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Author Solivagant
#61 | Posted: 6 Dec 2018 13:36 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Are the sites actually different or is this a political thing?

Quote from evaluation of Bangla Desh nomination by IUCN which Bangladesh titled "Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuaries" (SWS)
"The SWS is directly adjacent to the National Park on the Indian side which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The Sundarbans are one ecological unit and indeed were managed as a single forest block prior to national partitioning in 1947. As recommended in.IUCN's 1987 evaluation of the Indian portion, a transfrontier site is again suggested. This is clearly consistent with the ecological realities of the area, the spirit of the Convention and Operational Guideline 16. The Governments of India and Bangladesh will need to be approached through official channels to consent to the possibility that. for purposes of the World Heritage List, a Sundarbans protected area transfrontier site would be acceptable. In light of the recent cooperative agreement on equitable sharing of water resources between the two countries such a gesture of cooperation would seem timely.
Until there is bilateral agreement on a transfrontier site the name of the Bangladesh portion should be "Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuaries".

The minutes state
"The Committee recalled that the Bureau had suggested that the initial nomination was of insufficient size and encouraged the authorities of Bangladesh to consider enlarging the nomination to include the Sundarbans East and South Wildlife Sanctuaries.
It commended the Government of Bangladesh for responding to this request to extend the boundaries of the site to now include all three wildlife sanctuaries.
The Committee inscribed the site under criteria (ii) and (iv) as one of the largest remaining areas of mangroves in the world, which supports an exceptional biodiversity with a wide range of flora and fauna, including the Bengal Tiger and provides a significant example of on-going ecological
processes (monsoon rains, flooding, delta formation, tidal influence and plant colonisation).
The Committee furthermore encouraged the authorities of Bangladesh and of India to discuss the possibility for creating a transfrontier site with the adjoining Sundarbans National Park and World Heritage site (India)."

As far as I know nothing substantive has ever happened to bring the 2 WHS together - the "Sundarbans West" element of the Bangladesh WHS is adjacent to the Indian WHS. The other 2 elements are further east and this means that they become less saline/more fresh water which has some impact on the ecology - but not that significant. But why would they go to all the hassle of combining once they have their inscription. "Management" could well be better if coordinated - but could equally get more convoluted and complex!!

On a point of interest no one can officially actually enter the core zone of the Indian WHS - all the tours which go to the Indian Sundarbans actually stay OUTSIDE the core WHS!! This is not the case in the Bangladesh WHS where tours are allowed into the core area

Author Zoe
#62 | Posted: 7 Dec 2018 21:33 
Interesting, I wonder if this is the only case where this happened. I can't see the countries "waste" their money on this unless the committee threatens them, very unlikely as well.

Author Solivagant
#63 | Posted: 8 Dec 2018 01:46 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I wonder if this is the only case where this happened

No - it happened with Iguassu
a. When Argentina made its nomination for 1984 the IUCN recommendation was - "Brazil's Iguazu National Park is clearly an integral part of the area and has been included on the tentative list submitted by Brazil. The Committee should request the Brazilian authorities to nominate their contiguous portion of the area and thereby establish an international World Heritage property"

b. The 1984 minutes recording the Argentine inscription state "The Committee was furthermore glad to be informed by the representative of Brazil that the contiguous Iguacu National Park, on the Brazilian side of the river, would be nominated by the end of 1984 so that both parks could constitute next year a transfrontier World Heritage Site[/i]."

c. In 1985 Brazil nominated its part of the Falls but separately and it was deferred - the minutes state - "The Committee noted that the Bureau had recommended the inscription of this property and had suggested that it could be considered as a single transfrontier property along with the contiguous Iguazu National Park in Argentina, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1984. The Secretariat informed the Committee that the Brazilian authorities had requested the Committee to postpone the examination of this nomination. The representative of Brazil explained that the authorities wished to study the points raised by the Bureau in its report. It was further indicated that this nomination could be re-examined by the Bureau at its next session. The Committee accordingly expressed the wish that the property would be inscribed on the World Heritage List at
its 10th session in 1986."

d. in 1986 Brazil again nominated its part of the Falls - BUT again separately! The IUCN evaluation stated "The Iguassu National Park should be inscribed on the World Heritage List, and should be incorporated as one property with the existing Iguazu National Park of Argentina. The name of the property would become "Iguazu, Iguassu National Park of Argentina and Brazil".

e. This time it got accepted separately! The minutes state "in response to the Secretariat's request for advice on the future listing of this property, the delegation of Brazil indicated its wish to list this property independently, as proposed by Brazil, without any link to the concept of transfrontier site or any other similar concept in force or that might be accepted in the deliberations of the Committee. The Delegation of Brazil also mentioned that Brazilian legislation did not allow for any commitment regarding joint management of national parks. The World Heritage Committee, although it took note of IUCN's position regarding the technical desirability of listing this as one property along with the Iguazu National Park o f Argentina, preferred to list this as a separate pro­perty as the Iguaçu National Park of Brazil on the World Heritage List."

So - back in 1986 the WHC preferred to have sites inscribed separately rather than "fighting" further with Brazil with a risk that its sector might not be inscribed at all!! There has I believe been a significant change among States Parties who have come to see that a Transnational inscription actually helps them get their sites inscribed and lets them hang on the coat-tails of another country (also without using up their "annual" nomination since the introduction of limits). The extra work in putting together a combined management plan etc etc is seen to be worth it and the result not as onerous as might have been thought regarding transborder cooperation.

The separate inscription of Paraguay's "Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue" in 1993 is a 3rd example of ICOMOS/WHC suggesting a later combination of separate "similar" nominations. ICOMOS had been successful back in 1983 in getting Brazil and Argentina to pool their originally separate intentions but failed with Paraguay. Herewith the WHC minutes onting the paraguayan inscription -
"The Committee inscribed the site on the World Heritage List under criterion (iv). The Committee invited Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay to consider a joint inscription of the Jesuit missions on their territories. The Delegate of Brazil would welcome a joint conservation effort and
announced that such an initiative was being taken in the context of MERCOSUR
". It never happened of course!

The reality is that once sites have been inscribed, nothing is then going to change. EXCEPT that the UK very "generously" agreed to allow its initial inscription of the famed/iconic Hadrian's Wall to become "submerged" within an ever growing list of uninspiring "Limes" inscriptions!!!

Author tirtha22
#64 | Posted: 20 Dec 2018 03:17 

Author joelonroad
#65 | Posted: 13 Jun 2019 22:03 
While writing a few reviews from our semi-recent India trip, I remembered a tip that should come in handy for anyone visiting Indian World Heritage sites: you can directly buy tickets for sites managed by the Archaeological Survey of India on their website: It's a pretty dubious name, but it's official, accepts international credit cards and worked every time we tried using it. You can just save a PDF of the ticket on your phone and then have the guys at the gate scan the QR code.

Aside from saving a bit of paper, it also means you're always paying the slightly discounted credit card price rather than the full cash price at the gate, where mysteriously the credit card machine was never working to give the discount!

As a side note - their ticket-scanning machines only seem to check that your ticket is valid, and not whether it's already been used. When visiting the Taj Mahal, we bought sunrise tickets which specifically said can only be used before about 8am. But of course, Agra in February meant that the whole area was blanketed in fog and we couldn't see the Taj until we were basically underneath it. Dispirited, we left and spent most of the day at Agra Fort, before returning to the Taj around 3pm when the fog had completely lifted. Before paying the extortionate ticket price again, I thought we'd just try and blag our way in with tickets and the old "confused foreigner" routine, but to my surprise our electronic tickets scanned with no problem and in we went! No chance that would've happened with the hole-punched paper tickets.

Author meltwaterfalls
#66 | Posted: 14 Jun 2019 03:52 
Thanks for the link joel, certainly is a useful resource.

Author tirtha22
#67 | Posted: 30 Jun 2019 03:45 

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