Asia and the Pacific: Launch of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting Exercise
The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Dr Mechtild Rössler, launches the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the region of Asia and the Pacific via a video message addressed to the National Focal Points
One of the two main monitoring mechanisms within the framework of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, alongside Reactive Monitoring, the Periodic Reporting exercise is a statutory requirement under the Convention, whereby all States Parties are asked to provide up-to-date information on the implementation of the Convention, both at the national level and for each World Heritage property.
As the only monitoring mechanism that systematically encompasses all World Heritage properties, it allows for a detailed picture of how the 1972 Convention is implemented across the world and by region and highlights trends, successes, challenges and needs for each region. In turn, the analysed data feeds the (sub-)regional Action Plans, which are developed by the National Focal Points and will provide a strategic framework for the implementation of the Convention over the next six years.
With special emphasis on the sharing of good practices, the integration of a Sustainable Development perspective and the synergies between various Conventions and designations, Periodic Reporting explores how World Heritage integrates into broader and global objectives.
The third region to undergo the current cycle of Periodic Reporting, Asia and the Pacific begins the exercise at a very difficult time: for the first time ever, all preliminary meetings have been held online, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. As the workshops foreseen under the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust could not take place in person, the World Heritage Centre made a number of tools available to build capacities before and during the exercise, from learning modules to an online exchange platform for National Focal Points. Together with the UNESCO Field Offices, the Category 2 Centres under the auspices of UNESCO in the region and the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Centre will provide coordination and guidance for this State Party-led, self-reporting exercise.
Questionnaires for the region of Asia and the Pacific are to be submitted by the end of July 2021, and the outcomes will be presented at the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee.
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/10A,
- Recalling Decisions 38 COM 5F.2, 39 COM 10B.5, and 40 COM 10A, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
- Notes with appreciation the successful implementation of the Reflection Period by the Secretariat, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, and the use of innovative and cost-effective working methods;
- Commends the Periodic Reporting Reflection Expert Group for the extensive and in-depth work carried out;
- Thanks all States Parties who volunteered to participate in the Testing Phase for their active engagement in the Periodic Reporting Reflection;
- Welcomes the recommendations and improvements proposed with regard to the format, content, relevance, analysis and use of data in the Periodic Reporting process;
- Also welcomes the inclusion in the revised questionnaire of questions relating to synergies with other international instruments and programmes on cultural and natural heritage; questions relating to the implementation of the 1972 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage and to the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, as well as questions assessing the implementation of the World Heritage Policy for integrating a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention, and of other key policies adopted by the World Heritage Committee;
- Further welcomes the development of strengthened and comprehensive indicators to improve follow-up on progress made by State Parties in the implementation of the Convention as well as the 1972 Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage, further to the Recommendation of the Evaluation of UNESCO’s Standard-Setting Work of the Culture Sector (Part III – 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage);
- Takes note with appreciation of the analytical framework developed by the Expert Group and decides that it will be used as a global template for the analysis of data, for all regions, during the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting;
- Also takes note of the feasibility study concerning the production of a global World Heritage report and recommends that further work on the format and resourcing of the report be carried out using responses from States Parties and Site Managers in the first years of the Third Cycle;
- Also decides to maintain the order of regions and the 6-year periodicity of the Periodic Reporting cycles, with one region reporting every year (Arab States, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America) and one year between cycles for a reflection, if necessary, and for the production of a global report on the basis of the outcomes of the cycle across all regions;
- Further decides to officially launch the Third Cycle (2017-2022), but in view of the need to allow sufficient time for appropriate preparation, by the Secretariat, and by the States Parties of the Arab States region, exceptionally postpones the start of the Periodic Reporting of all regions by one year, starting with the Arab States region in 2018, followed by the Africa region in 2019, and so on;
- Encourages the active engagement of the States Parties in the following reporting cycles, and furthermore decides, that, in view of the current financial and human resources constraints of the World Heritage Centre, its role should consist of ensuring a holistic approach across regions, by providing overall coordination, guidance tools and analysis, as well as facilitating a State Party-driven approach, and invites the States Parties to contribute extrabudgetary resources for this purpose, and further decides, in case the resources are insufficient to ensure continuity, to supplement the funding of an extra-budgetary position from the Periodic Reporting budget line in the World Heritage Fund;
- Approves the revised Chapter V of the Operational Guidelines “Periodic Reporting on the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention” and the revised Annex 7 to the Operational Guidelines, on the Format of the Periodic Reporting Questionnaire, contained in Annex IV of Document WHC/17/41.COM/10A.