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What are they doing all day in Paris anyway? Forum / What are they doing all day in Paris anyway? /  

nominations for 2009

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Author Solivagant
#31 | Posted: 27 Mar 2009 17:26 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Yes this is another interesting dimension of WHS selection! A fair number of countries try to ensure the "even spread" of proposals across their geography and cultural variety - more countries I suspect than we realise as "outsiders" who are not fully aware of the internal political nuances! Perhaps our combined knowledge plus a bit of research can identify the extent to which such policies have/are operated in various countries.

a. UK has long operated a subtle ratio and rotation of England: Scotland: Wales: N Ireland/Overseas territories. Around 5:1.5:1:1! (Of UK's 60 million population England's is about 85%, Scotland's 8.5, Wales's 5, NI's under 3 and "territories" negligible. Areas in sq km 130/78/21/13) This year it is Wales's turn and last year, Scotland via the Antonine wall extension.
b. Spain has very obviously spread its nominations among its provinces - except, for a long time, provinces in the Basque region which refused to play ball with the Central government. Vizcaya Bridge represented a change of policy.
c. I am sure Mexico has had a policy of trying to ensure that as many as possible of its 31 state capitals (or a very near-by location) get inscribed. Having rather overplayed the pure "Centro Historico" element it now moves on to the Silver/Mercury route which still enables it to inscribe San Luis Potosi but a bit less obviously!

Clearly a pattern is only going to emerge in countries with a reasonable number of inscriptions. Among these it would be interesting to look at India, China, France, Italy, Canada and Belgium to assess whther any such approach has been followed.

Author Xeres
#32 | Posted: 28 Mar 2009 07:38 
One issue in determining when a country has established a rotation policy is mere chance. It may seem, for example, that the Canadian government has established such a policy, because its world heritage sites are well spread out around the country and cover a variety of topics. As far as i know, there is no rotation, and the government simply tries to inscribe what it thinks will be accepted with little regard to its location within Canada, or its "type".
That being said, I do wonder if Brazil and Argentina has been following such a policy. Looking at a map of their World Heritage Sites, they seem exceeding well spread out around the countries. I wonder if Brazil is trying to get a Historic Town inscribed in all of its states.

Author Assif
#33 | Posted: 28 Mar 2009 09:29 
Both Germany and Italy overtly follow such a pattern in dividing their nominations among their constituent states/regions.

Author evilweevil
#34 | Posted: 28 Mar 2009 09:37 
Re: Schwetzingen.
Khuft, this is not in Bavaria. It is also in Baden-Württemberg, and actually only about 10 km away from Heidelberg!

Author Khuft
#35 | Posted: 28 Mar 2009 10:13 
You're right!
I confused it with some other palace in Bavaria... But my argument was faulty anyway - Regensburg in Bavaria got recently inscribed.
I found more details: in 1998, the culture ministers of the various states met to decide on Germany's submissions for the period 2000-2010. This list favoured western German states because the previous one (in 1992, after reunification) had favoured eastern German ones.

The link is here (in German): ist[0]=welterbe

It also defined the sequence of when the various sites should be submitted. So Schwetzingen is actually following the plan (even though Heidelberg is still "open"), and for next year Germany seems likely to submit the Bayreuth Opera House, and after that it will be Saxony's turn again with the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) cultural landscape - though one wonders whether Saxony actually really would like to submit more sites after the Dresdnen drama...

Author Solivagant
#36 | Posted: 28 Mar 2009 14:35 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I agree that just because a country's sites are "spread around" doesn't necessarily indicate a policy of taking into account "regional sensitivities" in determining which sites go forward - but the other way of doing so is to ensure that the sequence in which the "randomly justifiable" sites are inscribed demonstrates "fairness" in doing so! As we have seen from the interesting link provided by Khuft, countries can have a very long plan for their inscriptions and have a choice as to which go forward when. The UK too put together a list for over 10 years and made sure that Scotland and Wales were interspersed without too long a wait!

But the Canadian record of inscriptions certainly doesn't provide any evidence of such a policy
a. I was surprised to note that Quebec waited for 7 years whilst NFld, NWT, Alberta, Yukon and BC all gained inscriptions - that doesn't sound like the (possibly ill-informed) picture I have of the determination of Québécois to ensure that they receive equal treatment! I know it got delayed for a year by the WHC having got muddled up in debates about the criteria for "Historic Towns" so perhaps Quebec just had to accept that the "Federation" had done its best to get it represented ASAP.
b. Even now after 15 inscriptions not all provinces have one
c. Alberta has been favoured more than any other province with 3 individual and 2 shared inscriptions and even got consecutive inscriptions (BC, Nfld and Quebec each have only 2 in all). Perhaps it doesn't surprise me that Saskatchewan and Manitoba don't figure yet but I wouldn't have guessed that Aberta would lead the "provincial pack" in Canada - though perhaps it was a bit "lucky" with Waterton Glacier!

Looking at the German "plan" in the link provided by Khuft I was struck by the number of sites relating to a single building/property or at least a relatively small town/city area. No "contagion" there of long lists of serial sites!! Perhaps it is a case of having a plan and sticking to it whilst the world changes around it. I have a feeling that it is getting rarer to have such compact sites. We occasionally revert to a discussion on this matter with a, to me, surprising groundswell within the forum in favour of serial sites! I agree that most of the world's iconic single buildings have been inscribed - but here we have Germany still dealing in terms of single Castle, Town Hall, Opera House, Cathedral, Factory and the Chile-Haus!! Great!

Author Durian
#37 | Posted: 29 Mar 2009 10:03 | Edited by: Durian 
It also defined the sequence of when the various sites should be submitted. So Schwetzingen is actually following the plan (even though Heidelberg is still "open"), and for next year Germany seems likely to submit the Bayreuth Opera House, and after that it will be Saxony's turn again with the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) cultural landscape - though one wonders whether Saxony actually really would like to submit more sites after the Dresdnen drama...

well Khuft, according to Unesco document for 2010 Germany will nominate "Upper Harz Water Management" as an extension of Goslar. So next year turn is still belong to western Germany for Lower Saxony.
It is quite interesting to note that this year german nomination, Swetzingen and La Carbusier works in Stuttgart, both are in Baden Wuttemburg. This state has try heidelberg twice, maybe this year, they may get La Corbusier as a compromise.

Author Khuft
#38 | Posted: 29 Mar 2009 11:36 
Well, the list was drawn up 10 years ago - in 10 years, many things can happen. Upper Harz Valley should have been submitted before Heidelberg according to the initial plan. The German part of the Wadden Sea was also supposed to have already been submitted - are they maybe waiting to do a joint submission with the Netherlands on this one?

It also looks like the nominated sites themselves do change a bit - the 1998 document doesn't say anything about a Dresden Elbe Valley cultural landscape, but names several Dresden monuments (which makes you wonder whether they would have the same problems as they have now if they had just nominated the city center instead of a seemingly more sexy "cultural landscape").

By the same token, the Tentative List does not include only the Chilehaus anymore, but the whole Hamburg Speicherstadt (warehouse district). Naumburg Cathedral is apparently also a cultural landscape now (beware, Saxony-Anhalt!).

So, Solivagant, you're right that Germany has not jumped on the "serial" bandwagon yet, but it definitely followed the "cultural landscape" craze.

Author m_m
#39 | Posted: 29 Mar 2009 23:23 | Edited by: m_m 
so this means that whereas the whc is busy creating a representative, balanced world heritage list, some state parties are also concerned with such with respect to their collection of sites on the list. aside from incorporating a rotation policy in their nomination programs, it is also interesting to look at the trends of nominations for the countries with high number of sites, especially during those times when multiple nominations per state were still allowed.

among interesting trends during the mid-1990s to early 2000s were the greater number of natural sites being nominated by russia and brazil. in the case of russia, most of these natural sites are in the siberian/asian russia/russian far east region. so whereas most of its high number of cultural sites are densely concentrated on the european section, significant portion of the trademark siberian landscape (especially famous ones) make up most of the state's natural sites and of course, dominate the list in terms of land area. for brazil, note that before the 1990s, it only had one natural site (iguacu), despite the fact that the when you mention the country, it automatically conjures images of the amazon rainforests and amazon river. it was only in the mid-1990s that it started to nominate natural sites. note also that the natural sites nominations came in pairs per year with a "theme", like the atlantic forest in 1999, ecosystems in the brazilian interior in 2000 (one was given the name "conservation area", and the other "conservation complex" after an extension), other significant regions/ecosystems in 2001 (both followed a certain syntax in terms of the nomination names). in the case of canada, excluding sites it shares with usa, i noticed that it tends to keep a balance between the number of cultural and natural sites on the list, although this might just be due to chance. other interesting data: despite having a high number of cultural sites (excluding the pyrenees shared w/ spain), france still has not had a site qualify on the basis of criterion v. germany also shared the same problem until the inclusion of some of its river valley cultural landscapes in early 2000s.

there are many other ways to seek a representative collection of sites, aside from geography and minority representation. for example, how about historical representation? like presenting a country's different historical stages/dynasties/periods. this allows for a full spectrum of sites to represent a country on the list, ranging from prehistoric ones (archaeological sites/primitive dwellings/rock art/hominids) to classical/ancient to middle ages down to industrial and modern. note that the recent tentative list of japan focuses more on the industrialization of the country in the late 19th century-early 20th century, as well as some archaeological sites (e.g. jomon) dating from its beginnings. it has also inscribed sites located in okinawa (ryukyu kingdom) and hokkaido (shiretoko) starting in 2000, thereby, allowing representation of some other regions beyond the main island.

among the countries with high number of sites on the list, i think the most imbalanced representation comes from china. most sites are found on the eastern region. the most westerly sites are the mogao caves and potala palace. and to think that when the whc instituted a policy of allowing the nomination of at least one natural site per year, i thought that they would do a russia in terms of representing a large portion of its land beyond the populated region. but then again, so far, the natural sites being nominated are still located within the more populous western china region (within the han chinese sphere of influence). note that in terms of its cultural nominations though, in 2004, its nominations leaned more on sites from the manchurian region (new sites and extension), while recently, the focus is more on the southern region (including minority/vernacular dwellings). but overall, if you look at the map of china to see the distribution of sites, they reflect the population density of china, as well as level of economic development (major industrial areas in the southern and central eastern parts, while those in the manchurian, western regions tend to lag behind, hence, they also have fewer sites on the list). in terms of cultural sites, the geographical bias is logical considering that the heartland of the chinese empire is the eastern region, so of course it will contain the most sites. but historically speaking, only the tang, yuan, ming and qing dynasties have contributed the most sites on the list. the recent tentative list of china also address these issues, with the inclusion of the silk road nomination that, with a collection of hundreds of sites, will more than make up for the current lack of representation of the cultural treasures of western china/xinjiang region. there are also the grand canal (industrial site and sung dynasty) as well as archaeological sites from the early period of chinese history.

thus, aside from the trends that we can get from the current world heritage list, we can also check the collection of sites on the tentative list just to see that given the myriad of programs by the whc to ensure greater representativity, that state parties are heeding this call and putting this into action.

Author m_m
#40 | Posted: 30 Mar 2009 00:02 
Something like this?
Gives all deferrals and referrals since 2000, for sites that are still on the T List.

Hi Els, speaking of deferred/referred sites, as well as those withdrawn, just curious if you also keep a list of sites that have been noted to meet some of the criteria? some sites have been noted to meet the criteria set out by the whc, but some technical problems arose. just would like to see that in the scenario that they get inscribed, on what criteria will it be based. for example, tel dan has been noted to meet criterion ii while putorana plateau may meet criteria vii and ix. whereas the lake district before has been noted to meet criteria ii, v and vi; tana toraja settlement potentially meets iii, iv and v; etc. it is also interesting that some sites already on the list still have potential to meet additional criteria, like the phong nha caves for criterion x, and note that in the case of an australian mixed site (can't remember if it's kakadu or tasmanian wilderness), a cultural criterion it met originally got changed/deleted during the extension phase.

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 nominations for 2009

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