Support for the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting for Africa
Once every six years States Parties undertake Periodic Reporting (on a regional basis), regarding the application of the 1972 World Heritage Convention at the national and World Heritage properties level.
This is a system for monitoring the Convention but it is much more than an administrative report, it is an opportunity to assess the application of the Convention, to identify challenges, to update information, to develop action plans, and, above all, to analyse tools and methods to strengthen the effective management and conservation of World Heritage properties. The dual task of analysis and monitoring at the national and local levels is particularly important. It also allows to collect a very important range of data from one cycle to the other.
For Africa, the First Cycle of Periodic Reporting was launched in January 2000 and finalised in 2002. The Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting for Africa was launched in January 2010 and finalised in 2011.
To assist States Parties with the implementation of this exercise, the World Heritage Centre organised a number of technical meetings which brought together the main stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Periodic Reporting system, on a sub-regional basis. Under the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement, the French Government contributed to the funding of the following meetings and participated in the final meeting below:
- launch meeting of the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting for Africa, hosted by Senegal, in Dakar, from 20 to 22 January 2010, which brought together forty-two West African States Parties for the purposes of sharing the methodology and strategy tools required for the preparation of the various Reports;
- meeting of the sub-regional Francophone group in Yaoundé, Cameroon;
- final meeting at the World Heritage Property of Vredefort Dome, South Africa (in February 2011).
The Periodic Reporting for Africa was presented at the 35th Session of the World Heritage Committee (Paris, 2011). Recommendations for an action plan were to:
- Strengthen the legislative and regulatory frameworks applicable to World Heritage Properties and the surrounding areas in order to restrict infrastructure and development projects;
- Increase the involvement of local communities and peoples in decision-making and local management processes and boost the direct benefits for communities with properties on the World Heritage List;
- Increase the World Heritage Committee’s focus on, and support for, World Heritage Properties in post-conflict zones;
- Build capacities in restoration and conservation activities (i.e. conservation, risk management, visitor information and management, consideration of local peoples and communities);
- Identify factors affecting World Heritage Properties in the coming years (the extractive industries, climate change, the illegal exploitation of biological resources, etc.).