Update the Mongolian Tentative List to the World Heritage List
ObjectivesA Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party to the World Heritage Convention considers to be cultural and/or natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value, and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.
Mongolia became a State Party to the World Heritage Convention in 1990 and prepared in 1995-1996 a Tentative List comprising 9 sites. Since then, some properties from this initial Tentative List were inscribed on the World Heritage List or were in the nomination process, while ICOMOS and IUCN, Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee, produced in the 2000s an analysis on natural or cultural heritage lacking in the World Heritage List. In addition, in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, States Parties are encouraged to re-examine and re-submit their Tentative List at least every ten years. Therefore, the State Party of Mongolia decided to revise its Tentative List.
The specific objectives of this project were to:
- analyse and re-examine the justification of the properties which were included in the existing Tentative List in order to ascertain their potential Outstanding Universal Value;
- analyse the existing information and research material in order to assess whether new properties under consideration may have also potential Outstanding Universal Value, authenticity and integrity;
- carry out some tentative comparative analysis of the properties to other similar properties of the region and world;
- describe the geographical location and coordinates as well as the tentative delineation of possible protective boundaries;
- document and update data concerning the state of conservation of the properties to improve conservation efforts;
- raise awareness of local people and authorities about the implications of inscription of the properties on the World Heritage List through the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties and partners.
The identification of sites of potential Outstanding Universal Value for possible future nominations focussed on the gaps in the World Heritage List noted by ICOMOS and IUCN, namely the steppe culture; the nomadic culture; the period of the Great Mongol Empire; grassland landscapes and Gobi desert ecosystem; cultural values and spiritual beliefs of peoples associated with the natural environment.
Several meetings of specialists, professionals and decision-makers were held to set the priorities for potential sites. Then the national team conducted research and studies on several subjects and carried out a thorough review of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and included in national Tentative Lists for comparative analyses of the possible national properties that could be included in Mongolia’s Tentative List. The descriptions of the sites retained were transmitted to the international experts from ICOMOS (cultural and mixed sites) and IUCN (natural and mixed sites) for review and comments. Five field expeditions were organized to carry out surveys, exchange views with local authorities and communities and gather information on the sites and on their state of preservation. Experts from lCOMOS and IUCN participated in field expeditions in October 2014. Finally a national workshop was organized in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in October 2014 with over 40 participants, to review the draft Tentative List and finalize it. It involved all concerned experts, international experts from ICOMOS and IUCN, researchers and other stakeholders, as well as representatives from international organizations like World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Strengthening the Protected Area Network and Wildlife Conservation Society.
The revised Tentative List of Mongolia was submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 19 December 2014. It comprises 10 sites: 8 cultural sites, 4 natural sites and 1 mixed site.