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Application of Information Technology in the Protection of World Heritage Sites

This training workshop was organized from February 17 to March 4, 2004 in Cairo, Egypt and environs. It was aimed at identifying and developing human resources in the Arab Region in documenting World Heritage sites.
The proposed workshops brought together young professionals nominated by regional state governments for training in basic and advanced recording, documentation and information systems for World Heritage sites.
This first initiative integrates a long-term vision for capacity building in the region and provides a solution to the issues exposed in the document entitled ‘Regional Programme for the Arab States’ presented to the World Heritage Committee in Paris on May 2003', which states:
- Lack of World Heritage management and information exchange capacities: they do not have an integrated information management or the technology for information exchanges.
- Lack of adequate documentation at the sites: the nomination dossiers prior to 1997 rarely contain up-to-date topographical maps, geographic coordinates, photos, recent bibliographies, etc., provided by the conservation services and the Sites. With rare exceptions, the sites have not produced comprehensive maps or measurements defining the boundaries and buffer zones. This lack of information is very detrimental to the conservation of heritage properties, because it prevents the establishment of a coherent system of legal protection, monitoring and maintenance.
The training program was led by qualified instructors from both international and regional institutions. This interdisciplinary group of experts has an extensive experience in mapping and conserving world heritage sites.
The training has been organized in cooperation with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Ministry of Information and Telecommunication's Centre for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT). CULTNAT brings a young and qualified staff and excellent facilities to this event.