In fact the list provided by m_m above on Aug 1 is only 29 new sites (plus 6 extensions) so there are actually "spare slots". I don't know if more may emerge at the WHC.
Given that UNESCO defines the "Pacific
" as just being the "smaller" Islands plus Oz, NZ and PNG it is hardly surprising that there aren't large numbers coming forward. Oz hasn't exactly done badly over the years. NZ might be somewhat under-represented (why is it taking so long to bring forward the Maori Pas? It did seem to miss a trick when the WHC was held there). And some of these islands are not independent - e.g Hawaii does appear to have one of the next 2 US proposals now that US has decided to re-engage. But regarding most of the islands - just how many coral reefs can the List take? We know from our "Top 50 missing" list that there are some cultural sites eg Nan Madol and Yapese Currency but it isn't clear why these are taking so long to prepare - it will come down to governmental priorities and competence I guess. We have recently been discussing the issue of "Customary" ownership as a difficulty. I have had a particular interest and some personal insights into the largest of the "non developed" Pacific countries - PNG and can understand the problems they face even with IUCN/ICOMOS help in bringing forward proposals which stand a chance - yet it has many potential natural and cultural sites. Another of the larger Pacific islands countries The Solomons is in semi chaos governmentally.
Regarding "The Americas"
(Excluding US/Canada). There are in fact 2 extra countries covered in the multi-national serial lists - Mexico and Argentina. I look at a number of unlisted countries - Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados - they each have something which could be brought forward if not "Top 50 missing" material. But the occasional Google alerts on WHS matters I get from their local newspapers just seem to be a liturgy of problems and procrastinations. Lack of finance, skills and priority must be a major factor. Similarly with e.g Columbia - when you have been fighting a virtual civil war for decades and some of your best potential sites e.g Cuidad Perdida have been "no go" areas the lack of proposals is perhaps understandable. Mexico has a T list as long as your arm and can keep the WHC going as long as the WHC allows but the lack of proposals from e.g Guatemala since 1981 is surprising. One would have expected that the governments of much of Latin America ought to be technically capable of bringing sites through to inscription and had both worthwhile sites and the incentive in terms of tourism potential from N America to do so. But look at the relatively low number of reviews of existing sites on this Web site!
And so to Africa
. I have been to one of this year's proposals - Ribeira Grande on Cape Verde ( http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/t1902.html
) and know that this proposal is the result of a good many years work and support from Spain - including a major restoration job on the Fortress. I hope that ICOMOS grants it a fair wind! A difficulty facing ICOMOS/IUCN and the WHC is whether/how much to compromise standards and "let in" sites which, if they were European would be found wanting in terms of management regimes etc. It may seem patronising but perhaps has to be done if states are to maintain interest. Indeed there are examples where the WHC has taken a "longer view" than its evaluating body - There are some African e.gs but I can't immediately think of one. However, there is Chief Roi Mata's Domain in Vanuatu which we have discussed recently where the WHC overruled ICOMOS's negative recommendation. The largest reason for lack of African proposals lies in the fact that there are large swathes of the continent which are wracked by civil war, pestilence etc. I received an alert recently about Sierra Leone which seems to be awaking to the possibility of a nomination ( http://awoko.org/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=5098&cntnt01re turnid=15
). But this could take 8 years or more to come to fruition. Incompetence and corruption will account for many more delays. Nigeria, as a country, "functions" (if that is the word) almost despite itself - it could have some great sites but the commitment from dedicated people (and I am sure there are many) required to bring such sites to successful nomination is just so difficult to mobilise over the long term required - a place like Kano is consumed by religious and ethnic conflict with the Central government which would have to bring forward any proposal - don't look for any progress there! In Eritrea Asmara has a fantastic gem in its Art Deco heritage ( http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/t2024.html
) but its government is xenophobic and possibly more interested in playing regional politics as part of its dispute with Ethiopia than assigning resources and effort to bringing forward a proposal. Given the size and success of the Eritrean diaspora (mainly in the US and Canada) I am surprised that "national pride" hasn't led to moneys and effort being pledged. But perhaps the idea of celebrating "Eritrea" by nominating "Mussolini's city" isn't exactly inspiring! And of course such countries don't really
want tourists whatever they might state publicly (as I know to my cost in trying to gain permission to go almost anywhere outside Asmara!) - so that incentive, which is so important elsewhere in stimulating nominations doesn't play well either. Similar stories could be told about many other African countries
Finally a quick review of Asia
- Well China will put forward as many sites as it is allowed, India will put forward as many as its dysfunctional (particularly at "State" level as this seems to have the main role in bringing sites forward?) government can bring forward (just look at the long-runing Majuli fiasco!) and Iran is finally getting its act together on the basis of "National Pride" so we can expect a steady stream emanating from there (it has a large T List!). If we look at some of the others- Well Myanmar can't/won't even organise cyclone relief for its peoples so, although it has several "Top 50 missing" sites, little seems likely to happen from there. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states (eg Bahrain) are likely to put forward a number of sites in the coming years and are beginning to "motor". But I wonder if Oman's Oryx delisting will have some of them worried also? But there also a number of asian countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Tajikistan which have other things to worry about! N Korea seemed to try again last year with Kaesong but, for some reason we don't know got slapped down - if it does anything it will ONLY be for its own arcane political reasons. Similarly Indonesia must have been very disappointed not to get Bali - why on earth not?? It must be dispiriting to a country which has lots of excellent potential sites to offer. Bhutan possibly doesn't care too much - it doesn't have the desire to attract too many tourists and will preserve its national treasures with or without WHC listing so that just leaves "National Pride" as a possible driver. Bangladesh is another "dysfunctional" country as is Pakistan - so not much is likely to emerge from either of them despite good potential.
A successful inscription requires a "match" between
a "Demand" in the form of a country wanting
inscriptions for purposes such as tourist revenue generation, national pride and genuine concern for conservation
b. "Supply" in the form of suitable "Universal Value" sites and governmental capability to bring forward well-founded proposals backed by all the paraphernalia of management plans, buffer zones etc
A lot of countries in this World don't/can't/won't achieve both of these - hence we always seem to come back to the same old countries making proposals!