Progress Report on Global Strategy and Thematic and Comparative Studies: Global Strategy for Cultural Heritage
A.1 Follow up to the Harare Meeting (1995)
IX.1 The proceedings of the First Global strategy meeting held in Harare (Zimbabwe) from 11 to 13 October 1995, were published as an illustrated document disseminated in Africa through UNESCO Offices and National Commissions for UNESCO. As a result of this meeting and thanks to preparatory assistance, Zimbabwe organized another sub-regional meeting in November 1996, to harmonize the tentative lists, and which was attended by ten countries. The experts, who had already participated in the 1995 meeting, undertook to finalize their tentative lists and to send them to the World Heritage Centre at the beginning of 1997.
A.2 Second Global Strategy Meeting (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 29 July-1 August 1996)
IX.2 This meeting, decided by the World Heritage Committee during its nineteenth session, was prepared by the Centre and ICOMOS. Its goal was to improve the representativity of the World Heritage List. It was preceded by a meeting, on 6 May 1996, of an international Scientific Committee.
IX.3 The Addis Ababa meeting was attended by representatives from seven countries (Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Niger and Uganda). It was organized around four themes:
- The Convention, the notion of cultural heritage today and African heritage
- Archaeological heritage
- Historical heritage, human settlements and living cultures
- Religious places, places of technical production, cultural itineraries and trade routes.
IX.4 The African experts presented a report on major cultural heritage in their countries, emphasizing important sites. They confirmed and illustrated the extraordinary wealth and diversity of cultural heritage of this regional of Africa. Through the examples presented significant groupings became evident. Three of these types of cultural sites requiring specific approaches were identified during discussions:
- archaeological and historical heritage
- traditional architecture and material traces of living non-monumental cultures, including technical heritage and unbuilt sacred places
- routes, itineraries, vast natural zones where traditional populations live.
IX.5 At the end of this meeting, the participants concluded that it was unnecessary presently to modify the cultural criteria in their actual form, but that in the application of the Convention account should be taken of: i) the total interaction of the nature-culture continuum in African societies; ii) the spiritual and sacred heritage and its physical supports; iii) the specificities of cultural landscapes and exchange routes in Africa. They thanked the Committee for their assistance in the organization of the meeting which allowed them to become more familiar with the Convention and provide a basis for reflection concerning the specificities of African cultural heritage.
IX.6 Publication of the proceedings of the meeting in the form of a bilingual scientific publication, in collaboration with the African Research Centre of the University of Paris I is under preparation. The synthetic report of the Addis Abeba meeting was distributed as Information Document WHC-96/CONF.201/INF.7.