A Funds-in-Trust Agreement to support World Heritage activities was established in August 2008 between UNESCO and the Australian Government, thanks to the latter’s generous contribution of 2.5 million Australian Dollars.
The objective of this Fund-in-Trust is to support, through UNESCO, activities related to the World Heritage Convention in the Asia-Pacific region. These include the identification, conservation and presentation of World Heritage properties, with a particular priority to projects in the Pacific region, still one of the least represented on the World Heritage List, on which it is anticipated that at least 1 million Australian Dollars will be invested.
The first activity carried out through the newly established Australian Funds-in-Trust is a ‘Pacific Islands World Heritage Workshop – Capacity-Building for Heritage Site Management,’ taking place in Cairns, Australia from 13 – 17 October 2008.
This workshop is aimed at building capacities of States Parties in the Pacific Islands in managing their heritage sites, as well as to prepare for the new cycle of the World Heritage Pacific Programme, which is due to end in 2009.
Among the activities which the Fund is expected to support, there is also the development of a conservation and management plan for the World Heritage property of Angkor, Cambodia, as well as the organization of a Workshop on the Future of the World Heritage Convention, to be held in 2009. This workshop, requested by the World Heritage Committee, is meant to reflect on global strategic issues, key challenges, trends and opportunities facing the World Heritage Convention in view of its upcoming fortieth anniversary in 2012.