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Shiretoko, proposed by Japan as a best practice, is interesting as a case study for the following aspects: establishment of Shiretoko WNH Site Regional Liaison Committee, bottom-up approach, scientific council, self-management measures, involvement of local communities / stakeholders.
Summary provided by State Party

One of the most important new measures implemented in the Shiretoko WNH area is a system for coordination among the wide range of sectors involved. First, the Shiretoko WNH Site Regional Liaison Committee was established to discuss the proper management of the site. The committee is composed of officers from a wide range of administrative authorities and various stakeholders such as fisheries cooperative associations, the tourism sector, and NGOs. Secondly, Shiretoko WNH Site Scientific Council was established to provide scientific advice on the management activities. The council has several Working Groups. For example, the Marine Working Group composed of natural and social scientists, and representatives of administrative authorities, of fisheries cooperative associations, and of NGOs.

These organizations and their interrelationships have helped to ensure participation and to build consensus between the wide-ranging sectors including experts and local communities, supporting the legitimacy of the management plans and rules. This is the core institutional framework for the integrated management which we call “the Shiretoko Approach”.

This approach was succeeded in other 3 WNH sites in Japan, and especially in the Ogasawara Islands, this system worked effectively in dealing with difficulty of alien species and other topics.

One-off Initiative for the recognition of best practices

The World Heritage Capacity Building Strategy, adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2011, responds to the identified needs of a diverse and growing audience for capacity building for World Heritage conservation and management activities. Development of resource materials such as best practice case studies and communication tools are among the activities foreseen by the strategy to improve these capacities.

An example of an innovative capacity building initiative is the recently concluded Recognition of Best Practice in World Heritage Management. This initiative, requested by the World Heritage Committee and carried out within the framework of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2012, solicited applications from World Heritage properties which had demonstrated new and creative ways of managing their sites. Twenty-three submissions were received and evaluated by a 10-member international selection committee which included the representatives of the Convention’s Advisory Bodies, ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN. The Historic Town of Vigan in the Philippines was chosen as a best practice achieved with relatively limited resources, a good integration of the local community in many aspects of the sustainable conservation and management of the property and with an interesting multi-faceted approach to the protection of the site.

Management practices recognized as being successful and sustainable can include everything from involving local people in site management, to creating innovative policies and regulating tourism. There are sites that include students from local schools in the management of the site (Slovenia), train local inhabitants as tour guides (Peru), or even put up nylon fences to protect villagers from straying tigers from the Sundarbans National Park (India). Sharing these practices helps other sites find solutions that work.

This initiative provides incentives for States Parties and site managers to reflect on their management practices and explore improvement possibilities.