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Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas

Cueva de las Manos, Río Pinturas, proposed by Argentina as a best practice, is interesting as a case study for the following aspects: international scientific cooperation, empowerment local community, training local guides, use of renewable energy only, handbook, interpretation of the site.
Summary provided by State Party

We consider best practices always to have in mind for researchers handling a World Heritage property as the following: - Involvement with local community;

  • Education and diffusion;
  • Permanent conservation training for researchers;
  • Permanent contact and control with the staff of the property;
  • Investments in infrastructure such as information centres, museums, public installations, signposting, brochures, etc.
  • Joint work between researchers, local, national and provincial authorities in order to reach consensus regarding main problems related with site management;
  • Control of visitors’ behaviour and public capacity at the site;
  • Interpretation courses for guides;
  • Appropriate legal framework;
  • Appropriate and permanent interaction with all the sectors involved in the property’s management.
  • The management plan must be flexible enough to adapt it to oncoming changes.
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.