World Heritage Newsletter N°1February 1993
- World Heritage Convention XXth Anniversary Celebrations
- Extracts from speeches by Mr. Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO
- Opening of the 16th Session of the Committee
- Site monitoring
- New adherents to the Convention
- Sites in danger throughout the world
- New inscriptions on the World Heritage List
- Strategic goals and objectives
- The integration of cultural landscapes into the World Heritage
- A photographic data bank
1992 has gone by. 1993 has just begun, bringing with it a multitude of new tasks and new prospects. In a world in constant change, calls for the conservation and protection of the World heritage are never ending. As we stand at the threshold of the new year, before pursuing further our joint endeavour, it is important for us to pause a moment to look back over the past months which were marked by three events of major importance to us all.
First of all, 1992 was the year of the XXth Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. Today, with 132 States Parties and 378 sites or properties designated, the Convention is the most successful international legal instrument in the world for the protection of natural and cultural sites.
During these two decades an enormous amount of effective action has been taken by the States Parties, by the World Heritage Committee, its Bureau and its Secretariat, as well as by associated consultative bodies, in particular ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN.
Thanks to this joint labour, very many sites and properties have been selected, protected, restored and, indeed, in many cases, saved from total destruction.
For these reasons UNESCO and many of the States Parties wanted to make this anniversary particularly memorable by organizing exhibitions and happenings, both at UNESCO headquarters and elsewhere. The drive and energy of the Secretariat in initiating these exhibitions and events were rewarded by a very warm welcome from an appreciative public, now more than ever aware of the need to protect our common heritage and motivated to play their part.
1992 also saw the establishment of the World Heritage Centre by the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Federico Mayor.
The increasing scope and importance of the Convention meant that a new form oForganization was needed which would bring together Ateam of experts with the necessary qualifications relating to both nature and culture.
The primary responsibilities of the Centre involve the preparation and application of the decisions of the World Heritage Committee, ensuring effective monitoring of sites, arranging for and supervising the financing of some conservation projects, promoting the objectives of the Convention and meeting the requirements of States Parties to the Convention. In fulfilling these obligations, the Centre can call on the support of the various sectors of UNESCO, especially the culture and science sectors; the Centre is thus strategically situated at the point of convergence of the contributory inputs of the associated consultative bodies and intergovernmental authorities involved in the Convention.
Lastly, 1992 was the year of the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Santa Fe, from 7 to 14 December, at which a number of extremely important decisions were taken, in particular those concerning the monitoring of sites and the inscription of twenty-two properties on the World Heritage List. These latter included a number of particularly well-known sites such as Angkor, the Historic Centre of Prague, the Casbah of Algiers, Fraser Island and the transfrontier site of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. In order to improve future application of the Convention, the Committee took two further important decisions. The first involved a revision of the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List, particularly those relating to cultural properties so as to bring out their full value within the cultural landscape -- a relatively new concept. The second was to refine and adopt a series of strategic orientations to serve in future as guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and designed to assist the various agents involved--the States Parties, the Committee, the consultative bodies and the World Heritage Centre.
Thus the year 1992 was marked by a number of important decisions aimed at enabling action to be taken in new and ever more effective ways to achieve the unending task of protecting this part of the world's natural and cultural heritage.
World Heritage Convention XXth Anniversary Celebrations
At its 14th session, held in Banff, Canada, in December 1990, the World Heritage Committee decided that special celebrations should be held to mark the XXth anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention by the UNESCO General Conference. The Secretariat was instructed to organize a number of events and activities to take place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and elsewhere.
Activities at UNESCO headquarters included a general exhibition on the World Heritage and the organization of "national days" or "weeks" in collaboration with the Permanent Delegations of the countries concerned. The Secretariat was also instructed to encourage national initiatives away from UNESCO headquarters in celebration of the XXth anniversary and to organize regional seminars which would be open to the world press with the aim of making the objectives of the Convention more widely known.
Extracts from speeches by Mr. Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO
During his opening and closing speeches at ceremonies marking the XXth anniversary of the adoption of the World Heritage Convention, Mr. Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO, stressed the importance of the Convention's protective mission for the entire world community. He took this opportunity to announce the creation of the World Heritage Centre as a means towards ever more effective implementation of the objectives of the Convention. In particular, Mr. Mayor declared:
"In adapting the World Heritage Convention 20 years ago, UNESCO set itself the ambitious task of establishing an inventory of works treated by humanity and by nature, considered to be oFoutstanding and universal value, and of ensuring their safekeeping so that we and future generations can enjoy the world's wealth and it's variety.
"The World Heritage Convention was extremely innovative for its day since it established for the first time that certain aspects of the heritage are not just of importance to the countries in which they are situated or to the culture of which they are the expression, but thaThumanity as a whole derives benefit from the cultures of different peoples and is jointly responsible for safeguarding them. The Convention was also the first to express the ideAthat the natural heritage is just as valuable as the cultural heritage for humanity.
"Thus, at the time of the first United Notions Conference on the Human Environment, there came a break with the outmoded ideAthat nature is hostile and must be tamed and it was at last recognized that nature and culture are the two indissociable poles of the memory and the future of humanity.
"Twenty years later, these concepts have become almost universally accepted. A new philosophy of what the 'heritage' means has developed, incorporating both the human and the environmental dimensions. The recent United Nations Conference in Rio was a vivid and unprecedented reminder that it was high time that we did something about safeguarding our world if we wanted to preserve human life on it. (...)
"In celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Convention, UNESCO hopes to secure more resources and get people to be more aware of the importance and urgency of taking action. A commitment by everyone, a change of behaviour - including the behaviour of tourists - and awareness on the part of local and national authorities are all vitally important.
"The international community must give much more deliberate support to activities promoting the heritage, which is central to our civilizations and to the setting in which we live our lives. I intend UNESCO, for its part, to secure more resources and means, and for this purpose I have set up, as I recently announced to the press, a World Heritage Centre whose task will be to take the World Heritage Convention to new heights, and for this it will have the autonomy necessary within the Organization."
Inaugural speech, 8th July 1992
"The World Heritage List (...) is growing longer every year; but it is not enough to simply draw up Alist, however impressive it may be. We must monitor how well sites and monuments are being preserved, remind states of their obligations, help them to fulfil these by providing the necessary technical and material assistance, train skilled personnel, find funds for restoration work - in a word, be constantly active organizing available energies. This is the task I have allotted to the new World Heritage Centre, which must have the support of all the sectors of UNESCO in order to carry it out".
Closing speech, 8th October 1992
Events and Activities At UNESCO Headquarters
From 8th July to 8th October, a series of events and activities took place with the enthusiastic support of several of the States parties to the Convention. These centred round a general exhibition consisting of some 140 photographs of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and 22 models and other objects made available to UNESCO by a number of countries and which gave an overall view of the World Heritage.
This was completed by a number of video-films about the sites either drawn from the UNESCO video-film series (Transtel, documentaries, etc.) or lent by the Permanent Delegations. These were run on three monitors in the exhibition hall. In addition, there was a demonstration of an optical (CD-ROM) disk containing information on 50 World Heritage sites. This was accompanied by a questionnaire addressed to potential users with a view to obtaining their suggestions for improvements to this experimental version.
As a complement to the main exhibition, a succession of 30 national or regional exhibitions were organized by the Permanent Delegations of States Parties to the Convention. Most delegations opened their exhibitions with presentations of their national gastronomic specialties.
The Delegations also organized 23 slide shows, documentary films shows or lectures on World Heritage Sites.
Several countries also published posters, brochures and catalogues specially prepared for the occasion.
Finally, as part of the XXth anniversary celebrations, 14 evening entertainments, all open to the public, were held; in most cases these consisted of performances of traditional music and dance from the organizing country.
Some 700 press kits were distributed to journalists who responded by giving wide coverage to the celebratory events and to the general history and objectives of the Convention. Several articles appeared in the press worldwide and members of the World Heritage Centre were invited to take part in broadcasts on French radio and television, on Hungarian television and a European television channel. The exhibition itself was the subject of a number of television broadcasts.
During the three months of the exhibition, Atotal of some 30,000 visitors came to UNESCO and, beginning in September, a number of school visits were organized in collaboration with the French National Commission for UNESCO.
Tee-shirts, pins and a commemorative XXth anniversary poster, kindly created and contributed by the French artist Jean Cortot, were put on sale to help defray the costs incurred in the organization of all these events and activities.
National Activities Around The World
1992 also saw the XXth anniversary of the Convention being celebrated in a variety of ways by a number of countries.
The Canadian National Commission for UNESCO organized its 34th General Assembly around the theme of the World Heritage, in the context of the XXth anniversary. The Assembly was attended by a representative of the Director-General of UNESCO. The participants discussed the application of the Convention and the prospects for the future. They reported on the Canadian experience with regard to the protection of sites, both natural and cultural, and raised a number of questions relating to the preservation and enhancement of the heritage. Films on the World Heritage sites, co-produced by Transtel and UNESCO, were also presented.
Also in Canada, a seminar was organized by IUCN and the University of Waterloo, on 5th and 6th November.
In France, a variety of events were organized on World Heritage sites. These included the placing of commemorative tablets in Reims and Paris, in the presence of the Mayors of the cities and of the Director-General and widely attended by the French press. In addition, an exhibition oFold photographs of French World Heritage sites was on display in Paris for a period of several months.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, a national seminar was held on 13th and 14th April to discuss problems concerning protection and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage. Coincident with the seminar, Atwelve-day exhibition was put on at the National Museum, which included materials provided by the World Heritage Centre.
A further regional seminar is to be organized at Fes, Morocco, in 1993. In October, in Germany, the XXth anniversary was marked by the celebration of a solemn mass at the Cathedral of Aachen.
In Mozambique, a ceremony was held in July which culminated with the placing of Atablet commemorating the inscription of the Island of Mozambique on the World Heritage List.
Xalapa, Mexico, was the setting for a seminar on the application of the Convention to natural sites in Latin America, held at the end of October. The seminar brought together a number of experts from the region and provided them with an opportunity to discuss the adequacy of the Convention for the preservation of biological diversity.
On 16th November the exact anniversary of the adoption of the Convention, a day of celebration was held in Evora, Portugal, which was attended by a number of national political personalities. Several exhibitions on selected World Heritage sites, one of which was set up by the World Heritage Centre, were opened in different areas of the city and a panel of experts answered questions on problems of conservation. These events received wide press coverage.
The Banks of the Seine, in Paris, inscribed on the World Heritage List
The inscription of the banks of the Seine from the Pont Sully to the Pont d'Iena (in December 1991) on the World Heritage List was formally commemorated at a ceremony which took plate on 10th September 1992 in the context of the celebration of the XXth anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.
This stretch of the Seine which flows through the historic heart of Paris of which it is the symbol is lined with monuments and sites that rank among the world's masterpieces. In its western reaches it is bordered by urban spaces which owe much to Haussmann, whose urban planning concepts have been a source of inspiration in the building of cities all over the world.
In the course of the ceremony, Mr. Jaques Chirac, Mayor of Paris, declared that the inscription of the banks of the Seine on the World Heritage List was "an act of great significance entailing an obligation to conserve and improve the site whilst paying due respect to environmental considerations".
Mr. Federico Mayor described the banks of the Seine as "a part of that greaTheritage which it is our duty to transmit to future generations so that they may be proud of their post".
After Mr. Chirac and Mr. Mayor had unveiled a commemorative tablet in the Square Vert Galant, Mr. Chirac invested Mr.Mayor with the Grande Medaille de Vermeil of the city of Paris, the highest distinction the municipality can confer on those whom it wishes to honour.
Opening of the 16th Session of the Committee in Santa Fe
Twenty of the member States of the Committee attended its 16th session, which was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the invitation of the United States of America. Observers from 16 other States Parties to the Convention were also present, as were representatives of ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN, as well as several experts. The opening session was attended by a number of eminent personalities, including the Honourable Mr. Bruce King, Governor of New Mexico, the Honourable Mr. Manuel Lujan Jr., Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Russel E. Train, one of the founding fathers of the World Heritage Convention and president of the World Wildlife Fund-US, and Mr. Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO.
Extracts from some of the speeches made are presented below and right. Mrs Jennifer Salisbury (United States of America) was elected Chairperson of the Committee by acclamation. Special tribute was paid to the work accomplished by the outgoing Chairman, Mr. Azedine Beschaouch (Tunisia), who was elected Rapporteur, also by acclamation.
Excerpts from the speech made by Mr Russel E. Train
"The 1990s and beyond present great possibilities for the World Heritage program, and it is my hope that this meeting will focus on bringing about even stronger efforts to realize the goals of the Convention. Already, the Convention has led to strengthened recognition of the importance of World Heritage areas world-wide. IThas significantly increased tourism to such areas. IThas raised management standards and, most importantly, has provided technical training opportunities, particularly on a regional basis. World Heritage status has become an important bulwark against actions which threaten the integrity of listed areas and sites. The World Bank and other lending agencies now recognize World Heritage sites as being of central importance to natural area conservation.
This does not mean that the Convention does not face significant challenges ahead. A number of World Heritage sites remain endangered by inadequate management, underfunding, pollution, and, tragically, even by human warfare as in the case of Dubrovnik. Some sites remain listed as severely threatened, and I hope that one goal of this meeting will be to focus attention on bringing those areas back from the brink. (. . .)
Even with some shortcomings, however, I believe that we can look back at the first twenty years of the World Heritage Convention as a significant success and as a concept thaThas proven its worth. Clearly, there is recognition that there exists a common heritage that merits our special attention and protection. And clearly, public sentiment calls for protection of natural and cultural treasures, whether they be national parks such as the United States' Yellowstone or cultural marvels such as Egypt's Abu Simbel. What the Convention, and this meeting, symbolize is that only through concerted, co-operative action between governments throughout the world community will this heritage be protected for future generations.
"Beyond will, protecting the World Heritage also requires resources, and I hope that this meeting will address is that of how the world community can increase the level of financial and technical resources devoted to protecting World Heritage areas. The 1990s present an awesome challenge to resource managers in every field as global threats, environmental degradation and increasing population pressure in particular, continue to mount against previously unspoiled natural and cultural areas. A particular need exists in the developing nations of the world, which house many oFour greatest World Heritage sites, but which are the least prepared financially to protect them.
"Finally, it seems clear to me that the fundamental strength of the World Heritage, and, indeed, its power to help shape human affairs, lie in its concept of shared human values, of a common heritage for all peoples. In a world that seems increasingly torn by divisiveness, those are values to cherish and promote."
A copy of the speech in full can be obtained from: World Wildlife Fund, 1250 Twenty-fourth Str. N.W., Washington, D.C 20037-1175, USA.
Following consideration of the report presented by Mr. Bernd von Droste, Director of the World Heritage Centre, on the activities undertaken by the Secretariat since the 15th session of the Committee, the Committee adopted the agenda, which included such important topics as the evaluation of the report on the implementation of the Convention and the strategy for the future; the monitoring of the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List; promotional activities and the celebration of the XXth anniversary of the Convention; the inscription of properties on the World Heritage and World Heritage in Danger Lists; requests for international assistance; the situation of the World Heritage Fund and the budget for 1993; the revision of criteria for inscription and the question of cultural landscapes; and, finally, consideration of a proposed working framework for the preparation of a "global study" of cultural properties.
This first issue of the World Heritage Newsletter presents an account of the main questions tackled by the Committee and the decisions taken.
A concert in honour of delegates and participants was organized on 8th December. It featured three internationally famous artistes: Ana-Maria Vera, Ilija Marinkovic and Ivry Gitlis.
Excerpts from the speech made by Mr Federico Mayor
"The concept of the world heritage which is essentially non-economic and cultural, provides a vital complement to the discussions surrounding Rio. The World Heritage Convention affirms the importance of non-tangible values of the human aspiration to beauty and meaning as well as to the satisfaction of material needs and wants. It assimilates the wonders of nature to those of culture, regarding as a continuum whaThave all too often - and at what cost! - been treated as distinct. At the same time, it gives to these diverse expressions of beauty and meaning a universal dimension. What is most representative of the cultural identity of each people is - in its diversity - of value to humanity as a whole and must be preserved for present and future generations in the same way as landscapes of great beauty or outstanding interest.
"The task of safeguarding the world's cultural and natural heritage is an inherently challenging one. The challenge is that of promoting awareness of the importance of preserving an inheritance whose loss is irreparable for precisely the reason that its value is unquantifiable. It is that of mobilizing support - including the essential financial backing - for an undertaking that yields relatively few tangible "returns" to set against the all too tangible threats to which the heritage is subject.
( . . .)
The essential challenge is that of preserving the memory of the past - that of the world and of humanity, of nature and culture, which remain indissociable. In preserving memory in this way we are doing more than simply safeguarding the past: we are ensuring organic continuity with the future (. . .). Memory is the continuum of past and present and the essential context of individual creativity. The roots of the past embedded in works of nature or culture thus represent an incalculable spiritual resource for humanity and one that it neglects to protect at its peril. They also serve to remind humanity of its unity in diversity and thereby contribute powerfully to one of UNESCO's essential goals - the promotion of mutual understanding and solidarity among peoples, the construction of the defences of peace in the minds of men which remains one of the international community's priority tasks at the close of the twentieth century".
A copy of the speech in full (reference DG-9249) can be obtained from: UNESCO, GES/REG Special Requests.
The monitoring of sites, a vital task for the Committee
The monotoring of sites, a vital task for the Committee. During the early years following the adoption of the Convention, the World Heritage Committee was primarily concerned with the identification and classification of a considerable number of natural and cultural sites. More recently, however, the Committee has been concentrating its attention on the permanent monitoring of the state of conservation of properties already classified and the detection of dangers from which they may, at any time, be under threat.
Effective monitoring can only be ensured by the constant, systematic gathering of information by the World Heritage Centre, with the technical assistance of various organizations--in particular the specialist Non-Governmental Organizations--and in collaboration with the local authorities.
At the Santa Fe meeting, the Committee devoted much of its time to examination of monitoring reports on more than fifty natural and cultural sites throughout the world. In view of these reports, it was decided that seven of these sites should be inscribed on the World Heritage in Danger List (see page 8). The Committee also made a number oFother observations and recommendations to be transmitted to States Parties by the World Heritage Centre. The Centre will be responsible for ensuring that these observations and recommendations are put into effect.
The Committee also studied the report by Mr. Sylvio Mutal, co-ordinator of the regional project for the cultural and urban heritage and development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNESCO/UNDP), on a mission to study the monitoring of the state of conservation of cultural properties in the region and in Portuguese-speaking Africa. The new methodology adopted could eventually be extended to other regions of the world.
World Heritage success stories
The World Heritage Committee has intervened successfully several times to protect the World's Natural Heritage. These actions include:
Tasmania (Australia) - construction of a dam and forest exploitation halted Durmitor (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: Serbia and Montenegro) hydro-projecThalted Chitwan (Nepal) - water diversion projecThalted Lake Ichkeul (Tunisia) - water flow regulation and preservation of the environment Tongariro (New Zealand) - ski development restricted Ngorongoro (Tanzania) - management resources (equipment) augmented, site removed from List of World Heritage in Danger Kahuzi-Biega (Zaire) - road-building project revised Pirin (Bulgaria) -ski development limited Dinosaur Park (Canada) - national credits for management plan Giant's Causeway (Northern Ireland, UK) legal status upgraded Huascaran (Peru) - road and mining projects modified Iguacu-Iguazu (Brazil and Argentina) study on helicopter nuisance in progress Niokolo-Koba (Senegal) - measures taken to minimize the environmental impact of a road crossing this National Park Djoudj (Senegal) - water regime improved La Amistad (Costa Rica/Panama) oil exploration plans withdrawn Selous (Tanzania) - new anti-poaching programme, forest exploitation road cancelled Garamba (Zaire) - site rehabilitation, poaching reduced - Removed from the Sites in Danger List. Galapagos (Ecuador) - tourism impact control introduced Hierapolis-Pamukkale (Turkey) - tourism impact reduced
Latin America And The Caribbean
This mission, which covers the period 1991 to 1995 and involves Atotal of 39 sites, produced such interesting results for 6 sites in 1991 that the Committee decided to continue along the same lines in 1992. Based on a rigorously-defined methodology, the monitoring system, rather than being limited to simple periodic inspection, involves continuous, on the spot monitoring, undertaken on a regional basis and involving the participation of local inhabitants. It involves arousing the awareness of local populations, continuous research, dialogue and documentation, as well as the drawing up of guidelines for the elaboration of projects, the training of national and local staff and the strengthening of links between central bodies responsible for the conservation of sites in the States Parties to the Convention in the region.
In 1992, 7 new sites underwent this procedure--Potosi (Bolivia), Salvador de Bahia and Olinda (Brazil), San Juan in Porto Rico (USA), Tikal (Guatemala), Portobelo and San Lorenzo (Panama). The experiment will be continued and extended in 1993 to 17 new sites, the results from which will be reported at the 17th session of the Committee, which is to be held in Cartagena (Colombia).
This new monitoring methodology could be adopted and used in other parts of the world.
The expert mission to Karelia, carried out by ICOMOS in 1992, is a good example of the kind oFon the spot inquiry that is so often necessary for effective monitoring of sites.
A mission of three experts went to the town Petrozavodsk, in the Autonomous Republic of Karelia, which is part of the Russian Federation. The mission was led by Mr. Herb Stovel, Secretary-General of ICOMOS, and included Mr. Johan Mattson, a Swedish expert on mycology and Mr. Jan Kuipers a Dutch timber expert. The team held an on-site meeting with some 25 representatives of various organizations involved in the conservation of the site, which is situated on a peninsula in Lake Onega. This pogost (compound) includes two remarkable examples of the architecture of Russian churches of the 18th century. One of these, the church of the Transfiguration, has lost its outer cladding, which leaves it exposed to the harmful effects of extremes of temperature. IThas also suffered from fungal attack and is at present supported by a metal structure which is itself causing further problems. The mission made an on-site inspection of the state of conservation of these buildings and drew up a report on the technical and management problems involved and their degree of urgency. This report was presented by ICOMOS at the Santa Fe meeting.
The Committee decided that, in 1993, 48 sites would be subject to specific monitoring. Of these, 17 would be in the Latin American and Caribbean region, 24 in the Mediterranean region and 7 in the African and South-East Asian regions.
New Adherents to the Convention in 1992
Nine new States ratified the World Heritage Convention in 1992 bringing the total number of States Parties to the Convention to 132.
A major newcomer was Japan where the richness of the natural and cultural heritage and the care its people have always devoted to its conservation are well known. This adhesion is particularly pleasing in view of the interest Japan has already shown particularly in Asia, in assisting the implementation of the Convention.
The newly-independent Republic of Croatia has also ratified the Convention. This was very much to be desired since three important sites (Dubrovnik, Plitvice and Split) were already inscribed on the World Heritage List. As a result of the current conflict, these sites have already suffered damage or are particularly in peril.
By its adhesion the Republic of Slovenia bears witness to the fact that the conservation of humanity's cultural heritage remains a matter of lively concern in a part of Europe now experiencing dramatic and testing times.
With the adhesion of The Netherlands one of the last of the major European countries with a considerable natural and artistic heritage to remain a non-member has finally ratified the Convention.
The adhesion of the Republic of Lithuania has reinforced the presence of the Baltic world, heir to great cultural traditions.
A significant adhesion is that of the Republic of Georgia, which has already asked UNESCO to send an expert mission to establish a preliminary list of monuments suitable for inclusion on the World Heritage List. These include several very ancient churches.
Uzbekistan, which has now ratified the Convention, already has one site inscribed on the List and has many groups of monuments and examples of Islamic culture of great beauty.
The adhesion of Tadjikistan strengthens the presence within the World Heritage of monuments inherited from the great empires of central Asia.
The presence oFoceania has also been strengthened by the adhesion of the Solomon Islands whose landscapes and traditional cultural sites are of great beauty.
Sites in danger throughout the world
The development and evolution oFour ways of life, demographic pressure, industrialization, pollution, neglect, poverty, excessive tourism, building development and the resultant culture shock, not forgetting natural catastrophes and wars--all these represent serious, ever-present dangers that loom threateningly over the world's cultural and natural heritage. In 1992, a number of sites seemed to be particularly threatened and have become the objects of special attention and monitoring on the part of the World Heritage Centre. During the Santa Fe meeting, the Committee decided to inscribe 7 of these sites on the World Heritage in Danger List. Included among them is Angkor, which has been simultaneously inscribed on the World Heritage List and the World Heritage in Danger List. The Committee also examined the situation of Dubrovnik and in Egypt where sites have been affected by a recent earthquake. On the positive side, the Committee was pleased to be able to withdraw Garamba (Zaire) from the Danger List.
As noted above, the Committee has decided to place Angkor simultaneously on the World Heritage List and the World Heritage in Danger List (see page 13). The site is, in fact, faced with a number of urgent conservation problems, due mainly to the political situation and the lack site protection. The Committee has therefore asked the authorities concerned to take all the steps necessary to introduce protective legislation and practical protective measures, to establish permanent site boundaries based on the UNDP project and including buffer zones, and also to ensure a system of surveillance and co-ordination within the context of international efforts for conservation and the combating of the theft of and illicit trade in objects of archaeological value.
Dubrovnik (Republic of Croatia)
Despite pressing appeals in autumn 1991 from the Director-General of UNESCO and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the ancient city of Dubrovnik was subjected to artillery fire in October and November, and on 6th December and in May and June 1992 it was bombarded with even heavier shells. In the historic centre, 563 civil and religious buildings (70 per cent of the total) were hit by some 2,000 shells and 9 buildings (7 palaces and 2 houses) were totally destroyed by fire while the roofs of 4 others were partially burned.
The Director-General of UNESCO allocated a sum of 300,000 US dollars for initial restoration work. The World Heritage Committee inscribed Dubrovnik on the World Heritage in Danger List and, during 1991 and 1992, contributed Atotal of 49,000 US dollars to finance a meeting of experts on the site, to train Croatian personnel and to enable the most urgent measures to be undertaken. It also requested the local authorities to create a protective buffer zone around the historic centre.
UNESCO and the Croatian authorities entrusted with the work of restoration have estimated that restoration costs will amount to 10 million US dollars and have prepared a plan of action which will be distributed to potential sponsors.
The Earthquake in Egypt
Some 150 Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic monuments were more or less severely damaged during the earthquake of 12th October 1992.
Although, apart from a few cracks, the Temple of Luxor appears to have been spared, at Kom Ombo, two blocks, each weighing ten tons, were dislodged and fell to the ground. The Cheops and Sakkarah pyramids lost some stones and the surface of the Chephren pyramid suffered some fissuring. Other Pharaonic monuments were similarly affected.
However, the Coptic and, especially, the Islamic monuments suffered the most. The Blue Mosque and the Al-Hussein Mosque suffered serious fissuring and the vault of the Tachtuchi Mosque collapsed. The minarets of several other mosques were weakened, becoming detached from the main structure of their mosques and in some cases suffering collapse of their upper storeys. All these mosques were affected by vertical fissuring, Atypical consequence of the vertical pressures imparted by this earthquake. Fissuring and the dislodgement of stones occurred at Al Azhar, Ibn Touloun, Al Ghouri, the mausoleum of Quayt Bey and the recently restored Bichtaq palace. A number of churches in the Coptic quarter, notably the Suspended Church of Al Moallaqah, also suffered similar damage.
The World Heritage Centre and the Culture Sector immediately contacted the Egyptian Government to initiate essential rescue and assistance measures and the restoration of these monuments. In addition, the Bureau allocated 20,000 US dollars from Heritage Funds for urgently needed assistance. This sum was added to the 30,000 US dollars given by the Culture Sector, which sent two British expert missions to the scene, one of which arrived very shortly after the earthquake. The report of the second mission is currently being acted upon. At the Santa Fe meeting, the Committee decided to provide supplementary financial assistance of 50,000 US dollars.
Srebarna Biosphere Reserve (Bulgaria)
This small, 600-hectare, site is of particular interest in the European context, which justifies its classification not only as a Biosphere Reserve but also as a Ramsar site (covered by the International Convention on the Protection of Humid Zones). Its state of ecological degradation, reported by two recent IUCN missions, means that it is in danger of losing those characteristics which qualified it as being worthy of inclusion on the World Heritage List. Alerted to the situation by the World Heritage Centre, the Bulgarian authorities recognized the ecological degradation and requested that the site be inscribed on the World Heritage in Danger List. They have, however, expressed the opinion that this deterioration is not irreversible, pointing out that, in 1992, the pelican population increased with the arrival of some 60 fledglings. A project for the restoration of the site, in co-operation with France, is currently being drawn up.
The Committee has decided to inscribe the site on the World Heritage in Danger List and will decide later whether, in view of the measures that may eventually be taken by Bulgaria, rehabilitation seems likely, or whether to withdraw the site from the World Heritage List.
Air and Tenere Nature Reserves (Niger)
The region has recently been affected by military conflict and as a result the Niger GovernmenThas asked the Director-General of UNESCO to launch an appeal for the protection of the site, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991. In compliance with the request of Niger's Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, the Committee decided to inscribe the site on the World Heritage in Danger List and asked the World Heritage Centre to intervene to obtain the liberation of local staff now being held hostage.
Sangay National Park (Ecuador)
The Ecuadorian authorities directly responsible for the management of the site have succeeded in halting a project for the construction of a road crossing the park while waiting for an evaluation of the environmental impact of the project and measures that could be taken to minimize any such impact. Some new and important zones south of the park have also been included. However, some very worrying information has been received regarding the scale of poaching of wildlife, the illegal grazing of livestock and of encroachment on the site by local inhabitants, as well as news that the road project may be restarted. The Committee has therefore decided to inscribe the site on the World Heritage in Danger List and has asked the World Heritage Centre to organize an on-site regional expert mission.
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)
Damage estimated at some 1.6 million dollars has been caused by the invasion of militants from the Assam Bodo tribe. The infrastructure of the park has been seriously damaged, but the habitats situated in its most remote areas appear to remain intact. In the absence of a written report on the state of conservation of the sanctuary and on any improvement in its system of management and administration, the Committee decided to inscribe the site on the World Heritage in Danger List.
MOUNT NIMBA RESERVE (GUINEA AND COTE D'IVOIRE)
This Reserve is classified both as a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve. Its mountain ridges consist of gigantic strips of quartz and ferrous oxide which rise up from a background of softer rock, constituting a unique example of the effect of erosion and the relationship between relief and underlying geological structure. The entire region is made up of grassy zones and forests that are both rich and diverse and its varied fauna includes some extremely rare species.
The Government of Guinea is envisaging a vast mining project to exploit the iron which is present in abundance. National economic development needs seem to be thus in opposition to the need to protect the site. Furthermore, a number of refugees from Liberia have penetrated the region and this is putting the integrity of the site at great risk. The Committee has therefore decided to inscribe the site on the World heritage in Danger List and has asked the World Heritage Centre to organize an expert mission to determine, in collaboration with the States parties concerned, the true boundaries of the Reserve and to evaluate the impact of the different dangers threatening it. The Committee called for co-operation with financing organizations, such as the World Bank and UNDP, in the elaboration of a rural integration development project in favour of the peoples living in the immediate vicinity of the site.
PLITVICE NATIONAL PARK (REPUBLIC OF CROATIA)
The site of Plitvice is distinguished by its exceptional beauty. Some twenty lakes and small expanses of emerald green water are separated from one another by a system of travertine ridges which build up naturally by the continuous deposit of calcium carbonate, mosses and aquatic bacteria. Innumerable waterfalls, many of them dozens of metres high, send water gushing between the lakes amidst beechwoods, junipers and firs--this is one of the rare remaining virgin forests in Europe and the habitat of brown bears, wolves and other extremely rare species.
In September 1992, at the request of the Croatian Government, the Bureau financed the dispatch of a joint UNESCO/ IUCN mission, which worked in collaboration with United Nations protection forces and with Croatian national and local authorities. Despite the armed conflict which has affected the region for the last 18 months, the site has retained its natural beauty and its valuable ecosystems and the ecological processes necessary to maintain them are still active there. The internal and external infrastructures of the park have suffered buThave not been totally destroyed. Maintenance operations are still being carried out by those members of the staff who have remained there.
However, in view of the risk of a renewal of conflict, the Committee has decided to inscribe the site on the World Heritage in Danger List and has asked Croatia, the United Nations protection forces and the authorities of KrajinAto collaborate in settling the political situation and in protecting the park--the dramatic resurgence of fighting in the region, in January and February, indicates, unfortunately, how necessary this measure was. The Committee also asked the World Heritage Centre to send a further mission in 1993 to help with the planning of the future management of the park.
Properties newly inscribed on the World Heritage List--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Although, in the coming years, the Committee will be primarily concerned with perfecting the methodology and practical means of ensuring systematic, global monitoring of sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List, as is pointed out in the new strategic orientations (see page 14), it will always have an obligation to complete the identification of the World Heritage and to ensure the representativity and credibility of the List. The Committee therefore decided to inscribe 22 sites on the List and to extend the scope of 4 other sites. Among these new inscriptions are a number of sites, widely known to the general public, which until now, for various political, economic or social reasons, iThas not been possible to include on the List. The Committee has thus been able to rectify a number of anomalous omissions from the List. Moreover, in certain cases where the integrity of sites or properties is at imminent risk, these new inscriptions will enable urgent and effective action for their protection and safeguard to be taken.
We present below an enumeration of the newly inscribed properties, together with an indication of the criterion of choice for the site, listed, in conformity with the Convention, under the name of the State party proposing its inscription.
EUROPE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND CANADA
Butrinti (cultural criterion III). An exceptional archaeological site whose many monuments are the product of a period of continuous occupation from ancient times to the Middle Ages.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha State National Park (natural criterion III). An exceptional stretch of ancient, virgin, palaeoarctic forest and the habitat of several rare or endangered species. This site is an extension of the Bialowieza National Park (Poland) and the two sites now constitute a single, transfrontier site.
Czech and Slovak Federal Republic
The Historic Centre of Prague (cultural criteria II, IV, VI). An urban complex oFoutstanding architectural and artistic quality. A key political, economic, social and cultural centre since the Middle Ages.
The Historic Centre of Cesky Krumlov (cultural criteria I, IV) An exceptional example of a small, medieval, European town in a natural setting of great beauty.
The Historic Centre of Telc (cultural criteria I, IV). An outstanding Medieval and Renaissance architectural and urban complex.
Bourges Cathedral (cultural criteria I, IV). A masterpiece of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Gothic art.
The Mines of Rammelsberg and the Historic Town of Goslar (cultural criterion IV). Provides an uninterrupted historical record of mining methods in use from the tenth to the twentieth century and of a medieval town associated with this type of economy.
The Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos (cultural criteria II, III). Ancient town and temple of major importance to classical Greek archaeology and to the understanding of the ancient Mediterranean world.
The Old City of Zamosc (cultural criterion IV). An outstanding example of a sixteenth-century European town, homogeneous in style and having retained its original layout, fortifications and buildings.
Historic monuments of Novgorod and its surroundings (cultural criteria II, III, IV). A complex of monuments and mural paintings, the oldest dating from the early Middle Ages. One of the cultural and spiritual high places of Russia.
Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands (cultural criterion IV). A remarkable monastic complex bearing witness to the faith of religious communities at the end of the Middle Ages and situated in exceptionally beautiful surroundings.
White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal (cultural criteria I, II, IV). An ensemble of historic monuments illustrating the artistic and spiritual influence of these two cities since the Middle Ages.
United States of America
Taos Pueblo (cultural criterion IV). Outstanding complex of dwellings and ceremonial sites representative of the pueblo culture of the pre-hispanic period.
The Casbah of Algiers (cultural criteria II, V). Outstanding example of a historic, north-African city retaining many traditional Mediterranean-Arab dwellings.
Latin America and the Caribbean
The Pre-Hispanic City of El Tajin (cultural criteria III, IV). The best-preserved example of Atown of fundamental interest for an understanding of Mexican precolumbian arts and societies.
The Rio Abiseo National Park (cultural criteria III). The Committee considers that this site, already inscribed in 1990 on the basis of natural criteria, should also be inscribed on a cultural basis in view of its exceptional archaeological remains, some of which date back several thousands of years.
Asia and the Pacific
Fraser Island (natural criteria II, III). The Committee considered that, with its extensive humid zones, which illustrate a number of important geological phenomena, the beauty of its landscapes, its virtually intact flora and fauna, its rock paintings and its archaeological remains, Fraser Island merited inclusion on the World Heritage List.
Angkor (cultural criteria I, II, III, IV). The monuments of Angkor, the ancient political, economic, cultural and spiritual capital of the Khmer Empire, which date from the ninth to the fourteenth century, are recognized throughout the world as ranking among the greatest masterpieces of all time.
People's Republic of China
The three regions of Wulingyuan (natural criterion III), the Valley of Jiuzhaigou (natural criterion III) and Huanglong (natural criterion III) have been inscribed on the World Heritage List for their scenic and historic interest. They are noted for the exceptional beauty of their landscapes and the richness, diversity and rarity of their flora and fauna.
The Ban Chiang Archaeological Site (cultural criterion III). An outstanding archaeological site. A cradle of Asian cultures dating back some 5,000 years.
In addition, four sites already inscribed have been extended:
Kakadu National Park. The Committee authorized the inscription of the extension to this Park which was already classified on the basis of both natural and cultural criteria.
The Castles and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin. Extended to include the Sacrow Castle and Park and the Sauveur Church (cultural criteria I, II, IV).
The Megalithic Temples of Malta (cultural criteria IV). Extended to include five prehistoric temples on the islands of Malta and Gozo.
United States of America
Glacier Bay National Park. Inscribed as an extension of the Wrangell/ St. Elias/Kluane World Heritage site (Canada and the United States of America).
Strategic goals and objectives
At its 14th session, held in Banff (Canada) in 1990, the World Heritage Committee decided that the year 1992, the XXth anniversary of the Convention, would be a propitious occasion for an in-depth evaluation of the Convention in action and for consideration of a strategy for the future. In 1991, Mr. Azedine Beschaouch was asked to make an evaluation of the functioning of the Convention and, in 1992, on the basis of his report, a committee of experts, meeting in Washington, in June 1992, put forward a series of recommendations, which were the object of a preliminary examination by the Bureau at its 16th session, in Paris, in July 1992.
Meanwhile, at its 140th session (12th to 30th October 1992), the Executive Board of UNESCO was presented with the Director-General's report (document 140 EX/13) concerning "the strengthening of the action of UNESCO for the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage". The Executive Board will be pronouncing on this at its next session.
The committee of experts met again in Paris, from 27th to 30th October, in order to finalize the strategic orientations to be proposed for adoption by the World Heritage Committee, basing their deliberations on Mr. Beschaouch's report, on the report of the Washington experts and on a new document drawn up by Mr. Gerard Bolla. The meeting was chaired by Mrs. Cristina Cameron and was attended by Mr. Beschaouch, at the time Chairman of the World Heritage Committee, who acted as rapporteur, members of the Bureau, experts from Australia, Brazil, France, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States of America, representatives of ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN, experts from UNESCO and the Director and members of the World Heritage Centre. Observers from Italy and the Philippines were also present. Their work completed, the experts drew up a number of proposals which were the subject of intense debate at the Santa Fe Conference. The Committee adopted five ultimate goals, each having a sub-set of several objectives to be attained, and 45 recommendations, the whole being destined to guide the implementation of the Convention in the future. These ultimate goals, objectives and recommendations do not constitute a strategy in the strict sense of the term, but rather are strategic orientations intended for the various agents concerned, i.e. the States parties, the World Heritage Committee itself, the advisory organizations and the World Heritage Centre.
The ultimate goals and objectives are as follows:
Goal: Promote completion of the identification of the World Heritage
Objectives: Complete the global study and appropriate thematic studies Assist, where necessary, in identification of sites and preparation of nominations
Goal: Ensure the continued representativity and credibility of the World Heritage List
Objectives: Maintain objective and consistent review and evaluation procedures Refine and update criteria for evaluation of natural/cultural heritage nominations Promote consideration for inscription from all geo/cultural regions of the world Consider situation of sites no longer qualifying for listing
Goal: Promote the adequate protection and management of the World Heritage Sites
Objectives: Take specific steps to assist in strengthening site protection and management Take appropriate actions to address threats and damage to sites
Goal: Pursue more systematic monitoring of World Heritage Sites
Objectives: Define elements and procedures for monitoring Co-operate with State Parties and competent authorities on regular monitoring work
Goal: Increase public awareness, involvement and support
Objectives: Provide support to site presentation and interpretation Implement a professionally designed marketing strategy Attract donations and public support, including through demonstration of accountability in World Heritage Fund management Reinforce the image of a World Heritage Site network by introducing standards in the design and content of site programs and general information materials Compile and regularly distribute reports highlighting the success stories of the Convention Encourage appropriate co-operation with local populations in promoting and protecting World Heritage Sites Provide support for circulation of exhibits on World Heritage Sites among States Parties to the Convention
The Integration of cultural landscapes into the World Heritage
Following a discussion which took into account a great deal of preparatory work, the Committee decided during the Santa Fe Conference to revise the criteria for the inscription of cultural policies laid down in article 24 of the "Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention" in such a way as to enable cultural landscapes to be entered on the World Heritage List. Until that time this question had raised a number of difficult problems, in particular with regard to the definition of such properties and also of the preservation of integrity, since many such places are, almost by definition, in constant evolution. 1992 was both the XXth anniversary of the World Heritage Convention and also the 30th year after the adoption of UNESCO's Recommendation on safeguarding the beauty and character of landscapes and sites (11/12/62). This Recommendation was concerned not only with wholly natural landscapes but also with those, whether rural or urban, on which man had lefThis imprint; not only with their natural beauty but also with the witness they bore to the interaction between nature and culture.
This concept of landscape protection is comparatively recent as compared with the initial concepts underlying the Convention, which, although it recognizes the existence of "mixed properties", has distinct eligibility criteria for natural properties and cultural properties. It designates areas where there has been a harmonious interaction between man and nature over Along period, linked to a particular culture, and which provides evidence of Atraditional way of life in which nature and culture are profoundly interlinked.
Cultural landscapes are described in Article 1 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage as representing "the combined works of nature and man". They illustrate the evolution of societies and human establishments throughout the ages, as influenced by the advantages or the constraints of their natural and social environment. They are therefore an addition to, rather than a replacement of, mixed properties (i.e. those that match up to both natural and cultural criteria).
These cultural landscapes, which illustrate both specific land-use techniques and a spiritual communion with nature, can be classified broadly in three categories:
Clearly defined landscapes designed and created intentionally by man, such as, for example, gardens and parks.
Organically evolved landscapes resulting from successive social and economic imperatives and in response to the natural environment.
In some of these landscapes the evolutionary process may have come to an end, in which case they have become relict or fossil landscapes. Continuing landscapes retain an active social, traditional way of life in which the evolutionary process is still in progress.
Associative cultural landscapes are landscapes whose inclusion on the World Heritage List is justifiable by virtue of the powerful religious, artistic or cultural associations of the natural element, rather than material cultural evidence.
The Committee instructed the World Heritage Centre to ask the States Parties to prepare and submit complementary, indicative lists of outstanding cultural landscapes by 15th August. A group of experts will meet on 7th and 8th October to make comparative studies and the Centre will submit a report to the Committee at its 17th session.
Although the 1972 Convention had, for the first time, established the link between nature and culture, it was not until the early 1980s that the protection of landscapes became the subject of international reflection. In 1984, in response to a French initiative, the Committee instructed a working group to consider how landscapes could be associated with the Convention, in particular with regard to criteria of inscription. The problem was tackled at a number of meetings, including:
The IVth World Congress of National Parks and Protected Areas, in Caracas
Following the Congress held in Caracas (Venezuela), in February 1992, Mr. Bing Lucas, President of the New Zealand IUCN Committee for National Parks and Protected Areas, and Mr. Michael Beresford, of the UK International Centre for Protected Landscapes, put forward a number of proposals, giving particular importance to certain criteria for the selection of landscapes. They stressed that such landscapes should very clearly illustrate the relationship between nature and culture as reflected in traditional ways of life, that the long-term preservation of their integrity should be guaranteed and that suitable new criteria for their inscription on the World Heritage List should be adopted.
Meeting at La Petite Pierre
In October 1992, after this process of reflection had gone through various stages, the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with ICOMOS, IUCN and IFLA, organized a meeting of experts at La Petite Pierre, at the invitation of the French Ministry of the Environment. The participants at this meeting, which brought together geographers, ecologists, architects, historians and ethnologists, tackled the task of defining a "cultural landscape". They then re-examined the existing criteria and set about revising them. A major consideration in undertaking this task was to avoid limiting discussion to the European definition of landscapes and to incorporate the possibly different perceptions of the significance of landscapes in other societies.
A photographic data-base on the World Heritage
In co-operation with UNESCO, the "La Caixa" Foundation and the Gamma photographic agency, in association with France Telecom and Kodak, are creating a photographic database on the World Heritage, to be known as "Heritage 2001" and consisting of reporters' accounts of the sites and photographic archives. Some of these records relate to sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. About fifteen such reporting missions were carried out in 1992 and further forty or so are planned for the next eighteen months. The documentation thus acquired is computerized and can be accessed by a wide public, including research and educational institutions. The reports are also available to the press. The French magazine L'Express has already produced a series of part-works on World Heritage Sites. A variety of magazines in half a dozen countries have already indicated their intention to publish these documents in the form of supplements.
The project will continue over several years and there are plans for reports on some 200 World Heritage Sites as well as on other properties such as ancient manuscripts and objects housed in museums. Heritage 2001 will shortly be installed near the offices of the World Heritage Centre in UNESCO, thus strengthening further the collaboration between the two and ensuring day to day contact. Copies of the photographic material will be given to UNESCO, which will have the right to make use of it for non- commercial purposes.
MATUKA KABALA (1944-1993)
It was with profound regret that we learned of the death oFour colleague from the Division of Ecological Sciences, Matuka Kabala.
Matuka Kabala was born in Zaire in 1944. After obtaining doctorates at a number of European and Canadian universities, he held high office in the Zairean civil service before joining UNESCO, in 1977, as scientific administrator of environmental programmes in Nairobi and Dakar.
In 1983 he came to UNESCO headquarters, in Paris, as a programme specialist in the Division of Ecological Sciences, where he dealt with ecological research and the conservation of natural resources and organized the training of environmental experts for Africa.
Apart from his scientific talents, his thorough knowledge of the African continent, his operational experience in the field and the many relationships of trust and friendship he had established with the authorities in the region, with UNDP and with various financing agencies, made him an invaluable asset to UNESCO. He worked with great efficacity for the application of the World Herita
the World Heritage app
Free for a limited time!
Available for iPad, Android and Kindle Fire tablets.
With the app, not only can you read exclusive articles written by experts on the ground, but see videos of the world’s most spectacular sites taken by NHK and TBS.
World Heritage Centre
UNESCO World Heritage Centre