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Seminar on the Initiative “Windows to the Universe: astronomical sites and protection of the skies of astronomical observation”

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A round-table discussion dedicated to the astronomical heritage was organized by the Permanent Delegation of Chile to UNESCO, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, at a Seminar held at UNESCO on 1 October 2013.

 The main topics discussed within the framework of the Astronomy and World Heritage Thematic Initiative:

  • Protection of astronomical sites within the framework of the Chilean Scientific Initiative “Windows to the Universe”
  • Establishment of cooperation between the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, specialized agencies and relevant interdisciplinary scientific initiatives, as requested by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 36 COM 5D, St. Petersburg, 2012);
  • Establishment of a strategy towards the elaboration of appropriate mechanisms for protection and promotion of the world's leading working observatories, including the identification of potential sites based on the ICOMOS/IAU Thematic Study on Astronomical Heritage;
  • Key issues relevant in nomination processes to accompany States Parties;

The round-table during this Seminar provided crucial inputs towards developing new methodologies, innovative approaches and creative thinking in tackling challenging problems of recognizing astronomical heritage within the wider context of the heritage of science and technology.

The meeting contributed to promote understanding and increase awareness on issues related to World Heritage and provided information on the implementation of the UNESCO Thematic Initiative “Astronomy and World Heritage”.

Activities 1

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

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UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
Decisions (1)
Code: 36COM 5D
Title: Report on the World Heritage Thematic Programmes

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined document WHC-12/36.COM/5D,

2. Recalling Decisions 32 COM 10, 32 COM 10A and 34 COM 5F.1 adopted at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) and 34th (Brasilia, 2010) sessions respectively,

3. Welcomes the progress report made on the implementation of the World Heritage Thematic Programmes;

4. Requests the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies, and with the support of interested States Parties to continue its efforts to implement the activities foreseen under each of these programmes in 2012-2013;

5. Expresses its appreciation to the Government of Spain for its financial commitment and support given by other States Parties to the programme Human Evolution: Adaptations, Dispersals and Social Developments (HEADS) and encourages the development of the category 2 Centre for Rock Art in Spain to enhance fruitful international cooperation in rock art research, conservation and management;

6. Further requests States Parties, site managers and research institutions in the Africa Region to strengthen collaboration in support of human evolution-related research, conservation and awareness-raising activities and in pursuance to the activities which have taken place in the framework of HEADS in the Region;

7. Also welcomes financial and technical support provided by States Parties and the International Astronomical Union for Thematic Initiative AstronomyandWorld Heritage”, since 2003 and also encourages cooperation between the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, specialized agencies and relevant interdisciplinary scientific initiatives towards the elaboration of a Global Thematic Study on Heritage of Science and Technology, including studies and research on technological heritage connected with space exploration;

8. Further encourages States Parties, international organizations and other donors to contribute to the thematic programmes and initiative and also requests an updated report on Thematic Programmes to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.

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