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2018 WHC Livestream

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Author Assif
#31 | Posted: 27 Jun 2018 13:53 
I haven't been able to follow today, and haven't been able to find any details of what happened via other sources

I have found out you can watch the videos of the recorded session on You Tube, including those of previous days:

Author Solivagant
#32 | Posted: 27 Jun 2018 13:54 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Only thing of note I found was:
#WorldHeritage Committee discussing State of Conservation of #Pakistan's Fort & #Shalamar Gardens, #Lahore at its 42nd session, Bahrain. Site proposed for List of WH in Danger, due to the 'Orange Line', transport project damaging its #OUV (authenticity, setting). #42whc #HUL #HIA

Yes - the draft decision was -
"11. Decides, therefore, to inscribe the Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;"
The discussion went very much the way of that for Shahrisyabz - Azerbaijan, China. Uganda , Tanzania etc were all against placing Shalimar Gdns on the "In Danger" List. This time no SP actually supported doing so. Oz even sounded a bit defeatist "Much of the damage has already been done". Norway and spain recognised that any attempt otherwise was a losing cause and that all they could achieve was to try to make the decision as strong as possible in trying to achieve some mitigation and as a line in the sand for next year's WHC.
Some of the SPs referred to the need for developing countries to build infrastructure etc etc - the effort should be placed on mitigation of the effects. "we have to have a balance between preservation and development" (BF), "Metros solve a lot of problems"
The Pakistan rep took on an air of "hurt" disbelief - Pakistan had done everything it had been asked to do - he wanted special credit for producing reports by the date they were supposed to be produced!!!! They had even designed the metro to take a "bend" in front of the Gardens - at much technical difficulty and cost!!! Oh - and the trains will be made to go by the Gardens very slowly so as not to produce too much vibration!!!!
Then came a most WONDERFUL diatribe by a Pakistani lady representing an "NGO" - its name wasn't mentioned but she absolutely castigated the Pakistani government ("We come here today to speak truth to power......."!) . I would recommend listening to it - at around 28 minutes 10 secs into the current live-cast video (afternoon). It had ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT of course - just some embarrassed coughs and smiles before the Chair cut her off (unlike the "honourable delegates" who are allowed to ramble on and on and on....) and moved on to wordsmith the revised "decision" as wanted by Azerbaijan, China etc etc!!!!
Generally I think those with half an hour or so to spare would find listening to this item of interest.

Author Assif
#33 | Posted: 27 Jun 2018 14:06 
I haven't had the time to follow most of today's session, but I did watch the discussion about the in-danger listing of Kathmandu, which was postponed to next year. All state countries expressed the same view that since the MS is doing all in its power to restore the site after the earthquake three years ago and a lot of progress has been made there is no need to put the site on the in-danger list.
Several committee members expressed interesting views regarding in-danger listing in general.

Cuba: Developing states suffering from natural catastrophs have other priorities than just taking care of their cultural heritage. They need to recover the health and education systems and improve sanitation. Nepal had to deal not with one earthquake (which affected the WHS), but with two. Since it is working in the direction of recovering its WHS why not let it have more time which it needs?
Cuba also argues that the MS is the one which profits most from its WHS and has therefore the most urgent interest in conserving its patrimony (try tell that to Uzbekistan).

Brazil: Tourism is a major source of income for Nepal. If we place the site on the in-danger list it will probably negatively affect tourism, which in turn will damage the country's economy. Is this in the benefit of conservation?
An interesting argument, but it could be used all over. What's the point of having an in-danger list, if you always avoid it in order to support tourism??

Zimbabwe: Why is the discussion taking place now? If the true motive for the in-danger enlisting is to help find resources why wasn't it done three years ago right after the earthquake?
Being on the in-danger list does not guarantee allocation of necessary resources. On the other hand, one could assist the MS financially without the unnecessary in-danger lable.

Everyone including Australia and Spain seems to share the opinion that putting a site on the in-danger list is a punitive measurement intending to set a precedent rather than helping in improving conservation. Icomos vaguely tries to state that being added to the list helps resolve the problems a WHS suffers from, but noone seems to be convinced.

Author Assif
#34 | Posted: 27 Jun 2018 15:12 | Edited by: Assif 
So far Kathmandu and Shalamar have both evaded their in-danger inscription. Tomorrow two further sites, Turkana and Socotra, will be discussed in this context. I wonder whether they too could manage to overcome their destined enlisting.

Author Solivagant
#35 | Posted: 28 Jun 2018 03:54 | Edited by: Solivagant 
One of the proposed draft decisions was
"6. Urges the State Party to continue to explore further options and design refinement, with a view to avoiding impact on the OUV of the property, including:
a) alternative surface by-pass options,
b) longer tunnel options that allow for the re-location of the western portal outside the property and which do not require dual carriageway cuttings within the property;"

Spain proposes removing specific recommendation of longer tunnel or alternative surface by-pass (i.e a watering down) of the draft decision supported by Brazil, Zimbab, BF.
Interestingly an NGO "Stonehenge Watch" is given the floor (via a proxy speaker) to object to the amendments proposed - says they don't address the issues raised by ICOMOS - any tunnel needs to be longer. UK is also given the floor and gives the usual "We wouldn't do anything to detract from OUV of this site of Worldwide importance........" etc etc. UK thinks it is better to concentrate on "design" rather than "length" and believes that such design changes could achieve the desired result. UK supports the amendment proposed by Spain which allows for solutions other than extending the length.
Lots of discussion about wording but all concerned about giving more flexibility about what UK/ICOMOS might discuss/agree.
Generally, whatever the exact wording, UK still has more to do on the Stonehenge tunnel in order to satisfy ICOMOS/ the WHC!!!!

We do seem to be moving into a 2 tier World Heritage "quality system" by which developed countries are expected to adopt the very highest standards in conserving their WHS with even the most minor aspects such as "Culvert design" etc being identified as needing improvement as at Stonehenge - whilst, on the other hand, "developing countries" like Uzbekistan and Pakistan can bulldoze entire areas and build raised metros situated just a few metres from a WHC with very little control being exercised!!

An acronym I hadn't come across before "LAPSSETT" = "Lamu Port−South Sudan−Ethiopia Transport Corridor project;"
Obviously a major regional strategic development project which Kenya and Ethiopia will NOT want to see being delayed or increased in cost etc. Southern Ethiopia is undergoing massive GDP growth and needs an outlet to the sea. Kenya is in dire need of improved infrastructure and economy. See - rridor
ICOMOS/WHC want full consideration to be given to impact on Lamu Old Town ........ fine words - it will be interesting to see what, in practical terms, this will mean

Author Solivagant
#36 | Posted: 28 Jun 2018 10:31 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Original proposed final draft para with the bold section proposed for removal!!!
"Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019, with a view to considering, in the absence of significant progress in the implementation of the above-mentioned measures and those contained in its Decision 40 COM 7B.79, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger"
Lots of other changes proposed to other paras - generally the replacement of words like "Expresses its concern" with more anodyne words!!!
FINALLY the rep of Oz has had enough!!! Without arguing against these particular proposed amendments I think the time has come he says to note a tendency in this WHC to avoid any hint of criticism and to replace carefully reached conclusions. The future of the Convention is at risk if the reality of situations in WHS cannot be expressed.
There is some "applause" from around the chamber at this.
The draft amendments removing words like "concern" and the "threat" of "in danger" next year are passed.
Not quite clear what is to happen about the Australian comment - some suggestion that there should be separate discussion on the matter.

Threats come from Dam in Ethiopia (already complete!) with more to come , plus sugar developments plus the LAPSSETT project mentioned earlier regarding Lamu.
UNESCO proposes "in Danger" - IUCN says he has nothing further to say - everything has already been said.
China - raises an issue about threats coming from Kenya and from outside (i.e Ethiopia) over which it has no control - the para pproosing "In danger" should come after ALL the threats from whatever source
It looks as if Turkana WILL be placed on the "in danger" list albeit with some changes in wording/sequence - now, all of a sudden there are comments that being on the "in danger list" shouldn't be seen as a negative sanction!!!!!!! (not what they were saying on other WHS!!!)
Kenya still hopes for an amicable agreement with Ethiopia on water sharing. Kenya therefore calls upon international support on a range of management matters - Kenya will NOT oppose the draft decision
Ethiopia wants a "say"!!! Work is in hand so why the rush to put on the list. Also the placing of the "in danger" recommendation among all the others seems to blame ONLY actions by Ethiopia for the situation which requires "in danger" listing - when Kenya's actions are also involved.
WHC agrees to "in Danger" listing but with the recommendation moved after all the threats including those from Kenya e.g LAPSSETT
An NGO requests that the WHC also request that no more dams be built upstream by Ethiopia but (as with all other NGO statements heard so far) this request is ignored.

It appears that there has been some off line discussion involving IUCN and the SP for a revised (??) draft decision. Discussion by the WHS will be fitted in some time on Monday afternoon. Session closes at 18.15 Manama time. Meet again Friday afternoon "after prayers"!!

Author elsslots
#37 | Posted: 28 Jun 2018 12:15 
Session closes at 18.15 Manama time. Meet again Friday afternoon "after prayers"!!

Thanks again for the updates, Solivagant. Hope to be ready tomorrow for the start of the new nominations, "working from home".
A question: the times given in the timetable are all Manama time I presume? So the WHS discussion will start at 14.00 CEST tomorrow?

Author Solivagant
#38 | Posted: 28 Jun 2018 12:23 
A question: the times given in the timetable are all Manama time I presume? So the WHS discussion will start at 14.00 CEST tomorrow

Well Manama is 2 hours ahead of UK - so presumably only 1 hour ahead of NL (surprisingly little in both cases!) - so 15.00 Manama = 14.00 NL

Author Colvin
#39 | Posted: 28 Jun 2018 14:40 
Old timers know the ropes, but for those new to the forums who would like to watch the livestream, here is the
link to the UNESCO WHC livestream page. There are options to watch in English, French, or Arabic. The fun starts in just under 18 hours.

Author elsslots
#40 | Posted: 29 Jun 2018 07:52 | Edited by: elsslots 
Everybody ready? This is the last opportunity for a toilet break in hours to come. Grab a cool drink also...

I will update the website live as the decisions will become available. There will also be a special block on the homepage to see all the details.

Author elsslots
#41 | Posted: 29 Jun 2018 08:15 
I wonder how the Chairperson will handle the coming days. She does not appear very confident.

Author elsslots
#42 | Posted: 29 Jun 2018 08:22 
A few slight name changes approved

Author elsslots
#43 | Posted: 29 Jun 2018 08:26 
Khor Dubai withdrawn as well. Rosia Montana not withdrawn, in contrast to earlier media reports.

Author elsslots
#44 | Posted: 29 Jun 2018 08:31 
Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site is the first to be discussed.

Author jeanbon
#45 | Posted: 29 Jun 2018 08:32 
The chairperson looks out of her depth lol

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