WORLD HERITAGE WATCH REPORT 2018
Publicación de la World Heritage Watch
|World Heritage Watch offers a platform for civil society actors and indigenous peoples to document concerns, to alert the World Heritage Committee, and to inform the wider interested public. Since last year we
publish our World Heritage Watch Report before the annual World Heritage Committee Meeting, in order to contribute to the Committee’s decision-making in a timely fashion. This is a demanding routine as the time to prepare the Report is very limited: between 1 February, when most State of Conservation Reports by State Parties are submitted to the WH Centre, and mid-May, when the Draft Decisions are finalized for the upcoming Committee Meeting.
We recognize that this useful, yet tight annual routine puts considerable strain on our network members, who must send us their reports in time. Many of them are located in remote locations with only intermittent internet connection; others are not very well versed in legal English or French language. They have to track
and check the facts and statements in the State of Conservation Reports, and to compile and select information which is relevant for the Committee. This represents a huge learning process for all of us.
This year we are glad to report about no less than 39 sites, more than ever before. We have made a special effort to include reports on sites which are expected to be on this year’s agenda, either because they are on the List of WH in Danger, or their State of Conservation Reports will be discussed, or because they are nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List. Half of our reports (19 of our 39) meet this requirement.
As many as 17 sites in the Report have not been covered by World Heritage Watch before, and it goes without saying that we are extremely happy that NGOs, indigenous peoples and activists from these sites have joined our network.
Three sites covered in the Report haven’t been inscribed yet: Prosecco, Roşia Montana and Podesennya, all three of them cultural landscapes: Here World Heritage inscription could be a determining factor regarding the path of development these regions will take: sustainable development with a strong emphasis on protecting
cultural and natural heritage, or maximum resource exploitation and a boom-and-bust path which brings a short-term gain at the expense of long-term well-being.
Many of the cases presented here – may we only mention Upper Svaneti and L’viv but also Carthage and Sukur – raise the question of financing urgent interventions which the sites need. This is an issue not only for conservation but as much for development and, ultimately social stability, security and peace.
Since its inception, World Heritage Watch has insisted that safeguarding World Heritage Sites must include not only conservation of heritage but also tasks such as vocational training and education, infrastructure and business development, tourism regulation and spatial planning of the site as a whole. These are all
classical fields of development assistance. We urge major development donors to bring their expertise and resources to bear on World Heritage sites.
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