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News from Seville (WHC meeting 2009)

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Author m_m
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#46 | Posted: 28 Jun 2009 19:50 
elsslots:
I already had it registered as "Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol", it's the site's full name. It hasn't changed from that, or has it?

same observation here. no change there.

Author m_m
Registered
#47 | Posted: 28 Jun 2009 20:05 | Edited by: m_m 
Khuft:
In all, a small but interesting crop of sites - not your standard WH material.

this is certainly an interesting batch, but like what i wrote last year, it is still a lean batch. and lean not just in terms of number. there is no iconic site that crosses cultural, national and demographic recognition like 2006's giant panda sanctuaries, or 2007's sydney opera house. 2008 list also had no iconic sites, but it managed to create buzz with how the media portrayed the new natural sites as "wonders of the world"--lol, some of my friends even thought that that was the voting result of the new 7 natural wonders list. i thought the shaolin monastery would be iconic, but that wasn't even nominated as "shaolin monastery", but in terms of a lesser known (but more appropriate, i think) name of mount song. and that nomination wasn't even successful. the le corbusier collection also didn't make it.

also, in past years, owing to the large size of at least one or two natural sites, the total area of world heritage listed properties has grown by more than 1M ha. this year, growth was significantly less. i'm also curious about the case of wadden sea. the area inscribed is quite small, or is it just a case of typographical error, similar to some other sites? this is quite peculiar considering that its description includes such lines as "66% of the whole area" and we are also led to believe that it's one of the largest of such property types in the world. is this due to excessive "carving out" of the area to remove those heavily affected by human activities? after all, no buffer zone area was indicated.

Author m_m
Registered
#48 | Posted: 28 Jun 2009 20:12 | Edited by: m_m 
of course, next year, we'll probably see a more media-friendly batch, with the nomination of several marine sites in the pacific leading the way, especially the comeback of united states in the world heritage list.

and then if the news are correct, the 2011/12 cycle will also have media buzz with the scheduled nomination of the silk road--another multinational nomination.

le corbusier nomination might also be nominated again, but it may take time. i think that they need to incorporate the chandigarh site here, to further strengthen the nomination. although the chandigarh site is worth nominating as a stand alone site, based on past trends, each architect is allowed just around one site/collection of site as his representative on the list.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#49 | Posted: 29 Jun 2009 05:20 
Other thoughts
a. Only 2 previous years (89, 02) were lower in number - but they were just "blips". Will this also be one or is it the shape of things to come? The original agenda had a discussion on "Reflections on the future of the World Heritage Convention" yesterday and on OUV on Saturday -they may have to be rushed through if time is short (This morning was supposed to be "Visit Morning"). Bandarin has said that things have to change regarding the nomination, evaluation, monitoring of sites. Back in 2006 the Lithuanian Chairperson said that "The tendency is to add fewer new sites every year. Last year we had 24 new entries; this year the figure is lower. Our main concern is preserving sites which are already on the list".
b. Nothing from Mexico - It has only missed the occasional year since the scheme started!. Its attempt to get San Luis Potosi inscribed "undercover" since it was never going to succeed on its own has failed (for the moment).
c. Europe still had 6 out of 13 - That will hardly change the %age balance if at all?
d. Iran gets an inscription for the 2nd year running. It has the second longest T List after China (??) - can we now expect a series of nominations?
e. Yes no palaces or Christian churches which are already over-represented (I am surprised that UK is still pressing ahead with Jarrow for 2011) - but still a number of duplicates out of only 13 sites - another Canal, another early 20C building, yet another European planned Industrial town and another Portuguese fort.
f. Both Natural sites are European - quite a coup really in this overcrowded continent!
g. Only 1 Cultural Landscape - Sulaiman-too (I think - they don't always title them as such) -has this "fashion" burnt itself out? It had become almost a technique for making more of a location than perhaps it deserved. And the Dresden experience might show that it has its downsides! "Small" might actually be easier to control.
h. Yes 3 new states represented - but there are a lot more to go and Bandarin (or someone) actually indicated an objective of having a site from EVERY state. I suspect that is more a statement of inclusiveness than real expectation - even at 3 pa it will take a long time. Cidade Velha took 17 years to work up with much assistance from Spain.
i. Nothing at all from our list of "Top 50 missing" - UNESCO can only vote of course on what is put before them and our "list" certainly isn't gospel and contains a few flying kites but it does also include a lot of the really iconic "gaps" in the current list. And when (if at all) do we see Myanmar, Bhutan, FSM with their iconic sites rather than the "less than world class" new state sites we got this year?

Author m_m
Registered
#50 | Posted: 29 Jun 2009 06:00 
also, there is no inscription, not even a nomination, from the arab states this year.

to further reiterate my excitement for next year, just by looking at the natural nominations, we can already see a diversity of sites across biogeographic regions--marine sites, arctic site, a fossil site, island site, etc. can't wait for the list of cultural nominations to be released. hope that it would also be diverse.

Author elsslots
Admin
#51 | Posted: 30 Jun 2009 13:52 
More news about the dismissal of Mount Songshan.

Author Nem
Registered
#52 | Posted: 19 Jul 2009 04:36 
Documents re the UK are available to read here: http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/33COM/documents/

Author Khuft
Registered
#53 | Posted: 19 Jul 2009 06:49 
I can't access the documents on that website...

Author elsslots
Admin
#54 | Posted: 19 Jul 2009 11:24 
They're not accessible yet - often takes weeks or even months (unfortunately).

Author Nem
Registered
#55 | Posted: 19 Jul 2009 11:51 | Edited by: Nem 
Whoops, sorry, apologies for misleading people, wrong link!

It's the DCMS site link I should have posted.

http://www.culture.gov.uk/ukwhportal/publications/publications.htm

I understand that the draft reports were all accepted without alteration.

The DCMS responses to the initial mission draft reports are interesting, what a load of baloney some of that is. I presume UNESCO wasn't fooled.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#56 | Posted: 21 Jul 2009 06:32 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I note in the "Report of Decisions Made at Seville" (now out) that next year's Rapporteur is to be a Ms Britta Rudolff. Strange? Next year's Rapporteur traditionally comes from the State Party due to hold the next-but-one WHC and we thought it was going to be in Bahrain? All is explained if you look at Ms Rudolff's LinkedIn profile
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/britta-rudolff/8/340/86a
She may be German but she works for the Bahraini Ministry of Information having come from ICOMOS and, before that, ICCROM and, before that, did a Master thesis in the "World Heritage Studies" program at Mainz University. Unfortunately, unlike Theses from some other universities, this is only available to view via password. She had also been an observer at a WHC as long ago as 2005 in Durban. She clearly belongs to the inner circle of World Heritage "experts" and would be regarded by them as "one of us" - i.e. a "good choice" by Bahrain! So it looks as if Bahrain's hosting of the 2011 WHC is pretty well confirmed. I grow more and more impressed by Ms Shaika May Al-Khalifa's management of the Bahraini push for "excellence" and "profile" within the heritage tourism world - even if her membership of the ruling family sticks in the craw somewhat! I would suspect that she will ensure that a top rate set of nomination documents will have been prepared for "Pearling and its Cultural Landscapes in Bahrain" (??? I don't think the Transnational Hawar Islands reserve will be ready despite Bahrain's hosting of a joint workshop about it this February) in time for inscription at the 2011 WHC as Bahrain's "present" for hosting it! My review of the "Pearling Cultural Landscapes" is at http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/t5370.html . No doubt there are some nice opportunities for insiders from ICOMOS to do a 2 year secondment preparing such documentation and doing the necessary "networking" to ensure its success!

Author quirkasher
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#57 | Posted: 21 Jul 2009 08:45 
the documents from this year's meeting are finally out.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#58 | Posted: 22 Jul 2009 01:52 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Am I correct in thinking that only the Decisions have been posted on the UNESCO site but, not yet, the "Papers" presented to that meeting?

The full set of papers will tell us what the Advisory Bodies (AB) actually said about the nominated sites. There does appear to have been a higher %age this year than usual of "withdrawals" as opposed to "Referrals" and "Deferrals" - which implies that the AB evaluations gave little hope in those cases - but, until we can see those evaluations, we won't know.

For your reference herewith a summary of decisions on sites considered but not inscribed this year :-
Withdrawn
Korean Dinosaur Coast, Lena Pillars, Lonjsko Polje NP, Orheiul Vechi, Kandy (ext), St Euphrosyne of Polotsk, Jajce, Sites of Moravia, Schwetzingen, Longobadorum
Referred
Grand Bassam, Mt Songshan, Le Corbusier, Mercury and Silver Binomial, Graz (ext), Causses and Cevennes, Churches of Moldova (ext)
Deferred
Halsingland, Paraty
Rejected
Moenjodaro (ext)
Other ?????
Triple Arch Gate of Dan - see page 212. A rather strange "decision" - " Requests the World Heritage Centre to facilitate the provision of the information which would enable the formal inscription of the property by the Committee at its 34th session." But it doesn't really make clear what was missing and why!

I was interested to note the reasons for the Referral and Deferral of the Mercury/Silver Binomial and Paraty sites as I had reviewed each of them prior to the WHC and expressed "concerns" relating to their candidacy based on my own visits. The AB comments mirrored mine in a number of respects
a. the definition of San Luis Potosi in relation its inventory of "mining" heritage and the pollution issue
b. the supposed "mixed" (Ie Cultural and Natural) merits of Paraty!
It is nice to be in agreement, at least sometimes, with the ABs!!

Author quirkasher
Registered
#59 | Posted: 22 Jul 2009 03:46 
Solivagant:
Am I correct in thinking that only the Decisions have been posted on the UNESCO site but, not yet, the "Papers" presented to that meeting?


The reports by ICOMOS and IUCN are all out too. They are under the tab marked "Documents".

The decision on the triple arch gate is such a bewildering one isn't it? ICOMOS after all recommended its inscription again this year. But there are concerns about whether the site could be properly conserved. The gate was thought to be too fragile. ICOMOS therefore recommended that an "exacting conservation management plan" be implemented on the site. Maybe that's why.

Author elsslots
Admin
#60 | Posted: 26 Jul 2009 02:37 
Solivagant:
The full set of papers will tell us what the Advisory Bodies (AB) actually said about the nominated sites

ICOMOS wanted to Refer Mount Wutai and Cidade Velha, but the WHC decided to Inscribe both.

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