There has been a change in the WHS nomination process which encourages the development of serial nominations among host nations which share a common heritage.
Interesting comment. This approach clearly has the potential benefit of bringing together a number of countries to develop and share heritage related expertise. It also fosters regional co-operation/friendship and strengthens the OUV of sites by providing a wider selection base unhindered by post-colonial boundaries which are likely in many cases to be irrelevant to the cultural aspect being preserved.
BUT -the record of such attempts has not, to date, been that successful. The current list is littered with examples of where neighbouring countries have been exhorted to come together either from the beginning to develop a transboundary nomination or later to agree to an addition becoming transnational - outside Europe/N America there have been remarkably few examples of "success".
There are 31 transboundary sites -
a. Of the 13 Natural 3 are in Africa, 1 in Central America, 8 in Europe/N America and 1 cross region (Russia/Mongolia)
b. Of the 16 cultural 2 are in S America, 1 in Asia 1 in Africa and 12 in Europe.
c. Of the 2 mixed 1 is in Africa and 1 in Europe.
The recent successes of Qapac Nan and Silk Roads may demonstrate the future but they did require enormous amounts of effort. China I suspect can take major credit for the success of Silk Roads - Does anyone know which countries (if any) took a similar lead for Qapac Nan??
In many truly developing countries it proves hard enough to get just 1 country to put in place the necessary management regime to satisfy ICOMOS/IUCN - let alone multiplying the difficulties across several.
Dr Barnes takes as an example early 16th/17th C Spanish Caribbean sites – Of course Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, USA (Pto Rico), Panama and Mexico (at least!) have already gained inscriptions in that domain. In retrospect it might well have been better to have had a serial nomination for Spanish Caribbean Forts or settlements but it perhaps seems a bit late now to start linking sites?
When Mexico started working on the Camino Real it avoided, for some reason, working together with USA on a trans-boundary nomination for a site which seemed to be crying out/a perfect fit for such an approach!! I wonder why? National pride? US disinterest? A recognition of the practical difficulties of working with USA and its "exceptionalism" with regard to private property etc?
The Caribbean sugar industry would seem to be another good example of a potential trans-boundary site, Cuba already has one (Ingenios) whilst Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Netherlands (Curacao) and Barbados have T List entries. Would Cuba be prepared to "assist" the creation of a "Caribbean sugar Industry" transnational site and subsume its own site in such a larger entity? And would this perhaps not miss some unique aspects of the individual sites e.g the Taino heritage in Jamaica? Is it not somewhat simplistic to look across an area as big as and with as complex a history as the Caribbean and expect a common set of OUV to emerge?
Another potential trans-boundary theme is that of Slavery/Slave revolts – Haiti already has a relevant inscribed site but Jamaica for instance has a proud Maroon history. But would these 2 different "histories" really fit well together in a single nomination?
I think the "readers" of this Forum would be interested to hear more from Dr Barnes on his "vision" for Caribbean trans-boundary sites and would very much like to be kept informed of any conclusions reached at the conference he is to attend!!