Some interesting "facts" in this article about the Oryx delistinghttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/11/AR2008081102963.html
It seems to me that it tells a slightly different story from that put out before. How correct it is I know not but the comment from this year's chairperson from WHC was interesting -it ties in with Mr van de Aa's article about some other sites not wanting to be inscribed eg Cambridge - see the Wadden Sea link under "Resource Library" from Meltwaterfalls. Els has previously mentioned Amsterdam as city which sees little benefit in listing.
Oman obviously felt it wasn't worth the candle to keep the Oryx sanctuary. Thinking about it, the impact on tourism was nil - I couldn't even get to visit the site properly when I was there (see my review) - I also note that Rob Wilson hasn't done a review so I assume that he never got to it during his stay in Oman? And, secondly, the area seemed too large to mantain security and preserve the oryx anyway.
But the snippet about Canada/US not wanting the Oryx sanctuary to be delisted was new to me. I wonder why
a. they were against delisting - perhaps they didn't want Oil exploration to be used as a reason for delisting thus creating a precedent for some of their own sites? (Has Xeres got any info on the reason for the Canadian position?)
b. UNESCO was so determined to go for it - I am sure it was to send a warning shot to other sites such as Dresden! As stated before I feel that Dresden could justify the same stance as Amsterdam re the benefits/negatives of listing - though I suppose being kicked out is always more ignominious than not having been inscribed at all! (PS - in the paper on Universal Value among the 2008 papers IUCN can't desist from making the "dig" that WHC inscribed the Oryx sanctuary against its own reccomendation!)
It does seem unfortunate if we are reaching a stage where world class sites (which the Oryx sanctuary wasn't but some others potentially impacted by the decision certainly are) don't want to face the hassle of inscription. Instead the List will more and more become the preserve of "medium ranking" sites representing seekers after tourist money (San Miguel and many from China?) and States wanting to make "Nationalistic" statements (China, Mauritius, Cambodia, Malaysia?).