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Decision 20 COM XV.1-18
Promotional and Educational Activities

XV.1 In introducing this agenda item on promotional and educational activities carried out in 1996 and to examine the proposals for 1997 (as contained in Document WHC-96/CONF.201/16), the Chair stated that these activities play a vital role In enhancing the implementation of the Convention and that the Committee therefore attaches great importance to these matters. She explained to the Committee that the World Heritage Centre, in addition to managing such activities financed from the World Heritage Fund, also coordinates promotional and educational activities on World Heritage carried out by other sectors of UNESCO and implements activities in this field entrusted to the Centre by the Director-General of UNESCO.

XV.2 The Chair requested the Secretariat to focus its presentation on the 1997 proposed activities on the assumption that the Committee has noted the activities carried out in this field in 1996 as reported in the above-mentioned document.

XV.3 The Secretariat began its presentation by responding to the request from one of the members of the Committee for a clarification on the notion of promotional activities, as understood by the Centre. The Secretariat stated that promotion was not to be confused with public relations and marketing but refers to information and communication activities for the enhancement of understanding and support by the public of the World Heritage Convention and their participation in its implementation.

XV.4 Towards the attainment of these objectives, and in the furtherance of one of the principles of UNESCO which is to provide access to information by as large a sector of the world population as possible, the information and communication strategy of the proposed programme is to produce basic core information that is adaptable and could be expanded for different target groups.

XV.5 The Secretariat explained that the proposed programme aims to optimize limited financial and staff resources, and to meet the needs of these different target groups, ranging from political decision-makers; business sector, including tourism; teachers and students; local communities inhabiting in or near the World Heritage sites and to the general public at large.

XV.6 The Delegates of Germany and the United States of America commended the excellent quality of the document and the clarity of the Secretariat's presentation, and congratulated the Director and the staff of the Centre for their accomplishments in this field.

XV.7 Several members of the Committee raised serious concerns over the numerous errors contained in the CD-ROM on World Heritage Cities co-produced by UNESCO and produced by the media with the use of the World Heritage emblem and insisted upon the need for quality control. The Committee felt that UNESCO should share the text of the publications and films with the States Parties concerned for verification in conformity with the Operational Guidelines. A delegate drew the Committee's attention to the question of confidentiality of Committee documents on Internet.

XV.8 Several members of the Committee also stated that UNESCO had not always respected paragraph 125 of the Operational Guidelines, regarding the commercial use of the emblem. In this respect the Delegate of Italy stated that the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the Convention should be closely abided to, and in particular paragraph 125, which does not authorize commercial reproduction of images of World Heritage sites. It was emphasized that on the contrary, the paragraph required that the State Party concerned be consulted before dissemination of information and images (even non-commercial) in order to avoid errors. In any case, it is necessary to verify that the intellectual property rights of each country are protected.

XV.9 With reference to the wide diffusion of documentary information mentioned by the Delegation of Germany, the Delegation of Mexico wished to express the surprise of their authorities at the Ministry of Public Education who had finalized the publication of a book on Mexican sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, when discovering the commercialisation of a publication on these same sites, without forewarning or prior authorization, in another country and which moreover contained important errors, especially with regard to the illustrations. Consequently, the Delegation of Mexico requested that the States concerned be systematically consulted regarding all publications and proposed: (a) the use of information (often already available at the World Heritage Centre) in coordination with States; (b) that States be provided with advance information regarding publication programmes to avoid legal problems at the level of individual States and therefore maintain the credibility of the Convention. Many members of the Committee stated the need for the Secretariat to bear in mind the information requirements of developing countries and local communities which often do not have access to telephones, much less the Internet. The importance of the print and radio mediums for information dissemination was stressed.

XV.10 As regards World Heritage Education, the Secretariat recalled that the World Heritage Centre initiated in 1994, jointly with UNESCO's Education Sector, a project aiming at introducing knowledge about World Heritage in secondary schools worldwide, primarily through UNESCO's network of Associated Schools. Its main purpose is to empower local people to protect their cultural and natural heritage by helping them understand the Convention, and by having them actively involved in local/national preservation efforts.

XV.11 The project focuses on working regularly with students, teachers and specialists (curricula developers and conservation specialists) in developing a World Heritage Education Kit (consisting of a manual, texts, visual and audio material) which should help teachers "translate" the Convention into the language of their students, and raise the students' awareness about cultural and natural heritage in general. The first parts of this kit, produced on an experimental basis, have been tested through UNESCO's (sub) regional World Heritage Youth Fora which followed the First Forum held in Bergen in 1995, namely: (a) the European Forum held in Dubrovnik in May 1996, and (b) the Forum for countries of English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking Africa, held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in September 1996. Further work on the material, in collaboration with ICOMOS and IUCN will take place in 1997, and this will be tested during the fora to be held in Asia and the Pacific, the French-speaking countries of Africa, the Arab States and Latin America and the Caribbean in the next two to three years.

XV.12 The main institutional partners for this project in each country are the UNESCO National Commissions, ICOMOS and IUCN chapters (as resource persons) and teachers' associations. The project is receiving major financial support from the Rhone Poulenc Foundation and NORAD (both contributions go to a Special Account within UNESCO, earmarked for this project) and is being carried out with assistance from UNESCO Field Offices and other units of the Secretariat.

XV.13 In the ensuing debate, many of the members of the Committee expressed their full support for the World Heritage education work that is being done. Some stressed however the importance of assuring follow-up activities to the World Heritage Youth Fora.

XV.14 The Director of the Centre in responding to the comments and concerns raised by the Committee stated that the Centre is trying to ensure the quality of the multimedia information products by employing experts to check on the text from the servicing fees provided through contractual agreements with the media and publishing partners. The amount already received in the first ten months of the year has permitted this in addition to a full- time consultant working at the Centre to negotiate with media partners and to provide them with the logistic support as defined in the contract. He indicated that the costs for one full-time consultant for backstopping the media and publishing partners for 12 months, one expert to revise the German-language products for 6 months and one expert to revise the English-language material for 3 months have been paid from the servicing fees from these contracts.

XV.15 The Director was requested by the Chair to respond to the following questions related to this agenda item raised by members of the Committee during the examination of the 1997 budget.

(a) clear breakdown on incomes generated from contracts with the media and publishers, and how they have been spent;
(b) other expected income from these contracts in 1997;
(c) if the policy of the Centre is to reinvest these incomes into promotional or operational activities;
(d) whether a marketing strategy is needed and if so, whether this would be in keeping with the rules and regulations of the Committee.

XV.16 The Director stated that the income received from the contracts between 1 January and 31 October 1996, amounted to US$ 94,437 as servicing fees (entered into the accounts as earmarked contribution) and US$ 132,787 as contribution towards the Fund for use to be determined by the Committee. He specified that this amount does not take into account the share on incomes retained by the UNESCO Publishing Office (UPO) or other entities of UNESCO which also conclude contracts related to World Heritage.

XV.17 He explained that income in 1997 will most likely increase but that he was not in a position to provide the amount since much of the income comes from percentages on royalties which of course depends on the sales.

XV.18 The overall strategy and programme was approved, with the exception of the proposed budgetary appropriation for the 25th anniversary (US$ 100,000) and the State of the World Heritage Report (US$ 35,000).

Decision Code
20 COM XV.1-18
Report of the Rapporteur
Context of Decision
See Also 1