In the framework of the Pacific 2009 Action plan the Spanish Funds in Trust (SFIT) funded in 2004 a sub-regional workshop in Palau, South Pacific. This workshop, the first of its kind in the region, enabled actors in the area of heritage of the archipelago state to meet and discuss the eventual formulation of a tentative list for sites for potential nomination to the World Heritage List. Representatives from 16 states of the country attended as well as experts in the field of natural and cultural heritage. The Funding offered has contributed to the carrying out of the Environmental Assessment for the traditional village of Ngerutechei and Milad’s cave as well as support for the logistics and supplies for the meeting.
From the 24-29 April 2006 the above mentioned capacity building workshop was held in collaboration with and held in the offices of the UNESCO office of Samoa (cluster office pacific region) in the city of Apia. This training session aimed to increase the capacity of Heritage professionals on both National and site levels in terms of the improvement of World Heritage nominations and management. Currently, there is only one World Heritage site in the sub-region, East Rennel in the Solomon Islands.
The objectives of the workshop were twofold. Firstly, the development of the identification and nomination of properties in the sub-region, secondly the bringing together of professionals of the region for the strengthening of coordination and collaboration.
Professionals from Samoa, Tonga and Niue were present demonstrating a variety of frameworks for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention ,emphasising the problems that exist in small island countries such as the lack of institutional, financial and human resources networks. The meeting was also attended by the World Heritage Chairperson for the Christchurch World Heritage Committee 2007 Mr Tumu Te Heu Heu, the Paramount chief of Tongariro. The meeting was facilitated by participants from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and experts from Australia and New Zealand.