Between 1997 and 2003, the 39 States Parties (27 Asian & 12 Pacific) of the Asia and Pacific Region prepared National Periodic Reports, both reporting on the administrative and legal action taken at the national level in the application of the World Heritage Convention (Section I) and on the state of conservation of individual World Heritage properties inscribed on the List up to and including 1994 (Section II), for a total of 88 properties (55 cultural & 33 natural or mixed).
Some States Parties received International Assistance for the preparation of their National Periodic Reports. The Government of Japan generously granted US$ 334,800 under the UNESCO Japan-Funds-in-Trust programme to support seven Asian States Parties (China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam) to enhance the monitoring of World Cultural Heritage properties covered under this Periodic Reporting exercise. The United Nations Foundation , through its programme ‘Monitoring and Managing for Success in Natural World Heritage Sites', also provided funding for Nepal and India, within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Periodic Reporting exercise.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre would like to express its appreciation to all the Asia-Pacific States Parties and World Heritage site managers and the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee (ICOMOS, IUCN and ICCROM) whose active participation and support helped to make the Periodic Reporting exercise in the Asia Pacific Region a complete success.
We anticipate that the result of Periodic Reporting will provide an important reference tool to further develop regional cooperation for World Heritage conservation and for the exchange of information and experiences between States Parties concerning the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. For that purpose, all the national and site-specific Periodic Reports submitted by the Asia-Pacific countries, as well as the summaries of the Asia-Pacific Periodic Reports, are now available to the public.
Although a collaborative and collective effort in the true sense, we would like to acknowledge the important contributions of a number of individuals (in no particular order):
Francesco Bandarin, Director of the World Heritage Centre; Minja Yang, former Deputy-Director and Chief of Cultural Heritage Section; Natarajan Ishwaran, Director of Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences; Sarah Titchen, Junko Taniguchi, former Programme Specialists for the Asia-Pacific Region; Feng Jing, Programme Specialist of the Asia-Pacific Unit and Co-ordinator of the Asia-Pacific Periodic Reporting Exercise; the late Peter Laws and Aurélie Valtat, consultant editors for cultural heritage; Terence Hay-Edie, consultant editor for natural & mixed heritage.
From the UNESCO Field Offices: Richard Engelhardt, Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia-Pacific, UNESCO Bangkok; Qunli Han, Senior Programme Specialist, UNESCO Jakarta; Edmund Moukala, former Programme Specialist, UNESCO Beijing; Elsbeth Wingham, consultant, UNESCO Apia. Many colleagues at the World Heritage Centre provided their contributions and technical support to backstopping the Asia-Pacific States Parties in this Periodic Reporting process, including Art Pedersen, Vesna Vujicic-Lugassy, Lynne Patchett, Mark Hockings, Junko Okahashi, Salamat Ali Tabbasum, Hidetaka Kinami, Natsue Saito, Lise Sellem, Silvia Simmonds, Anna Ferchaud, Marc Faux, Caroline Simonds, Rebecca Kennedy and Eric Esquivel.
The Web-site was developed in part with financial contributions from the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust cooperation and the World Heritage Fund.
Section I constitutes the State Party's report on the application of relevant articles of the World Heritage Convention, including those referring to the identification of properties of cultural and/or natural value; protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage; international cooperation and fund raising; and education, information and awareness-building.
Section II refers to the state of conservation of specific World Heritage properties located on the State Party's territory. The main objective of this section is to obtain an assessment of whether the World Heritage value for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List is maintained over time. In addition, States Parties are requested to provide updated information on management and administrative arrangements, on factors affecting the property and on existing monitoring mechanisms.
Numerous national, regional and international consultative meetings were organized to share information and to encourage active participation on the part of the States Parties, with support from the World Heritage Fund or other extra-budgetary funds.
Sub-regional and/or regional meetings for cultural, natural and mixed heritage included: Tana Toraja (Indonesia) in April 2001; Gyeongju (Republic of Korea) in July 2001; Greater Blue Mountains (Australia) in March 2002; Almaty (Kazakhstan) in December 2002; Hanoi (Vietnam) in January 2003; Apia (Samoa) in February 2003; and Paris (France) in March 2003 ( click here to view the Final Report of the March 2003 Consultation Meeting).
National consultation meetings were held in Australia (March 2002), China (July 2002), India (November 2002), and Sri Lanka (November/December 2002).
Information meetings were organized for Asia-Pacific States Parties Permanent Delegations to UNESCO in October 2001, in June 2002 (Budapest ), and in January and June 2003.
A capacity workshop was held in Apia, Samoa in February 2003 as an opportunity to encourage the Pacific Island States Parties to prepare reports. Subsequently, the majority of these States Parties have provided summaries, although the majority only joined the Convention in recent years.
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Expresses its sincere appreciation to the Asia-Pacific States Parties, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for their collaboration over the past 6 years that led to the successful preparation of the comprehensive "Synthesis Regional Periodic Report for the Asia-Pacific Region 2003";
2. Takes note of the sub-regional and regional recommendations and action plans proposed in the "Synthesis Regional Periodic Report for the Asia-Pacific Region 2003", which were elaborated by the States Parties together with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, based upon the conclusions of the Periodic Reporting Exercise and the national, sub-regional and regional Consultative Meetings;
3. Requests the World Heritage Centre to produce a publication within three months if possible, to be funded from extrabudgetary funds, on "The State of World Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region", and to make the Report and the information contained in the Asia-Pacific States Parties' national periodic reports available through electronic or other appropriate means (CD-ROM and/or on the UNESCO World Heritage Centre's web site);
4. Recommends to the Director-General of UNESCO that he reviews operations and staffing in the regional offices in Asia and the Pacific by 2005 to ensure that improved services are provided in a co-ordinated manner with the World Heritage Centre to assist the Asia-Pacific States Parties in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention;
5. Decides to favourably consider and support the proposed Programmes "ActionAsia 2003-2009" and "World Heritage-Pacific 2009", which directly respond to the conclusions, recommendations, and action plans resulting from this Periodic Reporting Exercise (Document WHC-03/27.COM/20B);
6. Strongly encourages the Asia-Pacific States Parties to take the necessary actions to follow up in a concerted and concrete manner, the recommendations and action plans proposed at national levels to address effectively and in a timely manner the conservation challenges to World Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region.Read more about the decision