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World Heritage Convention

Decision 13 COM XI.24-32
Promotional Activities

24. The Committee congratulated the Secretariat on the several activities undertaken in 1989 presented in document SC/89/CONF.004/6 which, in particular, concentrated on the production and diffusion of general information material and the preparation of photographic exhibits, films and publications. As regards activities related to tourism, it was recalled that over-visitation by tourists could endanger certain sites and that adequate information was needed to minimize this risk.

25. The Committee approved the proposals presented by the Secretariat for 1990. In respect of the production of information material, the Committee expressed the wish that the production and sale of video-cassettes presenting World Heritage sites be envisaged. A study on the possibilities of the production of such cassettes and their commercialization, through private networks, will be carried out by the Secretariat in co-operation with the Office of Public Information (OPI) of Unesco and the results will be presented to the Bureau at its next session. In the event that it is possible to distribute these cassettes, the network of museums will, to the extent possible, be requested to contribute to their distribution.

26. Several members of the Committee were of the opinion that the question of the publication of a specific newsletter for the Convention needed a detailed study. The Secretariat will submit a proposal to the Bureau at its next session. The Committee considered that the diffusion of information on World Heritage sites, their state of conservation and the implementation of the Convention in general, must be further encouraged in existing journals, particularly the Unesco Courier, which has the advantage of being published in 35 languages and distributed all over the world.

27. The Committee underlined the importance of promoting the Convention also within countries which were not yet States Parties and reach authorities responsible for the protection of cultural and natural properties in those countries.

28. The Committee, as at previous sessions, underlined the need to decentralize promotional activities using already existing means, such as regional organizations, international or national non-governmental organizations, Unesco Clubs, Unesco National Commissions or national structures which should be set up for the implementation of the Convention. In order to make progress in this regard the Committee requested the States Parties to provide a list of such national channels to the Secretariat and stressed the importance of creating the national structures mentioned above.

29. With regard to the regional organizations, the Chairman informed the Committee that he had taken the initiative of presenting the document prepared by the Secretariat to ALECSO and requested that all possible assistance be provided for the promotion of the Convention in Arab countries.

30. The need to identify the target groups for information and promotion activities was stressed: in the first place one target group was the persons directly concerned with safeguarding World Heritage properties, notably voluntary conservation organizations working in the field; a second group comprised visitors and tourists; and a third group the people actually living within the World Heritage site. Specific activities should be designed and undertaken according to each of these target groups. The Committee also recommended that other networks, including commercial networks, be explored to develop these information and promotion activities.

31. The. Committee took an overview of the prospect for commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention by Unesco. On the one hand, the Committee wished to undertake an assessment of the application of the Convention and develop an outline for a special session of the Committee and, on the other hand, encourage the organization of events in a number of States Parties. Several preliminary suggestions, such as the production of a large exhibit on the application of the Convention and the World Heritage sites were made. The Committee invited States Parties to provide the Secretariat with high quality photographic material along with the rights for utilization, in order that the Secretariat could prepare this type of exhibit. The Committee suggested that a small working group be set up as from 1990 to assist the Secretariat in assuming the responsibilities for preparing for this commemorative event and it decided that the Secretariat should submit more precise proposals in this regard to the Bureau at its next session.

32. The Committee welcomed the announcement by the Delegation of Canada of the organization of an international colloquium on World Heritage Towns which would take place in Quebec from 30 June to 4 July 1991. The representatives of the Province and Town of Quebec responsible for the organization of the colloquium provided more details on the objectives of the colloquium for municipal officials and conservation experts and which would aim at promoting exchanges of experience in this field and at defining strategies for the management of urban heritage.

Decision Code
13 COM XI.24-32
Report of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision