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2014 WHC - Livestream

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Author winterkjm
#241 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 14:10 
This debate is reminiscent of Bolgar in 2013. Not Inscribe overturned in favor of Referral. Did the committee include paragraphs that indicated strong OUV? ICOMOS felt compelled to accept OUV of Bolgar based on the committee decision in 2013. Hopefully, this nomination is not inscribed in 2015, based on ICOMOS being compelled to accept OUV decided by the whim of the committee.

Author Solivagant
#242 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 14:37 
Did the committee include paragraphs that indicated strong OUV

I haven't seen the exact final words (A weakness, among many, of this year's Livestream was that the screens containing text couldn't be read!) but this aspect was recognised. So, as per my resumee below, Finland was trying to get the "presumption" that the Puys had OUV removed - but Algeria, and others, wouldn't allow it and they had the required simple majority
Finland - take out ref to OUV in para in sentence as it isn't established yet!
Algeria - can't take out the words OUV

Author vantcj1
#243 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 14:38 | Edited by: vantcj1 
Hello, everyone ! I want to summarize a bit the outcome of this session:

If my judgement doesn't fail, all the sites which were to be discussed have been already discussed (and were not withdrawed): like t
- Great Moravia Sites (CZ)
- Arrabida (Por)
- Valle Salado (Spain)
- Jaen Cathedral ext (Spain)
- Cat Ba (Vietnam)

This ends with 26 new sites and four extensions inscribed...out of which 2 new sites had got Referral from the Advisory Body (no problem at that), 8 new sites and 1 extension a Deferral, and 1 new site a rejection.

In short, from the 16 Cases in which the WH Commitee determined something different from the recomendation:

Barotse: Recommended D, Approbed R.
Battir: Recommended NI, Approbed I.
Erbil: Recommended D, Approbed I.
Jeddah: Recommended D, Approbed I.
Khor Dubai: Recommended NI, Approbed D.
Grand Canal: Recommended R, Approbed I (Just fine)
Sharhr-I-Sokhta: Recommended D, Approbed I.
Pyu Ancient Cities: Recommended D, Approbed I.
Silk Roads Penjikent-Samarkand-Poykent: Recommended D, Approbed R.
Trang An: Recommended D, Approbed I.
Les Puys et Limagne: Recommended NI, Approbed R.
Corvey: Recommended R, Approbed I (no problem at that)
Bursa and Cumalıkızık: Recommended D, Approbed I
Pergamon: Recommended D, Approbed I
Poverty Point: Recommended D, Approbed I
EXT Calakmul: Recommended D, Approbed I

20 Recommendations from the AB were followed:
15 New Sites and 3 Extensions were inscribed, and just 2 Deferrals of the original 12 (Tongo-Tengzuk Taliensi and Mount Mulanje)

Not even in my wildest dreams, after reading the AB evaluations, I would have thought that this would be the outcome, an overturn of 16 recommendations.
Not even after knowing the open criticism to the advisory bodies in past sessions...this one for what I see on your comments has turned to a very open hostility.

Completely out of the spirit of the WH's turned into a thing of just getting a good number of allies that can provide an amendment for inscription and then, a site with serious management, protection and conservation issues, or no OUV at all, can be inscribed. Or sites that were rejected out of hand, can get a referral, which is just a way to postpone one year an already blessed inscription, that the Advisory Body will have to approve, like Bolgar, probably also les Puys and Khor Dubai.

a pity... This is becoming a game of money (for creating expensive dossiers) and politics (see Palestine), which African nations cannot afford to play...

Completely concur with this opinion

Author winterkjm
#244 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 15:10 
Was Khor Dubai a Referral? I thought it was deferred?

Breakdown of inscription by Region:

10 Asia (1 Iran)
9 Europe (2 Turkey, 1 Israel, 1 Central Russia)
3 Arab States
2 Latin America
1 Africa
1 North America

Author winterkjm
#245 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 15:35 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I am concerned for 2015. As others have stated, 2015 is a year perhaps lacking truly world class nominations (with some exceptions). Compared with this year, even the overturned sites, many could make legit arguments for OUV. Which led to so much disagreements between the AB Bodies.

Who truly doubts OUV for any of these sites? Some are borderline, but many are undoubtedly of OUV. Even Trang An, which I feel doesn't meet cultural criteria currently, but the natural criteria is at least debatable.

Erbil: Recommended D, Approved I.
Jeddah: Recommended D, Approved I.
Grand Canal: Recommended R, Approved I
Sharhr-I-Sokhta: Recommended D, Approved I.
Pyu Ancient Cities: Recommended D, Approved I.
Silk Roads Penjikent-Samarkand-Poykent: Recommended D, Approved R.
Trang An: Recommended D, Approved I.
Corvey: Recommended R, Approved I
Bursa and Cumalıkızık: Recommended D, Approved I
Pergamon: Recommended D, Approved I
Poverty Point: Recommended D, Approved I

Author vantcj1
#246 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 16:03 
Thanks, winterkjm, I will correct the Khor Dubai part as deferral.

Author Khuft
#247 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 16:09 
Nice little video on Grotte Chauvet (as well as the current reconstruction of it) by Le Monde:

Author Khuft
#248 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 16:36 
Not even in my wildest dreams, after reading the AB evaluations, I would have thought that this would be the outcome, an overturn of 16 recommendations

I almost have the impression that ICOMOS gambled with quite tough recommendations and ended up losing it all.

The Committee members made clear that they are the ones deciding (as per the Convention) and not ICOMOS (with IUCN looking like a collateral hazard of that fight). It was startling how the Honourable Chairperson would at the end of discussions ask ICOMOS to reply to questions, and immediately thereafter continue with adopting amendments irrespective of what ICOMOS had answered.

Lebanon and a few others furthermore hurt ICOMOS on their home turf, by pointing out factual mistakes, or questioning the choice of criteria - clearly some of the delegates did actually read the reports, if only to confront ICOMOS with discrepancies between various reports. This contrasts with last year when no-one had bothered (I remember Thailand supporting Coimbra because Portugal had brought chili to the Thai cuisine...).

Ultimately, though, it is hard for me to feel sorry for ICOMOS. The very pedantic stance they have taken in the past few years has meant that it's mostly European sites that manage to jump through the loops (with rich Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea being quite succesful too) - thus completely undermining the process of creating a balanced list. This has meant that potentially worthy sites continue to exist under the radar without the external scrutiny that exists for sites that are on the List.

Author winterkjm
#249 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 17:20 | Edited by: winterkjm 
The very pedantic stance they have taken in the past few years has meant that it's mostly European sites that manage to jump through the loops (with rich Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea being quite successful too)

One wonders how the World Heritage Committee will view the highly Western Europe-centered list of sites up for inscription in 2015. Germany, France, Norway, and Denmark have (2) nominations each up for inscription, while the transnational nomination of Viking sites, allows Germany and Denmark to possibly inscribe (3).

• Hall in Tirol – The Mint (Austria) C
• Christiansfeld a Moravian Settlement (Denmark) C
• The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand (Denmark) CL
• Les climats du vignoble de Bourgogne (France) C
• Coteaux, Maisons et Caves de Champagne (France) CL
• Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus (Germany) C
• The Naumburg Cathedral and the landscape of the rivers Saale and Unstrut - territories of power in the High Middle Ages (Germany) CL
• Viking Age Sites in Northern Europe (Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Latvia) C
• Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (Italy) C
• Rjukan – Notodden Industrial Heritage Site (Norway) C
• La Rioja and Rioja Alavesa Wine and Vineyard Cultural Landscape (Spain) CL
• The Forth Bridge (United Kingdom) C

ALL Cultural! Plenty of churches/cathedrals, vineyards, and industrial sites. Several, which very well might receive a "fair wind" from ICOMOS.

Italy was quite clever to include "Arab" in the nomination title for Christian churches/cathedrals.

Author Khuft
#250 | Posted: 23 Jun 2014 18:51 | Edited by: Khuft 

Thinking about it, I believe this year even inscribed 2 vineyards - Italy's Piemont vineyard, and Battir, the land of olives and vines... Is anyone keeping track how many vineyards we already have on the list?

Silly me, I could just have looked at the Connections. So far (i.e. before the above) we were at 28 vineyards.

Author elsslots
#251 | Posted: 24 Jun 2014 02:44 
Who truly doubts OUV for any of these sites?

Some are sketchy. Sharhr-I-Sokhta for example. Or sites like Erbil or Jeddah where there might have been something 100 years ago, but most of it has been bulldozed away. Corvey is also doubtful, is one architectural element enough? Pergamon has a well-known name (probably because of the Berlin museum), but is it much different from other sites in the area?

I'm afraid I'm more in support of the ICOMOS line.

Author winterkjm
#252 | Posted: 24 Jun 2014 03:59 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I'm afraid I'm more in support of the ICOMOS line.

I felt there was a lot of unnecessary "bashing". However, how the organization is designed and run it benefits Western/developed state parties disproportionally. If OUV is demonstrated in a developing nation, inscription may very well help the property far more than a re-nomination or referral. As we have seen from some developing states, Deferral's often "kill" nominations. How many African, Latin American, Arab, and South East Asian nominations have ever attempted inscription as much as Bolgar, Causses and Cevennes, Heritage of Mercury, Darwin's Landscape Laboratory?

Nevertheless, when I see the committee making choices not based on sound evidence, and more on regional blocks, or even on a whim, I certainly am on the side of ICOMOS and IUCN.

- Saudi Arabia is under-represented, and the Tower Houses are quite stunning, but many seem to be in disrepair and in danger as ICOMOS stated.
- In Vietnam, I felt a mixed nomination was certainly ideal, but I felt there was no logical argument for inscription on cultural criteria at this time. Yet, I did feel natural criteria could be demonstrated, as IUCN highlighted potential here.
- Myanmar, the first nomination, Pyu Ancient Cities is of OUV, but like many developing nations, there is a host of problems in the dossier.

What is the solution? It is difficult, the World Heritage committee has demonstrated their power to overrule the advisory bodies. Yet, if ICOMOS had their way, we would only be inscribing sites from developed national (primarily in the west, but also in East Asia). While the rest of the international community would only find success in their most stunning, world class nominations. (Example: Okavango Delta)

Author clyde
#253 | Posted: 24 Jun 2014 04:00 
I totally agree with Els. Moreover, from all the inscriptions I think only the ones of Botswana, Netherlands and Myanmar fill in some gaps. The others are simply questionable or add nothing new to the list, plus they will help other similar sites get inscribed next year (at least one of Champagne and Bourgogne if not both!)

Author winterkjm
#254 | Posted: 24 Jun 2014 04:09 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I find these (10) nominations to be the most stunning/world class and/or great gap fillers for the 2014 WHC.

- Okavango Delta
- Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
- Great Himalayan National Park
- Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point
- Pyu Ancient Cities
- Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor
- The Grand Canal
- Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen's Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat
- Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System
- Decorated cave of Pont d'Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d'Arc, Ardèche

I agree about Stevns Klint being of major significance, I too was very impressed by the AB evaluation. There were plenty of interesting and unique sites. Japan's industrial site is also quite important.

Author elsslots
#255 | Posted: 24 Jun 2014 04:26 | Edited by: elsslots 
Stevns Klint is a geological site of major importance. There might be not a whole lot to see, but I was really impressed when reading the AB evaluation. In combination with Vredefort Dome, "IUCN thus considers it would complete an adequate representation on the World Heritage List of the phenomenon of meteorite impact"

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