Potential for "Do Not Inscribe" change to "Refer/Defer"?
under this topic, I had looked at this year's Referred/Deferred nominations to see which might be candidates for a State Party (SP) to try to get an "upgrade" out of the WHC. But what about the "Do not inscribes"? SPs might yet still withdraw some of them for a rethink or to avoid embarrassment, but, if they haven't done so by the time of the WHC it implies that they are going to try for a conversion to de/refer. If an SP can get away with it this is far superior to "withdrawing" and starting all over again! A potential candidate would seem to be the "ALPES DE LA MÉDITERRANÉE (MONACO /ITALY / FRANCE)
This because France
a. seems to approach WHS nominations from the implicit assumption that the whole of "La Belle France" has a right to be inscribed (I remember the anger at last year's Nimes deferral when France thought it should be upgraded
to an inscribe (""I'm a little surprised that people who boast of culture are not more cultured than that or braver than that!
" - Daniel-Jean Valade)")!!!
b. has been in almost exactly the same place before with a VERY similar nomination - and, across 4 elapsed years, managed to convert IUCN's "Do not inscribe" into an inscribed WHS!
I refer to the "Chaîne des Puys et faille de Limagne
". Its similarities with the "Alpes de la Mediterranee
" nomination are uncanny. Both
a. claimed OUV solely via Crit viii for their "special" geological/tectonic features
b. were rejected by IUCN for not meeting "Key paras of Operational Guidelines: Par 77: Nominated property does not meet World Heritage criteria. Para 78: Nominated property does not meet integrity, protection and management requirements
c. had started out with a rather wider scope "appropriate" for a National Park area with high "tourism values" but couldn't support such a case and retreated to more "esoteric" aspects. The Puys originally claimed Crit vii and viii, whilst the Alpes had started off hoping for Crit viii, ix and x.
One might think that conclusions as per b. above, give no chance of ever progressing. NOT the case!!!
In the case of the "Chaine des Puys" France first managed to persuade the 2014 WHC to change "Do not Inscribe" into "Refer". IUCN again rejected a revised nomination in 2016 but, again, France managed a conversion to "Refer". In 2018 France came back a 3rd time. In both resubmissions "changes" were made which, IUCN pointed out, were way beyond what should have been happening with a Referral ("the large volume of information submitted (685 pages), unprecedented within the framework of a referral
") This time IUCN threw in the towel and commented "IUCN notes that despite the improvements made to this nomination, the intense dialogue and the deepened scientific review, it remains a proposal where there are greatly divergent, and to some extent polarized opinions.. In this case, it appears to IUCN that the inscription, if accepted by the World Heritage Committee, would represent a basis for establishing the lowest point of interest with respect to the justification of the criteria that define Outstanding Universal Value.
" – hardly a ringing endorsement!
Development of this year's "Alpes" nomination by France/Italy appears to have been a struggle. The original T List entry in Apr 2013 gave its title as "Espace transfrontalier Maritime-Mercantour (Les Alpes de la Mer)", was based on 4 Natural/National parks and was entirely terrestrial. Nomination was foreseen under Crit viii, ix and x and its proposed biodiversity aspects, in addition to those for geology, were important enough such that a comparator site included Guanacaste. By Jan 2017, however, the title had changed to "Les Alpes de la Méditerranée", the criteria had been reduced solely to viii for its geology and Monaco had "joined"/been co-opted (or rather some of its maritime area had***
)! Change was even continuing during the evaluation and IUCN was highly critical – "IUCN considers that introducing fundamental and spontaneous change in a nomination in this way makes it extremely difficult to undertake an evaluation. Such changes also illustrate a lack of coherence in a nomination, as they pertain to matters that should be considered before submission,"
The scene appears to be set for France (this time with the support of another "serial nominator" country – Italy) to play a long game and push for a De/Refer. It will be interesting to see if the WHC allows it to get away with it. We have already identified that IUCN/ICOMOS appear to have been less "pernickety" in their evaluations this year – would they not expect a quid pro quo by which their negative professional recommendations are accepted?? ***
The Monégasque section of the nomination demonstrates a "unique" aspect! 7 of the Nomination's 8 sections are terrestrial areas in both France and Italy. The remaining section however is ENTIRELY "Marine" – or rather "Submarine" since its values relate to the underwater geology of the area across the territorial waters of all 3 SPs. It is thus the only section to involve Monaco. BUT - there is no point at which it actually touches Monégasque "land" or even its shoreline. We thus potentially have the rather strange situation whereby Monaco might have a "WHS" without any terrestrial component whatsoever!