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Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán, proposed by Mexico as a best practice, is interesting as a case study for the following aspects: integrated attention, interdisciplinary program, integral conservation of immovable and movable property, constant relationship with adjacent communities, Investigation Program, placement of protection fences, agreement of collaboration with National Park of Mesa Verde (USA), diverse strategies for diffusion of cultural heritages and centre of documentation and investigation.

Summary provided by State Party

The Management Plan of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán has contributed to the innovation of strategies and actions for the integral conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the archaeological site. The following are listed:

Area of Maintenance and Services

Maintenance Program of the Archaeological Site and Site Museum of Monte Albán, Waste Waters Treatment Plant, nursery for the reproduction endemic plants in the archaeological site, compost of organic waste for the reproduction of endemic plants, operation Infrastructure and infrastructure of accessibility.

Area Security

Establishment of a Security area, program of Attention to Fires in the Buffer zone of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán, attention to the Visitors of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán, training Program for Forest Fires, First Aids and Prevention of Natural Disasters, program of Security and Prevention of Disasters of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán, equipment to combat forest fires in the archaeological site and Site Museum, camp and unit of services.

Area of Conservation and Investigation

Project Placement of Contention Walls with the help of gabions, project of Cover for the Gallery of Dancers, management of Natural Resources Program, emergent Project of Conservation (earthquake 1999), program of Environmental Monitoring of the tombs 104 and 105 of Monte Albán and eismic Monitoring to determine the structural behavior of the archaeological site of Monte Albán, project of Archaeological Rescue of the Monumental Ensemble of Atzompa, program of Registration and Documentation in 3D image of the collection of Carved Stele of Monte Albán, project of Rescue of Cultural Landscapes, etc.

Legal Area and Buffer Zone of Monte Albán

Establishment of the Legal Area of Monte Albán, program of Rescues and Salvage of the Buffer Zone of Monte Albán, program of Reforestation in the Area of Archaeological Monuments and Buffer zone, program of Social Linking. Social, government actors and academics for the protection and integral conservation of Monte Albán and project of Perimeter fence of the Buffer zone of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán.

Area of Diffusion and Educational Services

Program of Temporary Exhibitions, Round Tables of Monte Albán, Educational Services, Voluntary Custodians: Children and youths conserving the heritage (World Heritage in Young Hands), Anniversaries of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán as World Heritage, Social Service Program and Academic institutions.

Centre of Documentation and Investigation on the Management of Archaeological World Heritage Sites

Program of documental exchange with Academic Institutions: ICCROM, CIESAS, National Park Service, UNESCO, INAH, Graduate Course in Management of Cultural Resources and courses on Documentation Systems and Inventories of Cultural Resources in World Heritage Sites, Documentation Systems in Digital Photography, Conventional Photography and Systems of Three-dimensional Capture, and Permanent Programs for the Management of Archaeological World Heritage Sites.

Administrative area

Establishment of the Self-generated Resources 1998-2004 (INAH), Basic expense of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán (INAH) and the Project Management Plan of the Archaeological Site of Monte Albán (INAH).

Obtained Funds

Emergent Fund of the World Heritage (UNESCO), World Monuments Fund, Ambassadors Fund, Alfredo Harp Helú Foundation, Tequio cultural por Monte Albán: Francisco Toledo y Rodolfo Morales, Government of Japan, National Park Service, Sister Program: Mesa Verde, Paquime, Monte Albán, State Government of Oaxaca, General Government Secretariat, SEDESOL and SEDAF.

One-off Initiative for the recognition of best practices

The World Heritage Capacity Building Strategy, adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2011, responds to the identified needs of a diverse and growing audience for capacity building for World Heritage conservation and management activities. Development of resource materials such as best practice case studies and communication tools are among the activities foreseen by the strategy to improve these capacities.

An example of an innovative capacity building initiative is the recently concluded Recognition of Best Practice in World Heritage Management. This initiative, requested by the World Heritage Committee and carried out within the framework of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2012, solicited applications from World Heritage properties which had demonstrated new and creative ways of managing their sites. Twenty-three submissions were received and evaluated by a 10-member international selection committee which included the representatives of the Convention’s Advisory Bodies, ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN. The Historic Town of Vigan in the Philippines was chosen as a best practice achieved with relatively limited resources, a good integration of the local community in many aspects of the sustainable conservation and management of the property and with an interesting multi-faceted approach to the protection of the site.

Management practices recognized as being successful and sustainable can include everything from involving local people in site management, to creating innovative policies and regulating tourism. There are sites that include students from local schools in the management of the site (Slovenia), train local inhabitants as tour guides (Peru), or even put up nylon fences to protect villagers from straying tigers from the Sundarbans National Park (India). Sharing these practices helps other sites find solutions that work.

This initiative provides incentives for States Parties and site managers to reflect on their management practices and explore improvement possibilities.