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Levuka Historical Port Town

Fiji
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Human resources
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threats identified at the time of inscription in 2013:

  • Need of promulgation and implementation of the Fiji World Heritage Decree
  • Lack of a medium-term plan for the conservation of structures in poor condition and for the professional development of expertise in conservation
  • Need to finalize the Levuka town-planning scheme
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 3 (from 2003-2008)
Total amount approved : 44,500 USD
2008 Development of legislative protection for the ... (Approved)   15,000 USD
2004 World Heritage Stakeholder Consultation (Approved)   19,500 USD
2003 Comparative Analysis Study For Levuka (Approved)   10,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 1 February 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1399/documents/. The report responds to the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee, at the time of inscription, notably addressing the following issues:

  • The Decree now named Fiji Heritage Bill has been reviewed and is pending approval by the Cabinet with its promulgation expected for May 2015. The bill foresees the permanent inclusion of the concept of buffer zone management for World Heritage properties, as well as potential future sites in Fiji.
  • A survey of the state of conservation of heritage buildings was undertaken in 2014. With the assistance of Heritage New Zealand (New Zealand Agency for International Development) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) a preliminary field survey of the town landscape and heritage buildings is being carried out. Further cooperation with the agencies foresees the development of conservation plan and implementation guidelines for stakeholders. Addressing the lack of expertise, the State Party has engaged the services of a built heritage advisor to develop and advance the expertise within the National Trust of Fiji, as well as building owners and other partners. Workshops for carpentry, masonry, stained glass are also foreseen in the cooperation agreement to provide the local community with specialised skills for building maintenance and repair. The State Party has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with JICA, the Hokkaido University, Japan, the Levuka Town Council and the National Trust of Fiji for a capacity building project aimed at providing the Levuka Town management organisations with guidelines for landscape preservation and tourism planning.
  • The Levuka and Ovalau Heritage Register has been completed and includes archaeological sites identified by the Fiji Museum. Further research on the maritime heritage will be carried out for inclusion in the register.
  • The Levuka Town Planning Scheme has been revised and is pending public notification. All new developments have been assessed according to the revised regulations and the requirements under the World Heritage Convention allowing for the subsequent implementation of the Levuka Town Planning Scheme once officiated. Concerning the requirement for Heritage Impacts Assessments (HIAs), all major developments are submitted to the Levuka Heritage Committee for assessment and recommendation prior to a decision is made.
  • The revised Levuka Town Planning Scheme has been completed and provisionally approved in February 2015. The process for its final endorsement is expected for the first half of 2015 with its implementation by November 2015.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The steps taken by the State Party are most welcome, and it is recommended that the World Heritage Committee commend the efforts made by the State Party in responding to all the recommendations it had made at the time of inscription.

With regards to the inclusion of the concept of buffer zone management for World Heritage properties, as well as potential future sites in Fiji within the revised Fiji Heritage Bill, the State Party should proceed with its implementation as soon as it has been made official.

Further, the progress made with the development of the medium-term plan for conservation is well noted and it is recommended that the Committee commend the ongoing cooperation with Heritage New Zealand and JICA for the development of a conservation plan and implementation guidelines for stakeholders, as well as the projects presented in the report aimed at building the capacity of all stakeholders and management organisations.

The future inclusion of maritime heritage within the Levuka and Ovalau Heritage Register is highly recommended.

As concerns the Levuka Town Planning scheme, the information provided by the State Party concerning its revision and pending endorsement expected for the first half of 2015 is also noted. While the review of all projects by the Levuka Heritage Committee prior to their endorsement is being carried out, the importance of the evaluation by HIAs following the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for World Heritage cultural properties should be underlined, in order to adequately assess the major risks for potential negative impact on the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7B.63
Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji) (C 1399)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 8B.25, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Commends the efforts made by the State Party in responding to all the recommendation made by the Committee, notably:
    1. Revising and including the concept of buffer zone management for World Heritage properties, as well as potential future sites in Fiji within the Fiji Heritage Bill,
    2. Progressing with the medium term plan for conservation and cooperating with Heritage New Zealand (New Zealand Agency for International Development) and JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) for the development of a conservation plan and implementation guidelines for stakeholders, as well as a number of capacity building activities,
    3. Completing the Levuka and Ovalau Heritage Register including archaeological sites,
    4. Revising the Levuka Town Planning Scheme to regulate the developments within the property, buffer zone and wider setting;
  4. Reiterates its recommendation on the requirement of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) following the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties in order to adequately assess the potential negative impact of any type of tourism developments in the property, buffer zone and wider setting;
  5. Requests the State Party to proceed with the works and actions required to officially adopt and implement the Fiji Heritage Bill, the medium-term plan for conservation and the Levuka Town Planning Scheme;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated progress report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7B.63

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 8B.25, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Commends the efforts made by the State Party in responding to all the recommendation made by the Committee, notably:
    1. Revising and including the concept of buffer zone management for World Heritage properties, as well as potential future sites in Fiji within the Fiji Heritage Bill,
    2. Progressing with the medium term plan for conservation and cooperating with Heritage New Zealand (New Zealand Agency for International Development) and JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) for the development of a conservation plan and implementation guidelines for stakeholders, as well as a number of capacity building activities,
    3. Completing the Levuka and Ovalau Heritage Register including archaeological sites,
    4. Revising the Levuka Town Planning Scheme to regulate the developments within the property, buffer zone and wider setting;
  4. Reiterates its recommendation on the requirement of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) following the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties in order to adequately assess the potential negative impact of any type of tourism developments in the property, buffer zone and wider setting;
  5. Requests the State Party to proceed with the works and actions required to officially adopt and implement the Fiji Heritage Bill, the medium-term plan for conservation and the Levuka Town Planning Scheme;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated progress report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.
Report year: 2015
Fiji
Date of Inscription: 2013
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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