Leaders from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau will visit Tongariro National Park in New Zealand. The intention of the study tour is to demonstrate to traditional and elected leaders the benefits of the World Heritage Convention as well as its application in a real context.
As a follow-up to the Periodic Reporting exercise for Asia and the Pacific in 2003, a World Heritage Programme for the Pacific (World Heritage - Pacific 2009) was approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session in Paris (29 June-5 July 2003). The Programme, with financial support from the Nordic World Heritage Foundation and the Italian government, was launched from 17-22 October 2004 at Tongariro National Park, New Zealand.
Among other critical issues, the participants of the Tongariro workshop in 2004 indicated the need for increased awareness concerning World Heritage among stakeholders, as well as support from local politicians and leaders in achieving World Heritage nominations from the Pacific. Enhancing awareness can be achieved through workshops and visits by decision makers within the region to existing or potential World Heritage sites.