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WHC Meeting in Brasilia (2010)

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Author meltwaterfalls
#46 | Posted: 3 Aug 2010 12:04 
It hadn't really occurred to me that there would be an anti-Darwin movement, but I guess that is probably pretty obvious. Darwin and evolution could cause considerable problems for may systems of thought and belief, but it hadn't occurred to me that this would be what was holding it back.

Author Solivagant
#47 | Posted: 3 Aug 2010 13:19 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Well , I "hear" what your contact says Durian -but it doesn't really "add up" (to me anyway!!). I am mystified as to what a further reading of the the ICOMOS report of 2007 can bring to the party - it was absolutely unambiguous
"ICOMOS considers that the nominated property, while of substantial interest in educational, historical, and scientific terms, does not conform with the objectives of the World Heritage Convention.
Recommendation with respect to inscription
ICOMOS recommends that Darwin at Downe, United-Kingdom, should not be inscribed on the World Heritage List."

This wasn't a decision made as a result of anti-Darwin beliefs but one made on rational criteria by ICOMOS (which wasn't presumably harbouring creationist "sleepers"!) according to its understanding of the convention and the field visit carried out in 2006 led by a Norwegian I believe!

Now of course UK tried to re-formulate the nomination to overcome the weakness of over-heavy connection to an individual. But, despite this, the table of recommendations in Item 8 of the provisional agenda is clearly headed "Recommendations by IUCN and ICOMOS" !!! With a very clear "No" from ICOMOS. Again, with "friends" like that in ICOMOS Darwin doesn't need any "anti-Darwin" enemies does he!

Certainly the WHC contains a rather large number of Muslim countries at the moment (Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Mali, UAE - but still fewer than a third of the Committee) so I can certainly understand that, when it came to a discussion there might have be a few anti-Darwinists among them - but with such a clear "no" from ICOMOS what was there to discuss anyway?

Is the suggestion that UK carried out a good rearguard action to overcome the ICOMOS "No" but that this was frustrated by the "Anti-Darwinists" and that the diplomatic conclusion was to defer as neither side was prepared to give way?

Author Durian
#48 | Posted: 3 Aug 2010 21:02 
Solivagant, I totally agreed with you when my contact told me about anti-darwinism, I was really surprised that such thing happened in WHC. I will try to ask my contact again, who are celebrating the success of Hahoe nomination!, for more info.

Author Solivagant
#49 | Posted: 4 Aug 2010 05:39 
The local government unit within which Darwin's Landscape Laboratory" sits is putting a brave face on matters
It is interesting that they refer to a positive comment from IUCN (" IUCN have inspected the site and established that almost all the natural features that were important for Darwin in his science survive") but make absolutely no mention of ICOMOS!
Also there is no mention of whether there is an intention to progress further. When the site was put forward in 2007 and withdrawn the UK government made an immediate commitment to resubmit - pushing back Jarrow to do so (though Jarrow won't even have made it for 2011 and has been postponed until 2012).

In the last 4 years UK has not really achieved very much!!

2007 - Darwin at Down - withdrawn
2008 - Frontiers of Roman Empire extended to include Antonine Wall
2009 - Pontcysyllte inscribed
2010 - Darwins Lab deferred
2011 - Nothing put forward

So 1 new inscription - during the same time France has added 5 sites and may get Le Corbusier next year but surely not yet another mining Landscape (Le bassin minier du Nord/Pas-de-Calais)??

Author Durian
#50 | Posted: 10 Aug 2010 03:38 
The evaluation report of IUCN and ICOMOS now can be download at the official website of WHS!!

Author winterkjm
#51 | Posted: 12 Aug 2010 01:05 
Can someone inform me? What's the "incomplete" means exactly when a property is submitted before the deadline? Does this mean if the state parties submit full documentation, and meet ICOMOS requirements it will be considered for inscription at the following session?

Incomplete Nominations for 2011

The Central Slave and Ivory Trade Route in Tanzania (Tanzania)
Eastern Arc Mountains Forests of Tanzania (Tanzania)
Hiran Minar and Tank at Sheikhupura (Pakistan)
The Cultural Landscape of Bali Province (Indonesia)
Archaeo-astronomical Site - Kokino (Macedonia)
The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications (Portugal)
Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russia)
Russian Kremlins (Russia)
Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve (Mexico)

Also I was wondering this document states there are 52 propoerties submitted for 2011. Is this the absolute max that will be considered for inscription? There is no other possibility any other properties will be examined?

Total number of nominations submitted by the annual deadline: 52

List of nominations received by 1 February 2010 and for examination by the Committee at its 35th Session (2011)


Author Solivagant
#52 | Posted: 19 Aug 2010 04:13 | Edited by: Solivagant 
In this forum we have discussed under its own subject the Chinese criticism of IUCN for, among other things, its inaccuracies in assessing the Danxia nomination.
China decided to face these out at the WHC and successfully "persuaded" that body to inscribe Danxia

The failure of India's Matheran Railway nomination as an extension to the Mountain Railways of India provides an interesting comparison.

This link
says that "Indian Officialdom" is criticising ICOMOS on a number of grounds, including "pointing an accusing finger at the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) it is the body under Unesco that assesses the applications for not only suggesting rejection of the Matheran light railway application but even getting some of its facts wrong in its assessment report."

Whilst it doesn't seem a very good year to complain of UNESCO's "Eurocentrism" I have some sympathy however with the implication that ICOMOS is getting a bit too big for its boots. This phrase " ICOMOS considers that the series of Mountain Railways of India is closed." is wonderfully imperious and deserves a bit of criticism!

Perhaps India is also feeling a bit impotent in the face of China's success - it appears that it hoped to lobby the WHC to the point of a "voice vote" but failed to get the necessary support. Compare this with China's Danxia success on the same basis. Does this say something about each country's respective "reach" and influence in international matters? For some years now China has adopted an expansive overseas policy - particularly in relation to Africa. India on the other hand has been much "quieter" - pursuing a more "private capital" based expansion and perhaps remaining too inward looking and sub-continent based in its foreign policy. Perhaps the chickens are coming home to roost as China steamrollers its way through problems using the support from its many "client states"!

I also note that India withdrew the nomination "during" the session with the implication that this could have been as late as the actual discussion on the item when it saw the way the wind was blowing.

Author Solivagant
#53 | Posted: 27 Aug 2010 23:42 | Edited by: Solivagant 
An article from "The Economist" with a few interesting critical comments about the Brasilia "shindig"!

China's "pressure" gets a mention - and a count of those sites which got inscribed despite recommendations to the contrary. Also a comment on the Saudi inscription by a WHC with 5 Arab members!

Author Khuft
#54 | Posted: 28 Aug 2010 08:16 
The related article on Georgia's Bagrati church is interesting too. The delisting of sites could soon become a standard agenda point on WHC meetings...

Author Solivagant
#55 | Posted: 28 Aug 2010 09:07 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Talking of which, I have seen no comment at all any discussions/conclusions at Brasilia on the Seville Pelli and St Petersburg Gazprom towers. The latter in particular seems to be on/off every other day according to which Russian politician has made a speech! The former is, as far as I know, still under construction.

Does anyone know of any "result".

On another "cause celebre" I think i read somewhere that the Rhine Bridge was being allowed by UNESCO -yes, here we are,,5849540,00.html

PS. According to this the Pelli tower received approval at Brasilia. It wants another report by July 2011 - by which time the thing will be almost finished (this report says "half built" but it should be complete by end 2011)! I suppose UNESCO could "make" them stop a few floors short as they did in Koln e-pelli-gets-approval/

Author elsslots
#56 | Posted: 10 Sep 2010 14:15 
The final decision document is now available online:

About the Darwin-site:
the examination of the nomination of Darwin's Landscape Laboratory, United Kingdom, on the World Heritage List;
the World Heritage Centre to organize a meeting for deliberating on sites presenting Outstanding Universal Value, essentially on an associative basis.

And also, interestingly, Israel's Tel Dan-site apparently had been renamed to Sites of Christianity in the Galilee

Author Khuft
#57 | Posted: 10 Sep 2010 15:15 
Actually Arch of Dan still exists separately (Sites of Galilee is another Israeli site). Page 237 of the document states the following:

: 34 COM 8B.38
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined documents WHC-10/34.COM/8B.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/INF.8B1.Add, recognizes
that the nomination entitled "Triple Arch Gate at Dan" (Israel) has Outstanding Universal Value;
2. Takes note
of information provided concerning legal and technical data;
3. Postpones
consideration of this nomination until additional information is received.

This sounds a lot like the Preah Vihear situation a few years ago...

Author elsslots
#58 | Posted: 11 Sep 2010 02:15 
Sites of Galilee is another Israeli site

Hmmm - to which Tentative Site does this "Sites of Christianity in the Galilee" refer back, The Galilee Journeys of Jesus & the Apostles?

Author Assif
#59 | Posted: 11 Sep 2010 17:56 
Yes. Both refer to the relatively new Jesus trail in the Galilee and include some combination of sites in Nazareth, Kana, Sepphoris, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitude and Mount Tabor. Although these sites are of unquestionable significance to Christian worshippers they don't have much to offer neither historically nor as a cultural landscape. Moreover Capernaum is included in the (for me much more interesting) serial proposal 'ancient synagogues of the Galilee' and Sepphoris is preparing its own dosier for the tentative list as an independent nomination (perhaps that's why it was omitted from the Jesus proposal).
The triple arch of Dan is much older than Christianity and is proposed for its technological innovation. The problem with its nomination must have to do with its problematic location in great proximity to the occupied Golan Heights.

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 WHC Meeting in Brasilia (2010)

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