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Committee Decisions

CONF 203 XII.1-12

Review of the Proposed Training Strategy

XII.1 The Centre presented Document WHC-95/CONF.203/9 in which section A focused on Natural Heritage and section B focused on Cultural Heritage sites.

A. Natural Heritage

XII.2 An Information Document "Strategy for Training in the Field of Natural Heritage" WHC-95/CONF.203/INF.11A was tabled. The session began with a background statement referring to state Party responsibilities in Article 5 (e) of the Convention and to the assistance available for training in Article 22 (c). Training is defined as a broadly encompassing term that includes education, training and promotion.

XII.3 The Centre noted that while there has been general satisfaction with Convention-sponsored training programmes there was a need to put forward a coherent and pro-active programme. The purpose and objectives were established as follows:

"the purposes and objectives of the natural heritage training strategy is to enhance the capacity of all states Parties to identify, protect, conserve and present the natural heritage."

Five objectives were noted.

XII.4 The Centre presented four strategic actions which are spelt out in detail in Document WHC-95/CONF.203/9. It was noted that curricula and other training materials were the major shortcoming in the field of natural heritage. During the discussion it was further noted that there was a need to train teachers and to train the trainers, so as to gain maximum effectiveness. There was also an expression for the need to address the integration of cultural and natural values in training programmes. An additional point was the need for regular, regionally-based seminars, and the Delegate of Niger made a proposal for such a seminar in Africa.

XII.5 A concern was also expressed that care should be taken to ensure a geographic balance in training commitments. There was further concern that training modules must address consideration of ethical, environmental, economic and social relationships between nature conservation, sustainable resource use and local peoples. A text was prepared on this subject and agreed to by the state Parties concerned.

XII.6 At the close of the session the strategy was adopted as a basis for future development of the programme in cooperation with the advisory bodies. A budgetary proposal was presented and was considered under that item of the agenda.

B. Cultural Heritage

XII.7 When presenting the Document WHC-95/CONF.203/9, it was recalled that at the request of the World Heritage Committee, the Bureau during its eighteenth session (July 1994) examined expenditure incurred in the field of training from 1988 to 1992 and concluded that the World Heritage Centre should organize an evaluation seminar to define a new training strategy in the field of cultural heritage conservation. However, no budgetary provisions had been foreseen for this activity and the World Heritage Committee, during its eighteenth session in December 1994, did not recommend this proposal, although it had approved US$ 30,000 for the preparation of a training strategy for managers of cultural sites.

XII.8 Faced with this situation, the Director of the Centre asked ICCROM to prepare a proposal, which was distributed during the nineteenth session of the Bureau in July 1995, then transmitted to a certain number of partners of ICCROM and the Centre. The Document WHC- 95/CONF.203/INF.11B, which reflects the results of these consultations, establishes the conceptual and methodological framework which will serve as a basis for the elaboration of a training strategy. It analyses the content of the training programme and career structures, in relation to the types of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, without however proposing platforms for actions adapted to each geo-cultural region. However, the Centre and ICCROM considered that the training strategy for cultural properties should take account of the analysis of the specificities of each region and should be based on an evaluation of their needs. It therefore proposes to begin in 1996 an information gathering process at the national and regional levels, in order to better identify the priorities and the regional and sub-regional institutions with which partnership links could be established.

XII.9 In his presentation, the Representative of ICCROM emphasized the complexity of the field of conservation of cultural heritage which is due to its great diversity of cultural heritage in the different parts of the world and which was discussed during the Nara meeting on authenticity in 1994. Among the target groups that should be involved in education and training programmes, he mentioned conservation professionals, technicians and craftpersons, politicians and decision-makers, as well as the public at large and the media, particularly television and the press.

XII.10 He emphasized the necessity to ensure the participation of the states Parties through a process which should include a survey that would be carried out by the states Parties, of their training needs, as well as discussions on regional meetings in order to identify the role of international collaboration in this context. The current programme of ICCROM aims, in fact, at the capacity-building of institutions and professional networks all over the world. ICCROM's aim is to identify areas with similar problems and concerns in order to launch thematic programmes. An example is a programme being developed by ICCROM on the conservation management of historic towns; an international training programme on the conservation of World Heritage cities shall be organized in 1997.

XII.11 During the course of the debate thirteen members of the Committee and the Representative of ICOMOS intervened and expressed their satisfaction with both documents, prepared respectively by the World Heritage Centre and ICCROM. They underlined the importance of training, being a necessary and indispensable condition for the conservation of cultural heritage and approved the regional and thematic approach that was being proposed. Having regretted the imbalance of training programmes between Europe and the rest of the world, they expressed their concern that this situation be remedied, which in the view of one member of the Committee, is one of the reasons of the weak representation of Africa on the World Heritage List. Two delegates requested that the Mediterranean as a region should receive greater attention. Some speakers also mentioned the complementarity of international courses for the training of trainers, regional courses for conservators, architects and other specialists and national courses for the training of technical personnel. They encouraged the Centre to pursue the in situ training and to include the craftsmen who are the holders of precious and indispensable knowledge in conservation of more fragile structures, such as earth or wood. Some interventions highlighted the use of educational videos and long-distance teaching.

XII.12 The Committee supported the proposals for the establishment of an inventory of conservation needs based on questionnaires which will be sent to national authorities responsible for heritage protection, and requested that regional training institutes be identified and participate in the elaboration of programmes which combine theoretical and practical approaches adapted to local realities. Moreover, the Committee requested the Centre to adopt an "integrated" approach, and elaborate training programmes for both managers of natural and cultural sites. This reflection should be carried out in cooperation with the advisory bodies (IUCN, ICOMOS and ICCROM). A member of the Committee, having noted that the World Heritage Fund was unable to respond to all the training needs, requested that efforts be made to seek additional funding for training activities. The Committee supported the proposals for 1996 and expressed the wish that a budgetary allocation be made for the implementation of this strategy.

XII.13 At the end of the debate, the Chairperson requested the Director of the Centre to rectify the imbalance in the field of training, and to grant substantial assistance to African States Parties. The Director of the Centre undertook to request the advisory bodies, during the meeting which will be held in February 1996 at the Centre, in Paris, to make proposals for training programmes for managers of cultural and natural sites. He said that a budgetary line would be foreseen to implement a veritable training strategy for cultural properties.


Themes: Capacity Building
Session: 19COM