The second cycle of Periodic Reporting for the Asia and Pacific was launched by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in Brasilia, Brazil in August 2010. All 41 State Parties to the Convention in Asia and the Pacific actively participated in this cycle and worked together on this vital component of the Convention.
The results of the second cycle have been presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012 at the 36th session in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, in June - July 2012.
These results were achieved through the active participation of the States Parties of Asia and the Pacific. All requested 166 SOUVs were submitted, all of these statement, bar one were reviewed as complete. From 41 States Parties of Asia and the Pacific, all 41 States Parties submitted the Periodic Reporting questionnaire Section I; of the 198 properties, all 198 properties have submitted the Section II. From the 96 properties, 68 properties have submitted cartographic information for Retrospective Inventory.
The second cycle of Periodic Reporting has provided all States Parties of the Asia and the Pacific region an opportunity to assess the progress and challenges that have occurred since the first cycle of Periodic Reporting, to allow for a review of the current situations in all the States Parties and the World Heritage properties in the region for the first time in the history of the Convention.
The World Heritage Committee invites States Parties to submit periodic reports every six years, and requests the Secretariat, the World Heritage Centre in collaboration with the States Parties and the Advisory Bodies, to develop regional strategies as an outcome of the periodic reporting process. These Strategies should be designed to respond to specific characteristics and needs of the regions and should promote regional cooperation between State Parties.
Periodic Reporting was coordinated by the World Heritage Centre in close cooperation with the national focal points, site managers, international resource persons, the three Advisory Bodies and the– International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and UNESCO Field Offices.
In order to facilitate the successful implementation of Periodic Reporting, all the States Parties were invited to designate national focal point responsible for coordination at the exercise at national level before the launching of the exercise. A system of “mentoring” was introduced to accompany the focal points and site managers throughout the process to ensure the provision of technical support and close guidance especially in drafting retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, in addition to assistance offered by UNESCO. The World Heritage Centre appointed five “mentors/international resource persons” to this effect.
The Periodic Reporting questionnaires were translated into various languages (Russian, Persian, Thai, and Vietnamese) by UNESCO Field Offices to assist site managers.
The Second cycle of the Period Reporting two year exercise was first established through the preliminary workshops, which were held in three regions of Asia and the Pacific
Pacific region - Maupiti, French Polynesia, November 2009
The objectives of these workshops were to “train the trainers”, where the guidance and explanation on the preparation of draft retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, Periodic Reporting questionnaires, and Retrospective Inventory were provided to national focal points.
Throughout 2010 and 2011, there has been a whole range of national and sub-regional workshops initiated by the individual or groups of State Parties, which have been organized in conjunction with the UNESCO Field Offices. These meeting in the form of workshops were vital in the beginning stages for explaining the process to site managers, and to jointly work on the Periodic Reporting questionnaire. Also informal meetings took place throughout the two year period and were very productive and have been fundamental to the success of this whole process. The active engagement at the national and regional level that has taken place must be recognized as highly important for the successful implementation of Periodic Reporting. The collaborative effort and their ultimate achievements are the product of everyone involved, focal points and site mangers in particular.
As of 2012, in Asia and the Pacific there are 962 properties on the World Heritage List, 205 (22%) of which are located in the region. These 213 properties consist of 148 cultural (70%), 55 natural (26%), and 10 mixed (4%) properties, formulating an essential part of global cultural and natural heritage that World Heritage Committee holds as having Outstanding Universal Value.
The key issues for the Asia and the Pacific region that have been highlighted in the Periodic Reporting process have been found to focus on four main areas: management plans, sustainable funding mechanism, community involvement and benefit sharing and regional cooperation.
All the States Parties in Asia and the Pacific agreed that the development or improvement of a management plan of a World Heritage property is a priority. A management plan needs to focus on the safeguarding of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and it needs to be implemented with a time bound action plan and monitoring of the plan be maintained. Management plans/systems should be legalized or endorsed by the States Parties and actively and effectively implemented in all properties.
Throughout the region, a large portion of the allotted fund comes from the national governments; though, international funding also plays an important role in various sub-regions. It has become increasingly clear; however, that this funding is inadequate. Funding from governments can never meet the growing financial demands in the conservation and management of properties, and it is also not realistic to keep relying on international funding. This means that the establishment of a more sustainable funding mechanism for properties urgently needs to be devised. Also strengthening partnership with the private sector and the effective use of financial returns from tourism should be further explored in the entire region.
Communities must be involved in all areas of activities for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention – from the preparation of inventories, Tentative Lists, nomination dossiers, to the conservation and management of the properties. Awareness-raising, education and capacity-building are essential in order to give adequate knowledge and skills to communities, and to engage them in all related activities. The higher a communities’ awareness is the more they will contribute to the management of properties. Communities could also be involved in monitoring of properties, complementing the available human resources, which are commonly insufficient. Undeniably, communities are crucial in all aspects of activities discussed throughout the Periodic Reporting exercise.
Through the implementation of Periodic Reporting, national focal points and site managers worked together in various workshops. These workshops provided them with an opportunity to exchange information and experience on various issues related to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. All participants, particularly site managers found this exchange useful. Meeting together several times facilitated the gradual development of a network of focal points and site managers. Many States Parties expressed their wish to maintain this network, which could enhance their day-to-day work on the conservation and management of World Heritage properties. An exchange of information and experiences is highly useful for the addressing of factors affecting properties. Some of the factors, especially non-human factors, often lack immediate solutions.Areas of cooperation can also be found in a commonality to approaching heritage. The establishment of databases on studies and conservation will be a useful tool, as well as the development of a network of focal points and site managers.
Based on the outcome of the second cycle of Periodic Reporting, the States Parties in Asia developed the Suwon Action Plan in Suwon, Republic of Korea, in December 2011, and the States Parties in the Pacific reviewed and adjusted the Pacific Action Plan 2010-2015 in Apia, Samoa, in September 2011, based on the outcomes of Periodic Reporting to reorient the efforts to address their identified factors and specific needs.
The lack of resources will be the significant challenge for the implementation of the Action Plans. To date, some State Parties have pledged to organise sub-regional workshops on various topics, whilst State Parties have already organized national workshops or developed national plans.Periodic Reporting has provided an opportunity to know about the most updated information on what is happening with the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and the state of conservation of all the properties in Asia and the Pacific. The outcome of the Periodic Reporting must be fully utilized to ensure the action plans are implement during the near future.
The Suwon Action Plan identified the priority issues for entire Asia region, as well as the sub-regions:
The States Parties in the Pacific agreed that actions that will be taken under the Pacific Action Plan 2010-2015 should be oriented to address five major factors that are adversely affecting all properties in some aspect; (invasive/alien species, climate change and severe weather events, service infrastructure, loss of social and cultural use of heritage, and transportation infrastructure) and five training priorities (conservation, education, risk preparedness, visitor management, and community outreach).
The World Heritage Committee,
The World Heritage Committee,
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined document WHC-12/36COM/10A;
2. Recalling Decisions 34 COM 10C and 35 COM 10C.1 adopted respectively at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010) and 35th session (UNESCO, 2011);
3. Expresses its sincere appreciation to the States Parties from Asia and the Pacific for their efforts in preparing and submitting their Periodic Reports and thanks especially all focal points and site managers for their effective participation and commitment;
4. Notes with satisfaction that all the 41 States Parties of Asia and the Pacific fully participated in the Periodic Reporting exercise and all 41 questionnaires of the Section I and all 198 questionnaires of the Section II were successfully submitted;
5. Also notes with satisfaction that all the 166 draft retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value were submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
6. Thanks the authorities of Australia, China, French Polynesia, India, Republic of Korea, and Samoa for their support in organizing regional and sub-regional meetings;
7. Also notes the successful use of the electronic tool and the ensuing pertinent documentation gathered in the World Heritage Centre database for future monitoring and follow-up;
8. Welcomes with satisfaction the synthesis report of Asia and the Pacific and endorses the regional Action Plan proposed by the focal points during the Suwon meeting for Asia, and the Pacific Action Plan adjusted by the focal points during the Apia meeting for the Pacific;
9. Decides that significant modifications to boundaries and changes to criteria (renominations) requested by States Parties as a follow-up to the second cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise will not fall within the limit of two nominations per State Party per year imposed by Paragraph 61 of the Operational Guidelines, while they will still fall within the overall limit of forty-five complete nominations per year. This decision shall apply for the 1 February 2013 and 1 February 2014 deadlines for Asia and the Pacific, after which time the normal limit established in Paragraph 61 will be resumed;
10. Encourages the States Parties and all other World Heritage partners and stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific to actively cooperate and to take the necessary actions to follow-up in a concerted and concrete manner the implementation of the Action Plans;
11. Also encourages the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITRAP), the UNESCO Category 2 Centre, to take a lead in developing a regional capacity-building strategy and associated programmes;
12. Further notes that the proposals contained in the Action Plans have considerable resource and workload implications for the States Parties, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies and encourages States Parties to contribute to their implementation through extra-budgetary funding;
13. Also welcomes the proposals made by the Governments of China, Indonesia, and the Islamic Republic of Iran to organize sub-regional workshops on several issues identified in the Action Plan and the proposals made by the Governments of Japan and the Republic of Korea to financially contribute to the implementation of Action Plans and the follow-up of Periodic Reporting;
14. Also thanks the Government of Japan for financing the development of a publication of the outcome of Periodic Reporting of Asia and the Pacific, and requests the World Heritage Centre to widely disseminate the Periodic Report among all stakeholders in the region;
15. Requests the States Parties to continue to work closely with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to further develop and implement both at national and sub-regional levels operational programmes based on the Regional Action Plans, and also requests the World Heritage Centre to present a progress report thereon at its 37th session in 2013.Read more about the decision