I came across UNESCO "Country Programming Documents
" (UCPDs) the other day. These have some relevance to a couple of issues we have discussed on the Forum recently
a. The headlong rush to inscribe more and more sites whilst downplaying the conservation of existing ones
b. The updating and extension of Tentative Lists – often by countries which need to do a lot more to protect the sites they already have
UCPDs are/were intended to "provide a succinct results-based status description of all ongoing and recent past UNESCO activities
" in a particular country, together with "Management by Objectives" (MBO) type measurable and timed deliverables across a planning period. As such they of course cover a far wider range of subjects than tangible/immovable "World Heritage" – but are no less interesting for that and provide a potentially useful overview of the "cultural state" of a number of countries. There are UPCDs for some 52 countries to date – mainly those which could be described as "developing", primarily in Africa and Asia but also some Latin American and European ones. The "high water mark" for their production seems to have been around 2010 and most of them cover plans for periods between 2010 and 2017. The fact that some have already passed their sell-by date but have not been updated perhaps indicates a loss of enthusiasm or money or both!!
The easiest way I have found to access the "World Heritage" aspects is to download them as PDFs and do a "find" on "World Heritage" – this will take you to both the Tangible and Intangible World Heritage issues and miss out the education, science, human/women's/minority rights etc subjects – though these could well be of interest if one was preparing for a visit to a specific country.
A theme which comes out again and again is the need to develop "capabilities" in these countries. Another, particularly in countries which are achieving significant growth. is the need to put in place improved protection. It is noticeable how relatively little emphasis is given to the need to get more sites inscribed. I have perused around half of the UPCDs and identified where the objectives included the inscription of more/specific sites and quote these below – together with a number of others where it might have been anticipated that some more nominations could have been highlighted but where none was mentioned
The full list of UPCDs can be accessed here - http://www.unesco.org/new/en/bureau-of-strategic-planning/themes/country-programming- ucpd/Bangladesh (2012- 16)
"The three existing properties inscribed on the World Heritage List in Bangladesh require strenuous efforts to be, in the first instance, preserved, well maintained and managed and, in the second, made to attract cultural tourism and other positive attributes for local communities. Long-term capacity development of government partners in cultural heritage management is therefore deemed a priority area!Myanmar (2013 – 15)
"implement the project titled "Institutional Capacity Building for Managing Bagan within the World Heritage Framework
"a project that will seek to strengthen upstream processes for nominating natural World Heritage in Myanmar will be initiatedSri Lanka (2013 -17)
"Further to the end of internal conflict, the Ministry of National Heritage and SLNCU are working to develop a proposal for the inscription of a cluster of ancient Buddhist temples, Hindu kovils, ports and forts in the Northern and Eastern provinces into the World Heritage List.
"Areas of Focus suggested by the SL National Commission...........Cultural Heritage - Promotion of new nominations for north-east World Heritage Sites"
"Preparation of the tentative World Heritage list for UNESCO and inclusion of such sites as Sri Pada, Horton Plains and Jayaganga irrigation scheme etc. to World Heritage
."Lao Rep (2012 -15)
"The Lao-UNESCO initiative arose following the Lao Government's expressed commitment to protect and develop the vast historical and archaeological landscape of the Plain of Jars and nominate the site for world heritage inscription"Vietnam (2nd Ed 2008)
"Viet Nam is experiencing rapid economic growth and significant increases in Tourism, especially in World Heritage Sites. The country therefore also faces increasing challenges in terms of sustainable tourism planning, balancing preservation and development, and controlling the rapid urban development in and around heritage sites
"The main focus remains on natural World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves, aiming to enhance management capacities and to strengthen the involvement and role of ethnic minority communities living in and around these sites."Mongolia (2012 -16)
"continue efforts towards the reconstruction of the Tsogchin Prayer Temple within the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape, which can serve as a demonstration of good practice in reconstruction at a World Heritage site"
"Update the Tentative List of World Heritage in Mongolia, as well as provide training and technical assistance in the preparation of nomination dossiers for historical and cultural sites in view of inscription on the World Heritage list
"PNG (2008 -13)
"PNG Tentative List finalised with a view to listing of natural heritage sites on World Heritage List""Preparation of at least one Biosphere Reserve and one natural World Heritage nomination
"Pakistan (2013 -17)
All about "strengthening capacities" with no mention of new nominatonsBrunei (2013 -16)"For the World Heritage programme, potential cooperation can be launched to prepare a national Tentative List of both cultural and natural heritage sites for possible World Heritage listing"Palestine (2014 -17)"In the archaeological site of Tell Balata, which is a site of cultural and historical significance and a key component of the potential World Heritage site "Old Town of Nablus and its environs", UNESCO will continue the implementation of the " Tell Balata Archaeological Park: Scientific Research, Conservation and Site Management"Nigeria (2912 -13)"Strengthening the Implementation of the 1972 (World Heritage) Convention in Nigeria"
"WH properties protected from harmful development and climate change "
"contribution of world heritage properties to sustainable socio-economic development enhanced"
No mention of further nominations.Rwanda (2007)"Efforts have been undertaken in order to proceed towards validation of the indicative list of cultural and natural sites of Rwanda which include the Volcano National Park and the Nyungwe National Forest. In 2006, Rwanda, together with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, has advanced a joint proposal to inscribe the Ecosystem of Virunga on the World Heritage List. UNESCO has been active in further fostering national capacities to apply for inscription on the List of World Heritage Sites, including through a technical capacity-building course."Uganda (2010)"Uganda has one cultural and two natural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List but their potential as heritage resources, particularly for tourism, has not been fully realized; the country needs to further invest in building technical capacity for managing and promoting such heritage assets"Moldova (2014 – 17)"Assistance has been rendered for preparing the nomination file to include the Cultural and Historic Reserve «Orheiul Vechi» in the UNESCO World Heritage ListMadagascar (2012 -13)"Madagascar à travers son Ministère chargé de la Culture, travaille actuellement sur la préparation d'une proposition d'inscription du site des Grottes de l'Isandra sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial. Ce travail, appuyé par l'UNESCO et le Fonds pour le patrimoine mondial africain, devrait s'achever en 2013 "