World Heritage Newsletter #5

Sat, 11 Dec 1993 18:04:58 -0800

A daily newsletter covering the activities of the World Heritage
Committee, meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, December 6-11, 1993
Vol. II, No. 5 Friday, Dec. 10

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA. In its penultimate scheduled session, the World
Heritage Committee this morning resumed debate on the report of the
Budgetary Subcommittee. Discussion of the Budget had begun in the last hour
of the Thursday night session, prior to the return to Paris of the Unesco
comptroller. An important new feature of the annual budget was provision
allowing the Committee Chair to commit up to 20% of the 1995 "indicative"
budget in 1994 for 1995 expenditure, thus allowing for the smoother
operation of the Committee's programs. The Committee also agreed to a
second recommendation of the Bureau: that an Emergency Reserve Fund of $ 1
million should be set aside for disasters; in addition to a $ 2 million
"preserved" or "blocked" fund for unanticipated expenses. After extensive
debate, the budget was approved.

* TENTATIVE LISTS. The director of the World Heritage Centre noted that
only a very few tentative lists had been received. These lists, mandated by
the Committee's Operational Guidelines, were very important not only for
the Centre but to help countries assign priorities in their own
nominations. As a result of these deficiencies, the Centre proposed to
become "very proactive" in this regard, giving it their highest priority
over the next two years. All those tentative lists that were inadequate
must be updated by October 1, 1995. After that time, they would not be
valid instruments, and nominations proposed after that date would not be
accepted without a valid tentative list on file.


Afghanistan Dominican Rep. Malawi Saint Lucia
Albania Egypt Malta Saudi Arabia
Angola Ecuador Mauritania Senegal
Antigua/Barbuda Ethiopia Monaco Seychelles
Argentina Fiji Mongolia Slovenia
Austria Gabon Nepal Socialist Rep. of
Bahrain Gambia Netherlands Vietnam
Belarus Georgia Nicaragua Solomon Islands
Belize Ghana Niger Sudan
Benin Guatemala New Zealand Switzerland
Burkino Faso Guinea Panama Tadjikistan
Burundi Haiti Qtar Uganda
Cameroon Honduras Rep. of Armenia Uruguay
Cape Verde Holy See Rep. of Bosnia- Uzbekistan
Cen. Afr. Rep. Indonesia Herzegovina Yemen Rep.*
Chile Iran Rep. of Lithuania Yugoslavia**
Congo Ireland Rep. of Korea Zaire
Costa Rica Kenya Rep. of San Marino Zambia
Cote d'Ivoire Lebanon St. Christopher & Zimbabwe
Croatia Malaysia Nevis

* The former Arab Republic of Yemen submitted a tentative list in September
** Former Yugoslavia submitted a tentative list in December 1985.


Algeria Iraq Nigeria
Australia Italy Pakistan
Bolivia Jamaica Peru
China (People's Rep. of) Jordan Portugal
Cuba Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Spain
Cyprus Madagascar Sri Lanka
France Maldives Syrian Arab Rep.
Greece Mali Tunisia
Guyana Morocco Ukraine
India Mexico Venezuela

The delegate from the UNITED STATES congratulated the Centre on the
effort it was making, recalling that the tentative lists were envisioned in
the 1972 Convention and were a vital part of making cultural nominations on
a rational, ordered basis. FRANCE asked how precise need the lists be? Will
the Centre be requiring the same lists for natural sites as for cultural
properties? Will the Committee evaluate the lists once they have been
submitted? Mr. von Droste responded that at the present time, ICOMOS felt
that indicative lists were vital for the nomination of cultural properties;
IUCN, which already had a "shadow list" of natural properties, was not
requiring indicative lists at this time. Once received from the States
Parties, the Centre immediately transmitted the lists to ICOMOS for
evaluation of the cultural properties. These lists had to be evaluated;
without evaluation, submission would be a meaningless formalistic exercise.

The observer from AUSTRALIA also welcomed the Centre's initiative. He
hoped that, as a procedural matter, the Centre would immediately notify a
State Party if on receiving a nomination, no tentative list could be found
on file, rather than wait for the Bureau meeting to announce the fact. The
observer also noted that the lists as submitted could rarely be
"exhaustive," and that he hoped there would be provision for submission of
revisions. The Centre director responded that yes, the Centre had already
adopted the policy of immediately notifying parties of inadequacies; and
that it recognized that the lists were fluid, and indeed encouraged the
States Parties to revise their lists as new information became available.

The Centre's program was endorsed by the Committee.


The former bureau's rapporteur, the observer from TUNISIA, reported
on the decisions for technical assistance from the World Heritage Fund, and
asked the Committee's approval of these awards:

For Sangay National Park, Ecuador $ 28,500 approved

For Mount Nimba, Guinea
The delegate from SENEGAL asked that the $30,000 recommended by the
Committee be restored to the amount requested, $45,000. The delegate from
THAILAND asked if that would require deletion from some other account. Mr.
von Droste answered that there was flexibility in the budget to accommodate
the increase. Consequently, $ 45,000 was approved.

For Komodo National Park, Indonesia
The IUCN representative asked that the $13,000 cut from the request
be restored pending receipt of the requested information from Indonesia.
The proposal was accepted. Approved for Komodo N.P. $ 49,500.

The UNITED STATES at this point raised a question about "ad hoc
processing" of requests for aid. The Centre responded, noting that the
Operational Guidelines require all requests to be submitted by August 31 of
each year, although occasionally, if time permits, requests can be
processed after that date.

For training wildlife specialists, Garoua, Cameroon
Although $43,667 had been requested, the Bureau recommended only
$35,000, to be released on receipt of requested further information.

For training course in Cote d'Ivoire
There was debate both in the prior Bureau meeting and in plenary
meeting of the Committee over whether this request for $30,000 to protect
natural heritage sites in Africa was really a cost-effective way of
protecting World Heritage sites. The delegate from GERMANY asked what was
the relationship between the subjects of the course and World Heritage. Mr.
von Droste responded that this was one of the most solid courses in
Francophone Africa, which had 20-30 natural Heritage sites. These
properties required the use of applied ecology principles, which this
course taught. COLOMBIA asked how many course graduates were practicing in
World Heritage sites. The Centre's reply was the of 63 students, 7 were
working in "protected areas," but it was not known how many were World
Heritage sites. For the Centre, Harold Eidsvik acknowledged that the Centre
was concerned about the question and was proposing a major review for next
year, but he urged that the Committee approve the grant for this year.
GERMANY asked whether perhaps the training course could be funded from some
other division of UNESCO. Mr. von Droste explained that he could not commit
another division's funds; this was a very important course; he would urge
IUCN consultation with the course so as to direct more of it's attention to
World Heritage sites; and if delegates still felt the sum too high, he
would look for $10,000 elsewhere within UNESCO.

The UNITED STATES noted that the problem was not the amount of money,
or willingness to assist Francophone Africa, but the relevance of the award
to the main issues of the World Heritage Convention. Perhaps future
versions of the course could be given in association with the Garoua School
in Cameroon. Mr. von Droste acknowledged that this was a good plan and
would recommend it to the director of the training program. $30,000 was
approved, together with the COLOMBIAN provision that representatives from
third-world countries be included in the training program.

For Serra da Capivara Nat'l Park, Brazil $ 43,000 approved

For Cliffs of Bandiagara, Mali $ 42,000 approved

For Old Havana & its fortifications, Cuba $ 55,000 approved

For Training Course for Magreb architects in collaboration with
ICCROM and ICOMOS $ 50,000 approved

For three training courses by ICCROM $ 75,000 approved

For work of ICCROM in developing countries $ 25,000 approved

---Emergency Assistance
For Shibam, Yemen $ 40,500 approved
The delegate from the UNITED STATES spoke in support of the project,
but since part of the reason for Shibam's need was a lack of maintenance on
the part of local authorities, the Committee should adopt language in the
award to encourage continued maintenance. The delegate from THAILAND asked
whether the recipients of funds were required to submit completion reports.
The Centre's director responded that indeed, reports had been submitted but
up until now they had never been brought to the Committee's attention. At
the next Bureau meeting these reports and the mechanism by which awards
were made and closed out would be explained in full. He would also ask at
that time for ways in which the process might be improved; but he urged the
committee to approve the requests for financial assistance now as time was
getting short. The Committee signified its approval.

The Subcommittee formed on Monday to examine questions relating to
management, administration and staffing of the Centre made its report
through its chairman, the Mr. Robert Milne. He began by praising the very
hard work and long hours put into these discussions by the subcommittee
members, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Senegal, Thailand, and
the United States. But for Colombia, which had been absent at that
morning's meeting prior to the plenary session, they had achieved complete
consensus on the wording of the document, which defined five functions for
the Centre:

* fulfill the function of Secretariat to the organs of the 1972

* act as a clearing house for the purpose of coordination and
information sharing between the Committee and other conventions,
programs and international organizations related to the conservation
of natural and cultural heritage, as requested by the Committee;

* oversee the implementation of training, monitoring, and technical
assistance by state parties, ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN, and other NGOs,
and cooperate with other units of UNESCO and its field offices, as
requested by the Committee;

* be the primary instrument for facilitating the implementation of the
decisions of the Committee and in this regard should be the primary
contact with state parties on all technical aspects of the

* implement plans and seek participation to increase materials
promoting the Convention, as directed by the Committee and in
accordance with the goals and policies of UNESCO.

The document concluded by requesting the Director-General to make every
effort to secure funding and staff necessary to perform adequately the
tasks outlined. FRANCE and ITALY both spoke warmly in favor of the patience
exercised by the Subcommittee chair during the long hours of the

COLOMBIA's concurrence, however, was not won as easily as the rest of
the subcommittee had hoped, identifying what it considered redundancy of
language, and a reference to "systematic" monitoring that might obligate it
to unacceptable costs. After extensive debate, COLOMBIA modified its
demands and accepted the UNITED STATES offer to withdraw the offensive word
"systematic." The Report was accepted by the Committee as a whole and
would be submitted to the Director-General with the Committee's full

Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki, of UNESCO's Division of Cultural Heritage and
the representative of the Director-General, recalled that the Director-
General was bound by the Convention's article 14 and would continue to
assist the Committee.

A subsidiary proposal, prepared by the GERMAN delegation, requesting
that the Centre be staffed at the same level as other Secretariats such as
those of Ramsar and CITES did not win the full support of the Committee,
and it was withdrawn, on the understanding that delegations would write to
the Director-General individually, if appropriate.


At the previous meeting of the Committee in Santa Fe, the Committee
had approved certain changes to the Operational Guidelines. These were now
being presented to the Committee in draft form for the their approval. They
were presented by the Committee's former rapporteur, Mr. Azedine
Beschaouch, observer from TUNISIA.

The discussion was longer than anticipated. New members of the
Committee, who had not been present when the Guidelines were debated the
previous year, questioned wording that had been established at the previous
meeting. SENEGAL reintroduced the issue of unilateral nominations by the
Committee to the List of World Heritage in Danger, but both delegates from
THAILAND and the UNITED STATES moved to reassure SENEGAL that the
Convention did indeed provide for that action by the Committee.

The observer from AUSTRALIA, noting that the Guidelines were
extremely important and valuable, hoped that the Centre would be able to
include the revised text of the Guidelines as a part of the final report of
the Committee.

As delegates continued to pick at words and phrases in the 118
paragraphs of the Guidelines and the time for adjournment approached, the
Centre's director pleaded with the delegates to approve the Guidelines. It
was very important to the operation of the Centre and the Committee that
these new guidelines be approved. As it was, the time was so short that the
Centre staff would not be able to produce a complete report for the
Committee's approval the following day. After another ten minutes of
discussion, the Operational Guidelines were approved.

The Committee adjourned at approximately one o'clock for a luncheon
as guests of the Colombian government on board the three-masted training
ship "Gloria." To the music of a small Colombia band, the Gloria sailed
(under diesel power) the length of Cartagena Bay, returning to the naval
base at approximately five o'clock.

W o r l d H e r i t a g e C o m m i t t e e
-------- Annual Meeting, Cartagena, Colombia, December 6-11, 1993 --------
This distribution is made possible through the cooperation of the Canadian
National Committee of ICOMOS, the Institute for Global Communications, and
a grant from Martha S. Diener. The reports are those of an observer of the
meetings and do not represent official publications of either the World
Heritage Centre or any delegation.
Inquiries to the distribution coordinator, Peter Stott
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