I see this has been connected to "In Private Ownership
" because it is "In customary ownership
But, if it is "in customary ownership" it is not privately owned!!
"Customary ownership" as operated in the Pacific is a significant issue in inscribing WHS. Kuk in PNG had to overcome the concerns which UNESCO felt about control and protection of land under such legal forms.
See this for a discussion of the issue.http://www.ausaid.gov.au/publications/pdf/MLW_VolumeOne_Bookmarked.pdf
This paper recognises 3 forms of legal ownership in the Pacific
c. Freehold ( = Private i.e Individuals or Corporate Bodies)
Of course it isn't just the form of legal ownership which concerns UNESCO but also the legal "rights" assigned to the State, to Individuals and to the Community by the legal domain in which the site stands. The problem with land in Customary Ownership is that "The various aspects of customary tenure—inheritance, allocation of usage rights, dispute settlement and recordkeeping, for example—are managed by customary groups according to their own unique processes, which are often linked to underlying social and spiritual beliefs (see Annex B). Most governments in the Pacific region have tended to avoid interfering with customary tenure systems, in terms of how they allocate rights, manage the land and keep records."
. As a result the nominating State party is unable, or at least finds it difficult, to give UNESCO the required guarantees of protection etc it requires of a WHS. Both the "customary ownership" AND the inability/unwillingness of the state to impose its rules on land so held need to be present to create a potential problem
The inclusion of Fujian Tulou under this Connection is also surely outside the definition of "Private Individual or Company"?
We could have a connection to "Customary Ownership" I guess - but we would need to think through the definitional issues. Uluru for instance is "owned" by the local Aborigines but is not, as I understand it in "customary ownership" as is normally meant by the phrase described above. Similarly of course with e.g Taos Pueblo -though "First Nation" ownership in US does grant certain freedoms from interference by the normal jurisdictions - as shown by the proliferation of casinos there! I am not quite sure where that would leave the USA v UNESCO if the Pueblo Peoples tried to do something at Taos which UNESCO didn't agree with!
If we fully unpacked the issue of "ownership" in legal terms with all its niceties we would not doubt find quite a range of models with even apparently similar ones varying in detail across jurisdictions. "Private Ownership" for instance operates differently in different states and grants different rights. But, generally in "western" legal terms those rights are controlled within the jurisdiction of the state and that control is acceptable to UNESCO. But there are grey areas - although the definition of "Private ownership" includes "corporations" we have taken it as excluding Churches totally even though there exist a wide range of religious "ownership" models across the world (including of course "state ownership") and some could be regarded as treating at least some religions as "Corporations".