan traditions, for on-the-job training on conservation techniques should also be initiated.
Kasbah of Algiers (Algeria)
III.213 The Secretariat confirmed to the Bureau that, according to recent information received orally from the Director of the Algerian Heritage Department, the site has not been particularly affected by the torrential rains of November 2001. The Bureau was also informed on the findings of the expert mission sent to the Kasbah of Algiers in September 2001.
III.214 The expert reported on the worrying deterioration process and lack of maintenance affecting the site, due to the progressive replacement of the original population with inhabitants of poorer condition from the countryside, combined with the absence of a protective legislation. Further to the abrogation of the old law by the new 1998 legislation, the development of a new Safeguarding Plan was entrusted to local urban planning firms by the authorities. This Plan, however, has not yet been completed. Further to the expert mission, the State Party submitted two requests for International Assistance, currently under review, for the organization of training activities, aimed at improving the management of the site.
III.215 The Bureau invited the State Party to co-operate with the Centre in the elaboration of a Development and Safeguarding Plan for the Kasbah of Algiers, and in the implementation of the International Assistance for training activities on conservation techniques and management of the built heritage.
Archaeological Site of Tipasa (Algeria)
III.216 The Secretariat reported on the findings of a visit to the site, carried out last September by an international expert, in preparation for the Emergency Assistance approved by the Bureau at its last session of June 2001. During this visit, the problems raised in the Periodic Report submitted by the State Party were reviewed and detailed terms of reference for the team of international experts identified.
III.217 A major concern is the Safeguarding and Presentation Plan for the site, prepared in 1992 with support from the Committee, which apparently is not implemented. As a result, new buildings have been constructed within the buffer zone, while the threats deriving from erosion and salt winds are not yet under control. Another issue is the impact on the site of over 140,000 visitors per year, mainly schools from the nearby city of Algiers, which is causing damage to the fragile archaeological structures.
III.218 The Bureau recommended to the Algerian authorities to implement without delay the 1992 Safeguarding and Presentation Plan, to reduce pressure on the site. Furthermore, the Algerian authorities were invited to keep the World Heritage Centre fully informed of any project or development concerning the site of Tipasa, and submit all studies for approval before their implementation.
Islamic Cairo (Arab Republic of Egypt)
III.219 The Secretariat informed the Bureau on the findings of the ICOMOS mission to Cairo in August 2001, to evaluate the current restoration projects, and reported on the mission headed by the Director of the World Heritage Centre in September 2001.
III.220 On the major restoration campaign presently being implemented in Cairo, with a total of 150 interventions foreseen within a period of eight years and 48 monuments currently under restoration, the ICOMOS report emphasized a number of issues of concern. The main remarks concerned the need to strengthen co- ordination among the various institutions involved in the rehabilitation of the site; the importance of adopting a comprehensive Master Plan with clear land-use and building regulations; the necessity to ensure a compatible use and proper management mechanisms for restored monuments; and the overall issue of the varying quality of the projects and work being executed, with a tendency towards 'complete restoration', as opposed to conservation of signs of age and patina that has resulted from wear and tear.
III.221 In addition, the report stressed the need for a larger public awareness of the objectives of the restoration campaign, and for specific training on conservation for the professional staff of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, mostly composed of archaeologists, architects and engineers, taking into account the unprecedented scale and number of restoration projects.
III.222 The Secretariat then informed the Bureau of a series of specific actions, to be partially funded through the Egyptian Funds-in-Trust at UNESCO, that the WHC and the Egyptian authorities agreed to implement together, in order to address the above issues. These actions include:
- An International Seminar on the conservation of Historic Cairo, with multi-disciplinary planning workshops focused on specific projects, to be organized in early 2002. Periodic reviewing seminars of the current projects will also be held;
- The establishment within the premises of a restored monument, of a permanent Information Centre on Historic Cairo World Heritage site and current conservation efforts;
- The preparation of a Conservation Manual, with technical specifications and detailed descriptions of the types of work most commonly required for the conservation and maintenance of historic buildings within the city of Cairo.
III.223 The Delegate of Egypt thanked the Secretariat and ICOMOS for their co-operation, but strongly protested about the leakage of the ICOMOS mission report to the Egyptian press that occurred before its official transmission to the Egyptian authorities, and the letter written by the ICOMOS President to the First Lady of Egypt, Madam Suzanne Mubarak, which he claimed, referred in an exaggerated manner, to the poor state of conservation of Historic Cairo. On this latter point, he requested an official apology from ICOMOS. The Egyptian Delegate also expressed some reservations on the content of the ICOMOS report, and stated that the Egyptian authorities were not provided the opportunity to review it thoroughly with the Centre and ICOMOS. Recalling that Historic Cairo has over 600 listed monuments, he questioned the completeness of the evaluation made by ICOMOS and the conclusions contained in the report. He then reiterated the Egyptian authorities' readiness to continue co-operating with UNESCO and the WHC, in addition to the initiatives mentioned above, to ensure the appropriate monitoring of the site. Finally, the Delegate of Egypt expressed the wish that the future denomination of the site be, from now on, "Historic Cairo", to better represent its composite, multicultural heritage.
III.224 The Bureau commended the State Party for its great efforts towards the rehabilitation of Historic Cairo, for co-operating with the Centre in monitoring the state of conservation of the site, and particularly for supporting the three above-mentioned actions in collaboration with the WHC. The Bureau also encouraged the State Party:
- to improve co-ordination among concerned institutions within Historic Cairo and to elaborate a comprehensive institutional framework which would ensure a better management of the site;
- to institutionalise the trend, recently emerged, whereby appropriate and compatible functions for non-religious buildings and future management mechanisms are determined, before starting any restoration works on a monument;
- to ensure consistency in the quality of all restoration works, in compliance with recognized international standards;
- to invest, as a matter of urgency, adequate resources towards the capacity-building in the area of architectural conservation for the staff of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, to enable a more effective management of the restoration campaign;
- to continue the periodic monitoring of the restoration works, in close consultation with the WHC.
Abu Mena (Egypt)
III.225 The Secretariat reported on the findings of a visit to the site, headed last September by the Director of the World Heritage Centre. A land-reclamation programme for the agricultural development of the region, funded by the World Bank, has caused in the past ten years a dramatic rise in the water table. The local soil, which is exclusively clay, is hard and capable of supporting buildings when in a dry state, but becomes semi-liquid with excess water. The destruction of numerous cisterns, disseminated around the city, has entailed the collapse of several overlying structures. Huge underground cavities have opened in the north-western region of the town. The risk of collapse is so high that the authorities were forced to fill with sand the bases of some of the most endangered buildings, including the crypt of Abu Mena with the tomb of the Saint, and close them to the public. A large banked road, moreover, was built to enable movement within the site. The Supreme Council of Antiquities is trying to counteract this phenomenon by digging trenches, and has enlarged the listed area in the hope of lowering the pressure of the irrigation. These measures, however, have proved to be insufficient, taking into account the scale of the problem and the limited resources available.
III.226 The Delegate of Egypt explained that, while the constant need for arable land in the country (only 6% of its territory) totally justifies this irrigation scheme, an appropriate drainage mechanism had not been provided at the time of the project, thus causing the rise in the ground water level. He then recalled that a large Monastery, visited by thousands of people every week, lies east of the site, adding to the problem. Conscious of the gravity of the situation, the Delegate of Egypt thanked the Centre for its support and expressed his agreement on the proposed inscription of this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Chairperson commended the positive attitude of Egypt for this important step which, he recalled, is aimed exclusively at assisting the State Party in identifying and implementing the necessary corrective measures for the safeguarding of the values of the site.
III.227 The Bureau adopted the following recommendation for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fifth session:
"The Committee decides to inscribe Abu Mena on the List of World Heritage in Danger and requests the Egyptian authorities to co- ordinate with all the competent national institutions and the Centre, in view to rapidly identify the necessary corrective measures to ensure the safeguarding of the site."
III.228 The Bureau was informed of the recent decisions taken by the Lebanese authorities, specified in an official letter from the Director-General of the Antiquities Department to the Centre on 5 October 2001, on the proposed Tourism Marina project and Urban Master Plan.
III.229 A Feasibility Study on the Tourist Marina project was to evaluate three possible options: 1) the rehabilitation and up- grading of the existing Tyre Port; 2) the extension of the existing Tyre Port; and 3) the construction of a new port in Mheilib, three kms north of Tyre. The Lebanese authorities have confirmed that the first option (rehabilitation and up-grading of existing port structures) will be retained, in line with the recommendations of the Centre. The latter, however, conditioned its approval to the accomplishment by the Lebanese authorities of the following:
- Full underwater survey inside the harbour;
- Limiting to the maximum of 30 the number of boats docking in the tourist marina;
- Using the marina project as an opportunity to upgrade the fishing port with the creation of amenities for fishermen and locations for the interpretation and presentation of the underwater heritage of Tyre.
III.230 As concerns the Master Plan, the Department of Antiquities confirmed the listing and protection, within the territory of Tyre, of vast areas around the main archaeological sites. These areas will be mostly surrounded by agricultural land, with building coefficients limited to 5%. The definition of the land-use for all other areas belonging to the State will be frozen until completion of the archaeological survey.
III.231 The Secretariat also informed the Bureau of a recent mission to Lebanon carried out by the World Heritage Centre, to review the scope of a proposed large World Bank Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development project, with a significant component for the site of Tyre (as well as for the World Heritage sites of Baalbek and Byblos). As the relevant documents are still under preparation, the Secretariat will inform the Bureau on the potential implications of this project for the site of Tyre and other Lebanese World Heritage sites at its next session, in April 2002.
III.232 The Bureau commended the Lebanese authorities on the important decisions taken for the safeguarding of the World Heritage site of Tyre, and recommended that, prior to any building activity within the ancient port, in line with the provisions of the Operational Guidelines, reports and detailed projects be transmitted to the Centre for submission to the Committee. In relation to the proposed World Bank project, the Bureau invited the Lebanese authorities to continue co-ordinating with the Centre in its finalization and future implementation.
Ksar Ait ben Haddou (Morocco)
III.233 The Secretariat recalled that a mission report dated August 2000 expressed strong concerns for the state of conservation of the site, and had formulated a number of urgent recommendations for its safeguarding. These recommendations included:
- Status of the site at the national level: finalising the listing process of the site, including private properties;
- Strengthening the capacities of the Centre for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Southern Kasbahs (CERKAS), responsible for the site;
- Creating a management commission for the site;
- Creating a working group to elaborate a Management Plan;
- Completing the Management Plan by the end of 2001.
III.234 The report also recommended the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
III.235 The Bureau was also reminded that at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session, in Cairns, the Chairperson of the Committee made it clear that, should the proposed actions not be achieved by the end of 2001, the Moroccan authorities would submit a request for inclusion of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. A report on the progress of the activities was also due for submission to the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau. The Centre has so far not received such a report. During a private visit to Ksar Ait Ben Haddou carried out in August 2001, the same expert, author of the first report, found that the above-mentioned actions had not been completed and that a Management Plan for the site had not been prepared.
III.236 The Bureau adopted the following recommendation for transmission to the Committee, for examination at its twenty-fifth session:
"The Committee, pending consultation with the State Party concerned, decides to inscribe Ksar Ait Ben Haddou on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and encourages the Moroccan authorities to submit a request of International Assistance under the World Heritage Fund, aimed to finalize a conservation and management plan for the site. The Committee, furthermore, requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2002, a report on the progress on the recommendations made in the report of August 2000".
Old City of Sana'a (Yemen)
III.237 The Secretariat reported on the very worrying state of conservation of the site, which, despite the positive achievements of the 1986 International Safeguarding Campaign for the Old City of Sana'a, is presently affected by an uncontrolled urban development, in the absence of an adequate protective mechanism.
III.238 The historical market area (Souk), which serves now a much larger community than it used to only ten years ago, is spreading outside its traditional borders towards the adjacent residential areas, with a significant impact on the lower levels' structure of these ancient buildings. Numerous new constructions are also being built within the walls of the Old City, using modern structures and materials. These constructions include several high- rise constructions, the height of which is in excess by several storeys, of the level of other parts of the Old City. On the other hand, most traditional houses are not properly maintained by the present inhabitants, mainly tenants who recently moved into the city from the villages, due to lack of financial means.
III.239 The Bureau encouraged the Yemeni authorities to submit a request for International Assistance to the Committee, to enable the preparation of a comprehensive Safeguarding Plan for the Old City of Sana'a, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre. The Bureau, furthermore, invites the Yemeni authorities to consider the opportunity to take urgent measures in order to halt new constructions, modern additions or alterations within the traditional urban fabric of the Old City, until such a Safeguarding Plan has been prepared and adopted.
No state of conservation reports. The state of the World Heritage in Africa, 2001, will be presented to the Committee.
Asia and the Pacific
The Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple Monastery, Lhasa (China)
III.240 The Bureau recalled that the state of conservation of the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple of Lhasa had been examined by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session and again at the twenty-fifth session by the Bureau. The Bureau took note of the urban development, expansion of tourism related facilities, deterioration of architectural structures and mural painting conservation issues which continue to affect the world heritage values of the property.
III.241 The Bureau was informed that a fact-finding UNESCO Mission was undertaken by a Centre staff with the Chinese authorities in November 2001. This mission noted with appreciation that the restoration of the southeastern wall of the Potala Palace, which collapsed partially in August 2001 due to rainfall, was underway. Concerning the 35 meter high tower commemorating the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet", the UNESCO Mission verified that the new construction was located outside the World Heritage protective zones, at the south end of the new Potala Square.
III.242 The Observer of China expressed her Government's appreciation to the World Heritage Committee, its Bureau, the Advisory Bodies and the Centre for their continued concern and support for the conservation of Tibetan cultural heritage. In relation to the Bureau's request at its twenty-fifth session for information concerning policies for international co-operation for conservation programmes benefiting the World Heritage protected areas in Lhasa, the Observer of China assured the Bureau that the authorities wholeheartedly welcomed international co-operation, a policy consistent with the national "open door" policy. However, she informed the Bureau that Tibet is an autonomous region where all international co-operation activities must be undertaken with the request and support from the local authorities, involving local experts to the extent possible.
III.243 The Bureau expressed its appreciation to the Chinese authorities for facilitating the UNESCO mission to the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple in Lhasa in November 2001. Recalling its recommendation to the authorities to consider the organization of a mural painting conservation workshop, the Bureau noted with appreciation that the Central Government of China had decided to allocate approximately US$25 million for the second phase of the Potala Palace Rehabilitiation Project. This funding, expected to be utilized in 2002, would be allocated for the consolidation of the Norbulingka Gardens, the Saja Temple, as well as for the conservation of the mural paintings within the Potala Palace and Norbulingka Temple.
III.244 The Bureau, assured by the Observer of China that her Government continues to support the work of the Lhasa Cultural Relics Bureau for the inventorying and mapping of the "construction restriction zones", nevertheless encouraged the Chinese authorities to consider requesting international technical assistance for supporting this important activity. Finally, the Bureau requested the State Party to provide information on the progress made in the restoration of the collapsed wall for examination by the Bureau at its twenty- sixth session.
Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (China)
III.245 The Bureau recalled that the Committee had examined at its twenty-third session, the findings of the ICOMOS-ICCROM Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian in 1999, organized upon request for international assistance submitted by the Chinese authorities to improve the on-site museum. The Bureau noted that the 1999 mission noted the need to establish a regular monitoring system and to enhance overall conservation and management of the site to mitigate ascertained or potential negative impact caused by uncontrolled tourism activities, uncontrolled mining and quarrying activities, and industrial pollution. The Bureau was informed that the Centre had not received further information concerning the measures taken to address the 1999 mission recommendations endorsed by the Committee concerning the elaboration of a comprehensive conservation and management plan.
III.246 The Representative of ICOMOS informed the Bureau that during a recent mission, ICOMOS noted that the situation on-site had improved since 1999. The Representative of ICOMOS expressed his surprise to have been informed that UNESCO was organizing an International Training Course on the Preservation, Conservation and Management of Zhoukoudian and Sangiran Prehistoric World Heritage Sites, taking into consideration the dissimilarity of the two sites.
III.247 The Observer of China informed the Bureau that the root cause for insufficient management and conservation at the Zhoukoudian property was the fact that the scientific agency designated at present was the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which does not have the administrative authority for comprehensively managing the site. She stated that her Government was currently considering taking necessary actions to transfer the administrative and managerial responsibility to the most appropriate government authority to ensure that the concerns of the Committee are addressed.
III.248 The Bureau, noting with appreciation the new information presented by the Observer of China, requested the State Party to inform the Committee on the actions taken since the 1999 ICOMOS-ICCROM Joint Mission for examination at its twenty-sixth session, especially with regard to the establishment of a systematic low-cost monitoring system for the entire site. The Bureau encouraged the State Party to elaborate, in co-operation with the Centre, an international assistance request for the development of a comprehensive conservation and management plan for the site. Finally, the Bureau requested the Centre to assist the State Party in submitting a state of conservation report for examination by the Committee at its twenty-sixth session.
Ajanta Caves (India)
Ellora Caves (India)
III.249 The Bureau recalled that both Ajanta and Ellora Caves face long-term progressive structural deterioration due to the nature of the caves carved within overbearing cliffs. The Bureau was informed that the Indian authorities have been taking conservation and preventive measures to control the micro-climate within the caves, to increase the quality of visitor experience and simultaneously to decrease negative impact caused by tourists and pilgrimage activities. The Bureau also took note of the needs identified by the national authorities to establish appropriate codes for the restoration and conservation of sculptures and wall paintings within the Caves.
III.250 The Centre informed the Bureau that a Reactive Monitoring Mission by an international wall painting expert was taking place between 1-9 December 2001 following a request by the authorities to examine the state of conservation of the mural paintings. The main objective of this expert mission is to enable the national conservation experts to consider various conservation measures following international standards for long-term protection and presentation of the paintings.
III.251 Finally, the Bureau was informed that the Centre was assisting the authorities in the organization of a conservation and management workshop to be undertaken in 2002 for the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, that would bring together all the concerned stakeholders to exchange views on conservation and management of these unique properties. The objective of the workshop would be to review and integrate the various tourism and site-enhancement development plans into a comprehensive conservation and development plan.
III.252 The Bureau congratulated the Indian authorities for their efforts for the conservation, management and development of the Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The Bureau, noting the World Heritage Centre■s continued assistance to the authorities in enhancing co- operation between the numerous national and international conservation and development activities, decided to examine further information at its twenty-sixth session.
Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)
III.253 The Bureau recalled that the Committee had:
- examined the state of conservation of Kathmandu Valley in twenty-one sessions of the Committee and its Bureau since 1992;
- debated on the inscription of this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at each session upon examining the 1993 Joint UNESCO- ICOMOS Mission, the 1998 Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-Nepal Mission, and the reports submitted by the State Party on progress made in the implementation of the 16-point recommendation adopted by the Committee in 1993 and the 55 Recommendations for Enhanced Management and Time-Bound Action Plan for Corrective Measures adopted by the State Party in 1998;
- dispatched a High Level Mission in September 2000 headed by the former Chairperson of the Committee, and comprising the current Chairperson, the Director of the World Heritage Centre among others, for consultations with His Majesty's Government of Nepal at the highest level on the merits of the in-danger listing as a tool for conservation;
- noted the conclusion of the High Level Mission which stated that whilst the major monuments were in good state of conservation, should no new measures be undertaken, the deterioration of the historic urban fabric will persist, irreversibly damaging the traditional architecture surrounding the public monuments, and consequently undermine the world heritage values of this unique and universally significant site;
- expressed its disappointment at the twenty-fourth session, that the State Party was not convinced of the constructive objectives of the List of World Heritage in Danger, as a mechanism for strengthening further political commitment and mobilizing international technical co-operation and greater awareness at both national and international levels, and underlined the need to ensure the credibility of the World Heritage Convention, its Committee and the World Heritage List, while effectively implementing the mechanisms provided under the Convention in safeguarding the World Heritage properties, especially when the threats are ascertained and the process in the loss of the world heritage values have already occurred; but,
- decided to defer inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger until 2002 in view of the State Party■s strong desire to avoid inscription on this List.
III.254 The Bureau examined new information concerning:
- the demolition of the Saraswati Nani Temple within the World Heritage protected area of Patan Darban Square Monument Zone by the Guthi Samthan, the local guardians and owners of this public building; total reconstruction of the Temple reportedly using inappropriate new building material; removal and disappearance of the unique and exquisitely carved struts originally adorning this Temple. This Temple was included in the Kathmandu Valley Protective Inventory and figure in the 1979 nomination dossier submitted by HMG of Nepal;
- demolition of several historic buildings or illegal additions within the Seven Monuments Zones of Kathmandu Valley. A photo of an example of a typical illegal addition of a new floor with cantilevers to a historic building was shown.
III.255 The Centre informed the Bureau that a progress report prepared by the Government of Nepal requested by the Committee was received on 8 December 2001. Neither the Centre nor the Bureau had sufficient time to examine the content of the report.
III.256 The Observer of Nepal, headed by the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, reiterated her Government's strong commitment to ensure the implementation of the 16 Recommendations of the 1993 Joint Mission, and the 55 Recommendations and Time-Bound Action Plan resulting from the 1998 Joint Mission. She expressed her appreciation for the favourable response to requests for technical and financial assistance which the Committee and UNESCO had been providing for Kathmandu Valley since the 1970s. With regard to the demolition of Saraswati Nani Temple, the Observer stated that the poor condition of the building necessitated demolition and reconstruction and assured the Bureau that traditional building material and techniques were being used.
III.257 During the ensuing debate, the Delegate of Thailand sought clarifications on:
- whether the Heritage Conservation Unit for controlling development and preventing illegal alterations and demolitions of historic buildings as well as new constructions had been established;
- actions taken to implement the long-standing recommendation from 1993, repeated in 1998, to control illegal demolition or alterations within the World Heritage protected areas; and
- the application of existing legal provisions, rules and regulations which would prevent illegal development within Kathmandu Valley.
III.258 The Chairperson underscored the complexity of the site, and 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. He noted with appreciation, the efforts made by the Government authorities in raising awareness of the local communities, which was essential in reversing the deterioration process of the vernacular architecture surrounding the public monuments.
III.259 The Deputy Director of the Centre informed the Bureau that since 1993, the main focus of UNESCO's support had been to build national capacities which started from support in strengthening protective legislation followed by over three years of on-the-job training in the establishment and enforcement of regulations concerning demolition and building permits, heritage resource mapping and inventory, as well as pilot conservation projects to demonstrate good practice, all financed from the World Heritage Fund and other extrabudgetary resources mobilized by the Centre. The Bureau was reminded of the information provided to the Committee in 1999 that the services of the trained development control officers had been terminated in 1999 by the then Director-General of Archaeology.
III.260 The Delegate of South Africa, recognizing the continued difficulties encountered in Kathmandu Valley by the authorities, which was part of the realities of developing States, stressed the need for international solidarity. She suggested that the Centre support the Nepali authorities in addressing the challenges in urban heritage protection through establishing city-to-city co- operation with local authorities of developing countries.
III.261 The Deputy Director recalled, for the benefit of the new members of the Bureau, that Kathmandu Valley had been the subject of a UNESCO International Safeguarding Campaign since 1979, and had benefited from over US$350,000 provided from the World Heritage Fund and other sources mobilized by the Centre in institutional capacity building to enhance management for conservation. Regarding the city- to-city co-operation, the Bureau was informed that the Centre had brokered decentralized co-operation between UK local authorities (Chester and Bath) and several municipal authorities of the Kathmandu Valley and exchanges were initiated in 1999-2000. The Bureau was also informed that the European Union approved earlier this year under its EU-Asia Urbs Programme, a co-financing of Euro 500,000 for a project involving Chester and Patan. Another request is under preparation involving Bath (UK), Tours (France) and three small local authorities of Kathmandu Valley. Such activities aim at increasing the capacity of the authorities concerned in integrating conservation and management measures within the integrated urban and tourism development planning process.
III.262 The Deputy Director drew the attention of the Bureau to the need to enhance development control and monitoring capacities at both the national and local levels, and the strong political commitment required to enforce the protective legislation to protect and conserve the privately-owned historic buildings located within the seven monumental zones of this site. She indicated that the multiplication of small-scale illegal operations which individually may not seem grave, has led to the transformation of the historic urban fabric even within the relatively small area of the protected zones surrounding the monuments. If allowed to continue, as tangibly demonstrated in the Bauddhanath Monuments Zone, where 90 traditional buildings had been reduced to 15 by 1998, the World Heritage site of Kathmandu Valley will be reduced to a collection of public historic monuments decontextualized from its surrounding historic urban fabric.
III.263 The Director of the World Heritage Centre drew the attention of the Bureau to the Committee decision at its twenty-fourth session:
- to allow two more years for the Nepalese authorities to further implement the corrective measures against urban encroachment and alteration of the historic fabric in the seven Monument Zones to safeguard its integrity and authenticity; and
- to review the state of conservation and decide on future actions to be taken by the Committee within the context of the Asia-Pacific Regional Periodic Reporting exercise in 2002.
III.264 The Bureau recommended that another High Level Mission be undertaken prior to the finalization of the Periodic Report for the state of conservation of Kathmandu Valley. The Bureau recommended that the Committee examine the state of conservation of this property at its twenty-fifth session.
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)
III.265 The Bureau recalled that it had regularly examined since 1999, the state of conservation of the Maya Devi Temple within Lumbini, a centre of pilgrimage for the international Buddhist community with a fragile archaeological site of historical significance. The Bureau noted that the property was the subject of four Reactive Monitoring Missions in 2000 and 2001, organized by the Centre at the request of the Bureau or the State Party. It was also recalled that an International Technical Meeting for the Conservation, Presentation and Development of the Maya Devi Temple took place in April 2001 with financial and technical support from the World Heritage Fund and UNESCO.
III.266 The Bureau's attention was drawn to the findings of the two missions undertaken in July and September 2001 by a UNESCO international brick conservation expert. This expert witnessed the inundation of the Maya Devi Temple archaeological remains during the heavy monsoon period. It was found that the fluctuation of the water table was clearly eroding the archaeological remains of the Maya Devi Temple. The Centre informed the Bureau that since August 2001, an activity financed from the World Heritage Fund was being conducted by the national authorities and the University of Bradford (U.K.) to compile basic information to assess pilgrimage activities, environmental factors and to identify high or low-importance archaeological areas through non-destructive geophysical surveys.
III.267 The Centre informed the Bureau that the situation called for serious remedial measures based upon careful assessment and analysis of the heritage assets and usage of the pilgrimage property, prior to the implementation of drainage and construction activities. The Bureau was informed that it was essential to plan intervention only after the completion of the non-destructive geophysical survey, environmental and visitation analyses were complete.
III.268 The Delegates of Greece and Hungary, having reviewed the state of conservation of the property and noting the erosion of the archaeological remains, incoherent landscaping of the sacred garden, and serious drainage problems of the site, expressed their alarm for this endangered property which clearly required urgent conservation. The Delegate of Greece, drawing the attention of the Bureau to Article 6.1 of the World Heritage Convention, underscored the duty of the international community as a whole to co-operate to protect this common heritage and called for consideration in the future for possible inscription of this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Delegate of Thailand, sharing concern over the condition of the property, noted with appreciation the willingness of the Government of Nepal to collaborate closely with UNESCO, international experts and the World Heritage Committee in improving the state of conservation of the property. He therefore recommended continued consultation with the State Party rather than immediately considering the inscription of Lumbini on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
III.269 The Representative of ICOMOS, the Delegate of South Africa, and the Observer of the United Kingdom underlined the importance for the authorities, international experts, and UNESCO to examine the results of the survey and base-line information analysis prior to the finalization of the plans for the drainage system, the designing of the "Golden Pavilion" shelter recommended by the April 2001 International Technical Meeting, the conservation of the Maya Devi Temple and planning of the pilgrimage circuit within the core zone of the property.
III.270 The Observer of Nepal expressed her Government's deep appreciation for the continued technical and financial support extended by the World Heritage Committee, international experts and the World Heritage Centre. She assured the Bureau that her Government was taking the appropriate steps in compliance with international conservation norms to ensure that all conservation and presentation interventions were planned after careful consideration of the long term impact such measures would have on the site. She appealed to the Bureau to take note of the political commitment of her Government to the appropriate management of this politically sensitive, religious archaeological site visited by thousands of pilgrims from the international Buddhist community.
III.271 The Bureau, taking note of the information presented by the Secretariat and the national authorities, expressed appreciation to the Government of Nepal, the international experts, and UNESCO for closely co-operating to determine the most appropriate conservation method for the Maya Devi Temple and Lumbini World Heritage property. The Bureau commended the national authorities for the efforts made with UNESCO to compile and analyse information concerning the heritage assets and utilization of this property, necessary to elaborate the guiding principles for the conservation of this fragile but important pilgrimage site. Finally, the Bureau requested the State Party and the Centre to report to the Committee at its twenty-sixth session on the state of conservation of the site and the final plans for addressing the drainage problem, shelter options, and long-term presentation and conservation of the Maya Devi Temple.
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)
III.272 The Bureau, recalling previous discussion concerning the state of conservation of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, examined new information contained in WHC- 01/CONF.207/INF.5, the report of the IUCN/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission organized in September 2001 in close co-operation with the national authorities. The Centre informed the Bureau that the Philippine authorities had nominated the property for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested international assistance to address the conservation issues facing the site.
III.273 The Observer of the Philippines informed the Bureau that his Government welcomes and considers the inscription of the Rice Terraces of the Philippines Cordilleras on the List of World Heritage in Danger, not as a dishonour but on the contrary, as an essential tool for mobilizing effective, decisive and rapid intervention for addressing the threats facing an endangered World Heritage property. Referring to the letter dated 26 November 2001 from the Minister of Tourism and Culture and the Chairperson of the Banaue Rice Terrace Task Force addressed to the Director of the World Heritage Centre, the Observer confirmed his Government's desire for the inscription of this property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
III.274 The Bureau was informed of the concurrence of the Government of the Philippines with the findings and recommendations of the IUCN/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission. In order to address the recommendations of this Mission, the Government of the Philippines was now taking steps to:
- Develop sustainable tourism;
- Establish a permanent and effective body to co-ordinate and lead efforts to restore and protect the property;
- Involve all stakeholders including national government agencies, congressmen, provincial governors, representatives of municipalities, and private individuals in the re-evaluation and updating of the existing management plan for the protection of the site.
III.275 The Observer of the Philippines underscored that the Rice Terraces was a living monument built 1,000 years ago by the genius of the indigenous Ifugao people. Drawing the attention of the Bureau to the recently adopted UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity which encompasses the promotion and protection of indigenous cultures, the Observer of the Philippines expressed his Government's hope that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and its Bureau would favourably endorse the request for international assistance for addressing the conservation and management issues of this traditionally owned and utilized property. Underlining the need to take all necessary measures to reverse the rapidly deteriorating rice terraces, the Observer of the Philippines called upon the Bureau to support the international assistance as a matter of the greatest urgency.
III.276 The Representative of ICOMOS, noting that this property was the first organic cultural landscape to be inscribed on the World Heritage List, drew the attention of the Bureau to the vulnerability of properties such as the Rice Terraces, where the relationship between human land-use and the environment is continuously evolving. He underlined the importance of learning from the experience of the authorities in their efforts to overcome the difficulties faced in sustainably-managing the fragile cultural resources of this property.
III.277 The Bureau recommended the following decision for adoption by the Committee:
"The Committee expresses its appreciation to the Philippine authorities for facilitating the September 2001 IUCN/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the World Heritage site of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, as requested by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session in December 2000. The Committee examines the findings and recommendations of the IUCN/ICOMOS mission and notes with deep concern that:
- The Banaue Rice Terraces Task Force (BRTTF) and the Ifugao Terraces Commission (ITC) have tried to safeguard the property. However, the BRTTF lacks full Government support and needs more resources, greater independence and an assurance of permanence.
- About 25-30% of the terraces are now abandoned, which has lead to damage to some of the walls. This has arisen because parts of the irrigation system have been neglected, which in turn is due to people leaving the area. The situation is also aggravated by the effects of pest species of worms and snails.
- Despite good planning, irregular development is taking place, which threatens to erode the heritage landscape.
- International assistance has so far not been mobilized to help the area.
- The World Heritage values may be lost unless current trends are reversed within 10 years (maximum).
- Little progress has been made in addressing the needs of tourism. For example, access from Manila and within the property remains poor.
The Committee therefore endorses the following recommendations made by the IUCN/ICOMOS mission:
- Establish a permanent and effective body to co-ordinate and lead efforts to restore and protect the Ifugao Rice Terraces.
- Develop a short and long-term strategy for support funding for the Rice Terraces, drawn from national and international sources and from tourism.
- Identify and implement a programme initiative to remedy past neglect of the rice terraces and ensure optimum prospects for future.
- Develop a sustainable tourism industry that supports the future conservation of the rice terraces, placing priority on improving access to and within the site.
- Review existing management plans for further improvement.
- Establish an exchange programme with other World Heritage sites which share similar conservation challenges.
The Committee commends the positive reaction of the Philippines authorities towards the IUCN/ICOMOS mission recommendations and requests that they examine ways and means of implementing these recommendations.
Taking into due consideration the conservation challenges and threats facing the property, the Committee decides to inscribe the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee commends the Philippine authorities for nominating this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, demonstrating positive use of this important mechanism within the World Heritage Convention to mobilise international and national support to address the conservation challenges facing this site.
Finally, the Committee requests the World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Bangkok Office to continue assisting the authorities in the elaboration of a long-term comprehensive management plan for the site. The Committee requests that a progress report on measures taken to elaborate the management plan and to enhance the conservation and development of the property be submitted for examination by the Committee at its twenty-sixth session."
Ancient City of Sigiriya (Sri Lanka)
III.278 The Bureau recalled that it had requested the Government of Sri Lanka to reconsider the proposed expansion of the Sigiriya airport which would impact negatively on the fragile structure of the monument, wall paintings as well as the flora and fauna of the natural reserves surrounding the property. The Centre presented updated information received from the Sri Lankan authorities by letter of 7 December 2001 to the Bureau. Accordingly, the Government of Sri Lanka had decided to accept the recommendations of the UNESCO Reactive Monitoring Mission, organized at the request of the Government authorities:
- Not to shift the operations from the Katunayake Airport to Sigiriya Airport;
- To continue using the present airstrip at Kimbissa only for light aircraft and not for military aircraft;
- To construct a military airport at a distance from the Sigiriya World Heritage property, in Habarana, where there are no archaeological sites nearby.
III.279 The Bureau expressed its appreciation to the Government of Sri Lanka for its decision not to expand the military airport within 2 kilometers of the Sigiriya, which would have negatively impacted upon the World Heritage property. In particular, the Bureau took note with appreciation of the commitment expressed by the Government of Sri Lanka to the World Heritage Convention. The Bureau welcomed with deep satisfaction, this decision taken by the authorities, despite the national security concerns, which demonstrates the importance attached to the safeguarding of this irreplaceable World Heritage site.
Latin American and the Caribbean
III.280 The Bureau was informed that, following its request at the twenty-fourth extraordinary session in December 2000, and in the light of the report submitted by the State Party, a joint UNESCO- ICOMOS mission took place from 5 to 9 November 2001. Twenty specific recommendations were formulated regarding legal framework, local and territorial Master Plans, specific issues related to the conservation and boundaries of the site.
III.281 The Observer of Brazil noted with satisfaction the report on the state of conservation of the site of Brasilia. The Bureau noted the report of the joint UNESCO-ICOMOS mission. It supported the view of the mission that, although changes have occurred to the original concept of the core of the city, the Plano Piloto, the city maintains to date, the values on the basis of which the Plano Piloto was inscribed on the World Heritage List and meets the test of authenticity and integrity.
III.282 The Bureau endorsed the conclusion of the mission that the city is in a critical phase of change and that this process of change needs to be guided with sensibility and vision and a profound understanding and recognition of the characteristics and values of the exceptional urban and architectural creation of Costa and Niemeyer.
III.283 To this effect, it will be necessary to involve all relevant levels of authority, professional organizations and individuals as well as different sectors of society in a process that should lead to the preparation and adoption of a Master Plan for the protected area that fully recognises and ensures the preservation of the values of the city. The protective documents of 1987 (Federal District) and 1990/1992 (IPHAN) as well as the work accomplished by various inter-institutional working groups (Grupo de Trabalho Brasilia, 1980-1987; Grupo de Trabalho Conjunto, 1992-1995) should form the basis for the work that should be undertaken as a matter of urgency.
III.284 The Bureau requested the Government of Brazil to consider the report of the mission and its conclusions and recommendations and to submit a report on the response it plans to give to each of them by 1 February 2002. The state of conservation of Brasilia will be examined again at the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau.
Colonial City of Santo-Domingo (Dominican Republic)
III.285 The Bureau was informed that World Heritage Centre had received information from the Cultural Heritage Office of the Dominican Republic about building activities in Santo Domingo. The State Party requested an ICOMOS advisory mission to discuss the building project. The mission was fielded in August 2001. During the mission, ICOMOS found that a private international hotel chain, acting under a concession given by the previous government of the State Party, was in the process of extending a pre- existing hotel use from three to five buildings, all of which have remnants that date from the 16th century, the earliest settlement period. Original construction of the buildings is attributed to Nicolas de Ovando, founder of Santo Domingo.
III.286 Conceptually, ICOMOS stated, that it was clear that the functional requirements of the proposed new use were incompatible with the existing layout of the buildings. The project's feasibility determinations require far more room than is available in the site. Space for the new functions was being created by incorporating and expanding two structures to the south, and by a massive three-storey deep excavation meant to accommodate partially underground construction (overlooking the river, and abutting the palisade, which is the natural edge of the city), as well as above-ground construction. The programmatic demands for new construction might overwhelm and distort the existing historic fabric in the southern portion of the site. In conclusion, ICOMOS found that damage had already been caused to the historic fabric as well as to the historic urban cultural landscape:
- Walls dating from the 16th to 18th century were demolished in the two buildings being integrated in the hotel;
- Unrecorded archaeological material from the 16th to the 20th century was lost in the process of deep excavation;
- The massive excavation in the patio of the buildings had destroyed the last remaining natural part of the cliff facing the river.
III.287 More damage could be caused by the infra-structural difficulties to be anticipated due to the location of the hotel. A further point raised by ICOMOS was the lack of a reliable legal framework for interventions in the historic district that protect the State Party's heritage effectively. In addition, the Bureau was informed that the Centre had received oral information from the Oficina de Patrimonio Cultural of the State Party that the hotel project has been temporarily halted and that the Oficina had expressed its will to give adequate follow-up to the advisory mission report.
III.288 The Bureau commended the State Party on its initiative to request ICOMOS' advice. At the same time, however, it expressed its grave concerns about the damage already caused to the site through the building activities. It encouraged the State Party to take all possible measures to mitigate the impact of the project on the World Heritage values of the site. Furthermore, the Bureau advised the State Party to improve its heritage protection legislation to avoid comparable situations in the future. The Bureau requested the State party to furnish a report on the state of conservation of the property by 1 February 2002.
Antigua Guatemala (Guatemala)
III.289 The Bureau was informed that, following a request by the State Party, an ICOMOS monitoring mission was carried out from 9 to 12 June 2001. The object of the mission was the proposed construction of a shopping centre in the historic town of Antigua. In fact, the project has been cancelled. However, the mission reported on cases of malfunction in the legislation, which are currently threatening the integrity of the city. The National authorities, very much aware of these problems, have announced that they plan to create a buffer zone, and to submit a request for international assistance for the preparation of a new legislation for Antigua. An emergency request following the earthquake damage is still pending.
III.290 The Bureau commended the State Party for the measures taken to safeguard the World Heritage values of Antigua Guatemala by preventing the construction of a commercial centre within the boundaries of the site. It encouraged the national authorities to implement the recommendations made by the ICOMOS mission in June 2001, in particular the updating of the protective legislation and its Master Plan, which should include the definition of a buffer zone. Awareness-raising programmes are also to be encouraged. The Bureau furthermore encouraged the national authorities to work closely together with the World Heritage Centre concerning the points outlined above.
Fortifications on the Caribbean side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Panama)
III.291 The Bureau was informed that, following its request at the twenty-fifth session, a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was carried out from 3 to 11 November 2001, to report on the recurrent physical and management conditions of the site.
III.292 The Bureau commended the State Party for the work already done in order to safeguard and protect the sites. It encouraged the national authorities to implement the recommendations made by the joint ICOMOS-UNESCO mission in November 2001. The Bureau highlighted the significance of the finalisation and implementation of management plans containing clear structuring of tasks and responsibilities and their explicit distribution amongst the various stakeholders of both sites. It noted that the importance of community involvement at all stages of the process has to be stressed. Special attention should furthermore be given to the following issues:
- Definition of values (statement of significance);
- Definition of sites' borders and buffer zones;
- Clarification of land tenure within and around the sites;
- Harmonisation of planned projects in and around the sites;
- Systematic assessment of the sites' conditions;
- Preparation of the sites for rising number of tourists.
III.293 The Bureau recognized the difficult financial and staffing situation of the National Institute of Culture (INAC) but encouraged INAC to valorise its leading role in the protection and promotion of the State Party's World Heritage sites. The Bureau requested the State Party to furnish a report on the state of implementation of the recommendations and the actions taken by 1 February 2002.
Archaeological site of Chavin (Peru)
III.294 The Bureau was informed of the progress achieved in the maintenance and conservation work carried out at the site. The Observer of Peru also informed the Bureau that the Peruvian authorities would present to the Bureau, in April 2002, a detailed report on progress made in the Master Plan and that a request for international assistance had just been submitted to identify priority activities to be undertaken for the stabilisation and preservation of the site.
III.295 The Bureau wished to acknowledge the great effort the State Party has made to submit a report on this site. However, it urged the State Party to deliver the reports in a timely fashion and in sufficient detail. The Bureau encouraged the national authorities to finalise and implement the Master Plan at the earliest possible date and furthermore encouraged the State Party to work closely together with the World Heritage Centre. The Bureau requested a detailed progress report on the actions taken at the site as well as on the progress in the elaboration and implementation of the Management Plan, to be submitted by 1 February 2002 for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-sixth session.
Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa (Peru)
III.296 The Bureau was informed of activities carried out since the earthquake. The State Party sent a report entitled "Evaluation of Damages in the Historical Centre of Arequipa following the 23 June 2001 earthquake and Draft Reconstruction Plan.
III.297 The emergency assistance approved by the Bureau as its twenty-fifth session is fully implemented, with the removal of rubble, the construction of a temporary roof for the Cathedral to protect it from rain damage, and the temporary stabilisation of the beams of the building. The first mission of an expert in rehabilitation and restoration was undertaken in July 2001 to assist the Municipality of Arequipa to revise the Master Plan in the light of the new situation, setting priority projects, defining a mechanism for the implementation of reconstruction and rehabilitation in the Historical Centre, and assisting the authorities in the formulation of a first project profile to be submitted to the IBD. A second mission, in August 2001, had as goal, the examination of the draft law for the creation of "The Reconstruction Fund for the Historical Centre and Monumental Area of Arequipa" and to "advise on the formulation of the emergency and urban reconstruction programme of Arequipa". Furthermore, the Bureau was informed that, following the earthquake, the management plan of the City has to be completely revised, that the creation of a management unit was still outstanding and that the Centre should carry out a mission at the beginning of 2002.
III.298 The Bureau was also informed of the mission carried out by ICCROM who immediately sent two Chilean experts in June 2001 to assist the Municipality of Arequipa's conservation laboratory for the safeguarding of the movable objects from the damaged monuments. Assistance was also provided to the Municipality of Arequipa bythe Italian Government, the Spanish International Co-operation Agency and the City of Paris.
III.299 During the debate, the Observer of Peru, thanked the Bureau for the rapid response to the request for emergency assistance following the earthquake, and informed the Bureau of the content of the technical report that the Municipality of Arequipa had recently provided concerning the emergency work carried out for the consolidation of the Cathedral. He also informed that a reconstruction plan was under preparation in line with the Master Plan.
III.300 The Bureau noted that the Observer of Peru would inform his national authorities of their recommendation to submit a request for emergency assistance for the preparation of a new Master Plan. It also noted the suggestions made by the Chairperson that the Centre, ICCROM and ICOMOS contact the Embassy of Finland in Lima to ensure the implementation of the recommendations as well as the proposal made by the Delegate of Mexico to share experience gained by his country in the domain of risk preparedness.
III.301 The Bureau wished to take note of the quick response given by the World Heritage Centre and ICCROM. It also noted that following the earthquake a new management plan will have to be developed taking into account the different social, economic, political and religious sectors. The Bureau encouraged the State Party to request technical assistance from the World Heritage Fund for the preparation of this new plan and recommended that the Centre and ICCROM work jointly with national and regional professionals on risk preparedness activities. The State Party is requested to submit a report to the Bureau in 2003.
PART II Reports on the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List for noting
Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh and Naracoorte) (Australia)
III.302 The Bureau was informed that IUCN had received several reports with regard to management problems of the Riversleigh section of this serial site. They pertain to the lack of infrastructure, such as on-site security and surveillance mechanisms, to deter vandalism or control tourism. Vandalism and theft are reported to have impacted one of the most important deposits - 'Burnt Offering Site'. The reports had also expressed concerns regarding the lack of interpretation, absence of a ranger station and visitor centre, and inadequate research funding to support increased interpretation and better conservation and management of the site. IUCN had noted that the management of Naracoorte and Riversleigh differ significantly, having different physical attributes and being the responsibility of different states; however, there is a Scientific and Management Advisory Committee that brings the two management authorities together.
III.303 The Bureau noted that IUCN recognises that currently efforts are underway to address the different challenges in managing this serial site. IUCN has been in contact with the State Party and has received detailed information responding to the issues raised. The Bureau also noted that these issues will be addressed by the State Party in the context of the Asia Pacific regional reporting in 2003.
Greater Blue Mountain Area (Australia)
III.304 In response to the Bureau's request for further information on the proposed Clarence Colliery mine extension before 15 September 2001, the State Party, by letter dated 14 September 2001, submitted up-to-date information to the Centre. The Australian Government has examined the referral from the company regarding the possible extension of the Clarence Colliery mining lease and determined that additional information is required on water emissions from the mine. Current mine de-watering emissions have been determined by the New South Wales Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to exceed statutory water quality standards and have been causing pollution problems in the Wollangambe River, which flows through the World Heritage Area. The company and the EPA have agreed to a plan for a trial water transfer system that if successful, would result in the cessation of mine de-watering emissions to the Wollangambe River. A decision by the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage on the referral on the proposed extension of the Clarence Colliery mining lease has been deferred until after the establishment of the trial water transfer system. It is anticipated that a decision will be made on the referral by mid-2002.
III.305 The Bureau noted with satisfaction the actions taken and the information provided by the State Party and noted that a comprehensive review of this property in the context of the Asia Pacific regional reporting due in 2003 would be provided by the State Party.
Cultural Landscape of Sintra (Portugal)
III.306 The Bureau noted that the State Party has been requested to submit a detailed state of conservation report before the end of December 2001 and that it will be presented to the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau in April 2002.
Global Training Strategy for World Cultural and Natural Heritage
The Global Training Strategy for World Cultural and Natural Heritage, based on working document WHC-01/CONF.208/14, was adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 25th session in Helsinki, Finland, 11-16 December 2001.
Following presentation of various elements of the Global Training Strategy by ICCROM (for cultural heritage) and by the Secretariat (for both cultural and natural heritage) during the 24th Session of the World Heritage Committee held in Cairns, Australia, in December 2000, the Committee asked the Secretariat and ICCROM to produce an integrated synthesis document in collaboration with the other Advisory Bodies for consideration by the Bureau at its 25th session in Paris, in June 2001.
During preparatory meetings in Rome and Paris, in March and April of 2001, the Advisory Bodies and the Centre initiated efforts to produce a single Global Training Strategy integrating concern for cultural and natural heritage. On the advice of the Chair, the initial request by the Committee to produce a synthesis strategy was also extended to include an action plan supporting this strategy. The action plan to be developed was to address in particular:
- Criteria for reviewing of requests of training activities
- Preliminary list of training resources
- Preliminary list of training modules to be developed
Consideration of the revised document was deferred until the 25th Session of the Committee to be held in Helsinki, Finland in December 2001.
This working document has been prepared as a result of the ensuing collaboration among Advisory Bodies and the Secretariat.
The working document includes three further sections:
- A statement of purpose for the WH Global Training Strategy.
- A set of supporting principles, and an exploration of related operational implications, including suggested appropriate follow up actions aimed at strengthening the administrative and operational framework for training, to be undertaken by the Committee, the Secretariat, and the Advisory Bodies. These actions include the need to review and update the criteria for review of requests for training assistance and preparation of a training resources data-base, mentioned above, as well as other measures.
- A Priority Action Plan which outlines particular training initiatives (including suggestions for particular training modules and programmes) in three broad areas (implementation of the Convention, site management and technical and scientific support. Suggestions focus on both thematic and regional priorities.
The purpose of the WH Global Training Strategy is to strengthen conservation of cultural and natural heritage worldwide by increasing the capacity of those responsible for, and involved with, the management and conservation of World Heritage sites.
C. Principles and Operational Framework for Training
- Training is a highly cost-effective means to achieve Committee objectives
Training activities should be recognized as providing important benefits and returns on investment to the various stakeholders, decision-makers, and managers involved with World Heritage. The operational implications of adhering to this principle are the following:
- The World Heritage Committee should give priority to use of training as a means to strengthen implementation of the Convention.
The Committee should ensure that training issues have a prominent place on Bureau and Committee agendas, and ensure budget allocations commensurate with its importance. (Action by the Committee)
- Training initiatives should be designed to attract necessary funding from other public and private sources on the basis of benefits provided. Potential benefits/returns to target audiences should be analysed and taken into account in the design of training activities and programmes.
The Committee should promote benefits/returns coming from training activities to potential partners and supporters, and ensure catalytic use of the World Heritage Fund to attract spending by others. (Action by the Committee)
- Training should be integrated into the World Heritage planning framework
Training should be mainstreamed within the overall World Heritage analysis and decision-making framework, so that training activities can efficiently and effectively respond to inputs from all current planning streams, including the Global Strategy and Periodic Reporting process (at both the international and regional levels). The operational implications of adherence to this approach are the following:
- The World Heritage Committee would benefit from working within a single, strategic planning process, integrating all relevant training inputs and assuring training outputs reflect a synthesis of concerns raised throughout the system. Until such time as the Committee implements a fully unified strategic planning process, training needs should still be identified within all planning streams (such as the Global Strategy and the Periodic Reporting process), and results analyzed together so that appropriate measures can be designed.
- Training needs should be collected from relevant planning streams (Global Strategy, Periodic Reports etc.) and analyzed for presentation to the Committee and development of appropriate responsive actions (Action by the Secretariat and Advisory Bodies)
- Training review should be placed within a cycle of regular reporting to the Bureau and Committee. (Action by the Committee)
- The Committee should adopt an integrated strategic planning process with training as an important element. (Action by the Committee)
- Preference should be given to proactive approaches, which result in training modules and long term strategic programmes designed to respond to priority needs.
- Regular planning of proactive training modules and programmes, internationally and by specific regions, on the basis of training information collected from planning streams, evaluation of reports of specific training exercises, and periodic review of the global training strategy (Action by the Secretariat, Advisory Bodies, and others)
- A periodical synthesis meeting on training needs and issues resulting in specific training programme proposals to be presented to the Committee. (Action by the Secretariat and Advisory Bodies)
- Responses to individual training proposals from States Parties should be assessed relative to the criteria developed by Advisory Bodies for review of requests for training assistance, adjusted to reflect periodically updated assessments of priority needs. Where possible, these requests should be placed within the framework of existing and planned training initiatives.
- The criteria and check list developed by ICCROM in Nov. 1998 to assist the Committee to review requests for cultural heritage training assistance should be reviewed to integrate concern for natural heritage, and updated to reflect current circumstances and priorities. (Action by ICCROM, the Centre and Advisory Bodies).
- Criteria used by the Secretariat and Advisory Bodies to review training requests should be adopted by the Committee and annexed to the Operational Guidelines. (Action by the Committee)
- Commitment to high impact, professionally organised training activities
World Heritage training programmes and activities should be planned to make best use of existing resources and acquired experiences in order to achieve desired objectives. The operational implications of adherence to this principle are the following:
- A commitment should be made to the use of professionally developed training methodologies, targeted to clearly defined learning objectives. Methodologies should integrate use of "best practice" case studies, and results of evaluations of past training experiences, with a view to short term and long term improvements in efficiency, sustainability, and quality.
- Preparation of a "Guidelines for organising effective World Heritage training activities" document. Use of such guidelines would be a prerequisite for the preparation of integrated World Heritage training programmes and in the preparation of requests for training assistance by States Parties. (Action by the Advisory Bodies and the Secretariat)
- Required evaluations for each World Heritage training activity should be systematically collected by the Secretariat and Advisory Bodies for use in planning of training activities. (Action by the Secretariat and the Advisory Bodies)
- Systematic collection of case study data should be undertaken for easy reference and use in training situations. (Action by the Secretariat and the Advisory Bodies)
- Experienced trainers and training institutions (operational at the national, regional, and/or international levels), where available, should be used for training activities. These trainers and institutions would both support and benefit from the World Heritage training activities.
- Establishment of a World Heritage training database. This database would include information on criteria used in assessment of training requests, reports of past training activities, updated regional training strategy overviews, reports prepared by Advisory Bodies and others, a directory of training centres and trainers qualified to support World Heritage training initiatives, and possible funding sources. (Action by the Secretariat and the Advisory Bodies. Note: this database could be linked to the already existing ICCROM training directory, and other ICCROM and World Heritage Centre's data- bases. This World Heritage training data-base, still to be fully refined, would respond to the Committee's interest in a list of training resources for World Heritage.)
- A global network of institutions involved with World Heritage training should be built, maintained, and linked to the Advisory Bodies and to the Secretariat. (Action by the Secretariat and the Advisory Bodies.)
- Consideration should be given to establishing a fellowship programme that would, as in the previous Hungarian proposals on the subject, provide ongoing forums for sharing of experiences among those in developed and developing countries, and result over time in a network of experienced professionals and managers for World Heritage. (Action by the Centre, and States Parties).
- Where practical, training components should be included in all conservation activities planned for World Heritage sites.
- ICOMOS and IUCN evaluation missions should include training components where possible. (Action by ICOMOS and IUCN, in agreement with States Parties)
- States Parties should be encouraged to include training components within their requests for technical assistance for site-based work. Inclusion of a training component could become one criterion for assessment of the request. (Action by States Parties, Advisory Bodies, and the Secretariat.)
D. Priority Action Plan
In the Global Training Strategy document prepared by ICCROM for the World Heritage Committee, and presented in Cairns (Dec. 2000), the strategic emphasis was placed on proactive, programmatic solutions to training needs. The strategy called for development of both off-the-shelf training modules and programmes at both the international and regional levels. Initiatives at the international level were proposed to address global themes or issues of concern for the better implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Regional components were to be designed to meet the specific needs and cultural contexts of a given region and its heritage. One example of this approach, at the regional level, is the AFRICA 2009 Programme, which is now moving from its pilot phase to a consolidation phase.
The Secretariat in a presentation to the 25th session of the Bureau in June 2001 on future orientations for international assistance, reinforced the importance of a programmatic approach, and suggested the importance of developing thematic programmes, addressed to priority themes, with selective implementation on a sub-regional basis. An example of this approach, endorsed by the Committee in 1996, is ICCROM's ITUC (Integrated Territorial and Urban Conservation) programme, focussed on a particular conservation approach, supported by seminars and research carried out at the international level, and tests of applied methodologies at regional levels.
An overall training strategy for World Heritage would include both training modules available off-the-shelf, and long term training programmes both targeting priority regions within which important themes are addressed, and priority themes and their application in selected regions, (the choice of particular instruments depending on context and circumstances).
Priority areas for the development of training modules and programmes have been identified below, based on analysis carried out during the Global Training Strategy exercise. (Note that priorities will change with time, and should be reviewed periodically.)
Efforts should be made to promote use and integration of existing initiatives within long term training programmes, such as the Best Practice Guidelines Series of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, the currently available volumes of the UNESCO/ICCROM/ICOMOS Management Guidelines series, and curricular materials emerging from ICCROM's ITUC programme for integrated management of historic cities and landscapes, among others developed and successfully tested by renowned institutions worldwide.
It is expected that the priorities identified below will provide a basis from which training proposals prepared periodically by the Centre and the Advisory Bodies will be drawn and updated. The next step in the implementation of the Global Training Strategy would be the development of a 5 to 10 year framework programme outlining specific recommended modules and programmes to be developed thematically, and by regions.
Area 1: Improvement of implementation of the World Heritage Convention
The emphasis in the following actions should be on providing clear, easy to understand materials for those involved in the implementation of the Convention. Specific requirements of the Convention should be demystified, and where possible put into specific cultural contexts.
- Development of an illustrated guide to the Operational Guidelines, which would include well developed case studies and other descriptive materials.
- Production and dissemination of off-the-shelf World Heritage training modules on selected themes such as the nomination process, the periodic reporting process, development of tentative lists, reactive monitoring, the global strategy, a general introduction to World Heritage, etc. These training modules should be designed to be adaptable to specific regional and national situations.
Area 2: Improvement of on-site management of World Heritage properties.
The emphasis here should be on promoting integrated, sustainable, and participatory approaches to conservation and management of heritage properties based on retention of their significant heritage values.
Current priorities for development would include:
- Tourism management
- Cultural landscape management
- Integrated approaches to historic city management
- Risk preparedness
- Citizen involvement in management
- Continued development of the UNESCO/ICCROM/ICOMOS Management Guidelines series, including translation of existing volumes into key languages, the development of volumes in new subject areas, and accompaniment of various Management Guidelines by related technical notes. These should be seen as offering useful guidance in their own right, but also as comprising core materials within training modules.
- Production of compendia of standards, charters, conventions, and recommendations as previously published by UNESCO, and the Advisory Bodies.
- Development of off-the-shelf training modules (possibly to be included in long term programmes), in the particular areas of risk preparedness, the management of cultural landscapes, the integrated conservation and management of historic cities, the development of monitoring strategies within site management, tourism management, and participatory management planning.
Area 3: Strengthening of technical, scientific, and traditional skills for conservation of cultural and natural heritage.
Emphasis here should be initiatives, which focus on technical, scientific, and traditional conservation processes. For cultural heritage, this could include techniques and practices relevant for conservation of materials such as stone, wood, earth, thatch, and decorated surfaces. For natural heritage, this should include an emphasis on measures for measuring and promoting ecological integrity of particular sites. Training in Area 3 should also address specific technical skills useful in identifying, understanding and managing properties of heritage value.
Priority areas for development at present would include:
- Conservation of masonry
- Conservation of decorated plaster surfaces (mural paintings)
- Development of inventories and evaluation systems
- Use of GIS and other mapping tools
- Development of indicators for use in monitoring management effectiveness
- Integrating parks into the surrounding landscape
- Negotiation and conflict management
- Development of off-the-shelf training modules in core areas (possibly to be integrated in later programmes), for the general priority areas mentioned above.
Speeches of the Young People's Presentation
"World Heritage in Young Hands"
Mr. Richard Dawson from Peru
Je suis content de participer à la réunion ici à Helsinki pour présenter quelques résultats du Premier Forum des Jeunes sur le Patrimoine mondial et concernant le tourisme et le développement durable qui s'est tenu à Lima en mars dernier.
Nous les Patrimonitos venant de 18 pays de l'Amérique latine et des Caraïbes, nous avons affirmé :
- Que l'éducation en faveur du patrimoine pour les jeunes est importante pour le développement durable.
- La connaissance et l'application de la Convention concernant la protection du Patrimoine mondial culturel et naturel est nécessaire pour faire face aux défis du 21ème siècle.
- Il faut d'abord connaître le passé afin de comprendre le présent et construire un meilleur avenir.
- Donner à tous les jeunes une éducation relative au Patrimoine mondial.
En août 2001 un atelier national important a été organisé au Belize sur le Patrimoine mondial et maritime pour des élèves des écoles associées de l'UNESCO et des jeunes défavorisés.
Je souhaite présenter au Président du Comité du Patrimoine mondial le rapport de notre Forum au Pérou et les Recommandations de Belize.
Mr. Per Kristian Krohn from Norway and Ms. Tiina Helin from Finland
In 2001 two important World Heritage Education events were held in the Nordic countries:
- Third European Course in Restoration for Youth, Røros, Norway and
- The 10th International Youth Forum in the World Heritage education project was held in Karlskrona, Sweden in September 2001.
Teachers and students from 29 countries gathered at the Swedish World Heritage site of the Naval Port of Karlskrona on the Swedish West Coast.
For the Youth Forum a theme was chosen:
The theme was:
Both sides of the coin - how can the dark and the light sides of my World Heritage help me understand the past, the present and the future?
Before the Forum, schools were twinned and worked on topics such as:
- How will environmental degradation affect our World Heritage site and what can we do to help?
- How can tourism affect our World Heritage site? Will the larger amount of jobs counterbalance the increase in traffic, pollution etc?
All participants worked on the Karlskrona recommendations, which concern the future of the World Heritage Education Project and we would like to quote two of them:
- The World Heritage Committee should consider requesting States Parties to report periodically on the national implementation of Article 27 of the Convention, with particular regard to heritage education and the implementation of the World Heritage Education project in their respective countries.
- We recommend that increased attention should be given to the valuable contribution of the oral narrative and other forms of oral narrative of intangible cultural traditions as an integral part of conservation and interpretations of World Heritage sites.
We now have the pleasure to present the Karlskrona recommendations to the president of the World Heritage Committee as well as a copy of the Finnish version of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Kit, which was just released last night.
Ms. Djimbou N'Diaye from Senegal
Pour le 30ème anniversaire de la Convention pour la protection du patrimoine mondial culturel et naturel, et à l'occasion de l'Année internationale pour le patrimoine culturel en 2002 nous Patrimonitos, nous proposons aux pays :
- d'élaborer des plans nationaux d'action pour l'éducation relative au Patrimoine mondial.
- de lancer à travers le monde entier, des journées portes ouvertes sur les sites du Patrimoine mondial pour les jeunes, du 10 au 17 novembre 2002
- d'organiser la célébration de journées spéciales du Patrimoine mondial.
- Nous demandons aux écoles de produire et de présenter un travail artistique ayant trait aux sites du Patrimoine mondial et l'UNESCO sélectionnera les meilleurs pour les inclure dans une exposition itinérante.
Nous proposons que l'UNESCO nous aide à organiser :
- une série de marathons (à vélo, à pieds et à la chaise roulante) pour des élèves a côté ou autour des sites du Patrimoine mondial pendant toute l'année 2002.
- des olympiades culturelles
- des caravanes pour les jeunes pour découvrir le Patrimoine mondial par bus, train ou bateau.
Je voudrais saisir l'occasion qui m'est offerte pour exprimer au nom des Patrimonitos de notre Atelier international, toute notre gratitude au Président de la République de Finlande son excellence Madame Tarja Halonen pour avoir reconnu et soutenu le Projet UNESCO "Patrimoine mondial entre les mains des jeunes".
Nos remerciements vont aussi au Président et aux membres du Comité du Patrimoine mondial pour nous avoir permis de partager avec vous nos idées et nos propositions sur l'éducation relative au Patrimoine mondial.
Nous remercions aussi la Commission nationale finlandaise pour l'UNESCO, le ministère de l'éducation nationale et la coordination des écoles associées de nous avoir permis de nous réunir cette semaine à Helsinki en même temps que le Comité pour le Patrimoine mondial. Nous remercions l'UNESCO, le Directeur du Centre du Patrimoine mondial et l'Agence norvégienne pour le développement et la coopération pour toute leur assistance.
Nous avons certes des idées, de la volonté et de l'engagement mais, nous avons besoin de votre soutien tant au niveau local, national qu'international pour réaliser nos objectifs. Ensemble, nous les jeunes avec vous les spécialistes du Patrimoine mondial, nous pouvons agir pour protéger et sauvegarder notre précieux Patrimoine mondial pour les générations présentes et futures.
Je vous remercie.
Item 18 of the Agenda: Provisional Agenda and Timetable of the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO Headquarters, 8-13 April 2002)
Helsinki, 15 December 2001
UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL,SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL
CONVENTION CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF THE WORLD CULTURAL
AND NATURAL HERITAGE
WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
11 - 16 December 2000
- Opening of the session by the Director-General of UNESCO or his representative
- Adoption of the agenda and the timetable
PROGRESS REPORTS ON REFORMS AND STRATEGIC REFLECTION
- Policy/legal issues concerning inscription of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the potential deletion of properties from the World Heritage List
- Oral report on the progress for the revision of the Operational Guidelines
- World Heritage visual identity and legal protection of the Emblem
- Progress report on the analyses of the World Heritage List and Tentative Lists and the identification of underrepresented categories of natural and cultural heritage
- Discussion on the relationship between the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO
- Progress report on the preparation of the proposed Strategic Orientations of the World Heritage Committee and revised structure of the budget of the World Heritage Fund
- Progress report on the preparation of the Budapest Declaration on World Heritage
- Progress report on the organisation of events to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2002
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION
- Reports on state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger
- 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 and timetable of the twenty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee (Budapest, Hungary, 24-29 June 2002)
- Other business
- Adoption of the report of the session
- Closure of the session
|Time||MONDAY, 8 APRIL|
|TUESDAY, 9 APRIL|
|WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL|
|THURSDAY, 11 APRIL|
|SATURDAY, 13 APRIL|
|1. Opening of the session by the Director-General of UNESCO or his representative||4. Oral report on the progress for the revision of the Operational Guidelines||8. Progress report on the preparation of the proposed Strategic Orientations of the World Heritage Committee and revised structure of the budget of the World Heritage Fund||11. Reports on state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger||13. Requests for international assistance||REPORT PREPARATION BY THE SECRETARIAT|
|2. Adoption of the agenda and the timetable||5. World Heritage visual identity and legal protection of the Emblem||14. Provisional agenda and timetable of the twenty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee (24-29 June 2002)|
|3. Policy/legal issues concerning inscription of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the potential deletion of properties from the World Heritage List||15. Other business|
Policy/legal issues concerning inscription of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the potential deletion of properties from the World Heritage List
|6. Progress report on the analyses of the World Heritage List and Tentative Lists and the
identification of underrepresented categories of natural and cultural heritage
7. Discussion on the relationship between the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO
|9. Progress report on the preparation of the Budapest Declaration on World Heritage||12. 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||REPORT PREPARATION BY THE SECRETARIAT||16. Adoption of the report of the session|
17. Closure of the session
|10. Progress report on the organisation of events to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2002|
Item 19 of the Agenda: Date, place, provisional Agenda and Timetable of the twenty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee (Budapest, Hungary, 24-29 June 2002)
Helsinki, 15 December 2001
UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL,SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL
CONVENTION CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF THE WORLD CULTURAL
AND NATURAL HERITAGE
WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE
11 - 16 December 2000
CELEBRATION OF THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION
- Welcome by the Director-General of UNESCO or his representative
- Reports on 30 years of the World Heritage Convention
OPENING OF THE SESSION
- Adoption of the agenda and the timetable
- Report of the Rapporteur on the twenty-sixth ordinary session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee
- Report of the Secretariat on the activities undertaken since the 25th session of the Committee
PROGRESS REPORTS ON REFORMS AND STRATEGIC REFLECTION
- Ways and means to reinforce the implementation of the World Heritage Convention
- Policy/legal issues concerning inscription of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the potential deletion of properties from the World Heritage List
- Progress made in assisting Afghanistan in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention
- Revision of the Operational Guidelines
- World Heritage visual identity and legal protection of the Emblem
- Progress report on the analyses of the World Heritage List and Tentative Lists and the identification of underrepresented categories of natural and cultural heritage
- Discussion on the relationship between the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO
- Progress report on the preparation of the proposed Strategic Orientations of the World Heritage Committee and revised structure of the budget of the World Heritage Fund
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION
- Periodic Reporting: Report on the state of the World Heritage in Africa, 2001
- State of conservation of properties inscribed on List of World Heritage in Danger and 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
- Adjustments to the World Heritage Fund Budget for 2002-2003
- International assistance
- Revision of the Rules of Procedures of the World Heritage Committee
- The Budapest Declaration on World Heritage
- Provisional agenda and timetable of the twenty-seventh session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee (April 2003)
- Provisional agenda and timetable of the twenty-seventh session of the World Heritage Committee (June 2003)
- Other business
- Adoption of the report of the session
- Closure of the session
|TIME||MONDAY, 24 JUNE||TUESDAY, 25 JUNE||WEDNESDAY, 26 JUNE||THURSDAY, 27 JUNE||FRIDAY, 28 JUNE||SATURDAY, 29 JUNE|
|1. Welcome by the Director-General of UNESCO or his representative||6. Ways and means to reinforce the implementation World Heritage Convention||11. Progress report on the analyses of the World Heritage List and Tentative Lists and the identification of underrepresented categories of natural and cultural heritage||14. Periodic Reporting: Report on the state of the World Heritage in Africa, 2001||17. Adjustments to the World Heritage Fund Budget for 2002-2003||REPORT PREPARATION BY THE SECRETARIAT|
|2. Reports on 30 years of the World Heritage Convention||7. Policy/legal issues concerning inscription of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the potential deletion of properties from the World Heritage List||18. International Assistance|
|8. Progress made in assisting Afghanistan in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention||12. Discussion on the relationship between the World Heritage Committee and the other UNESCO bodies||15. State of conservation of properties inscribed on List of World Heritage in Danger and on the World Heritage List||19. The Budapest Declaration on World Heritage|
|20. Provisional agenda and timetable of the twenty-seventh session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee (April 2003)|
|21. Provisional agenda and timetable of the twenty-seventh session of the World Heritage Committee (June 2003)|
|22. Other business|
|3. Adoption of the agenda and the timetable||9. Revision of the Operational Guidelines||13. Progress report on the preparation of the proposed Strategic Orientations of the World Heritage Committee and revised structure of the budget of the World Heritage Fund||16. 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||REPORT PREPARATION BY THE SECRETARIAT||23. Adoption of the report of the session|
|4. Report of the Rapporteur on the twenty-sixth ordinary session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee||10. World Heritage visual identity and legal protection of the World Heritage Emblem||5. Report of the Secretariat on the activities undertaken since the 25th session of the Committee||24. Closure of the session|