The Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre participates in the international scientific meeting on the “Heritage Impact Assessment: A Tool for the Protection and Safeguarding of World Heritage”

On 26 November 2020, the Foundation for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Rabat, in partnership with the Ministry Of Youth Culture And Sports and UNESCO, organised an international scientific meeting on the “Heritage impact assessment: a tool for the protection and safeguarding of World Heritage”. The online conference brought together high-level representatives from the Moroccan government and UNESCO, representatives of the advisory bodies, site managers and several leading experts from the private and public sectors and academia for a discussion on the role of Heritage Impact Assessments to ensure the preservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage sites, and the need to integrate these studies into legislation, planning mechanisms, management plans and project evaluation prior to undertaking major interventions in and around World Heritage properties.

Due to the growing numbers of major urban development projects within the World Heritage properties and their buffer zones, UNESCO has been recommending State Parties to deliver Heritage Impact Studies for major projects within and near World Heritage sites. UNESCO supports this initiative by the Foundation for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Rabat to enhance capacity building amongst site managers, professionals and officials, advancing their knowledge about this critical tool. Towards this end, the Deputy Director delivered a keynote speech about the implementation of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and its importance as a framework and tool for Heritage Impact Assessments. In addition to the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties, the 2011 Recommendation provides a valuable framework for understanding local urban heritage identity. The emphasis on the setting and context of urban heritage highlights its connections beyond the historic core to its wider setting in the landscape and its geographical context. By taking into consideration this Recommendation, we can understand that the geographical area of influence of a particular intervention depends on the kind of project and the heritage values and attributes of the place. The joint application of the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and Heritage Impact Assessments give us the tools to identify potential impacts and influence decision-making in order to ensure positive outcomes where the conservation of World Heritage properties is integrated with sustainable development.

For more information on the event and access to the video recording (in French), please visit: fondationsauvegardepatrimoineculturelrabat.ma