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Current Outlook of Future WH Inscriptions

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Author winterkjm
#1 | Posted: 7 Sep 2011 00:53 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Analyzing the current tentative lists. 1496 total nominations. 566 nominations (nearly 40%) are located in these twenty nations.

1. Iran (56)
2. China (52)
3. Italy (39)
4. France (33)
5. India (32)
Egypt (32)
7. Mexico (31)
Uzbekistan (31)
9. Philippines (29)
10. Russia (27)
Indonesia (27)
12. Turkey (26)
13. Spain (23)
14. Kenya (19)
Niger (19)
Israel (19)
17. Chile (18)
Guatemala (18)
Pakistan (18)
20. Belgium (17)

Regional breakdown of nations in the top 20:
Asia (7)
Europe (7)
Latin America (3)
Africa (2)
Arab States (1)

Breaking the tentative lists down indicates to me that while Europe still puts forth quite a few nominations, Asia will likely surpase Europe in inscribing new sites on a year to year basis. There are quite a few under represented countries with large tentative lists in the top 20. Egypt, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Niger, Chile, Guatemala, and Pakistan. Nevertheless, everything also depends on the strength of each list, sometimes smaller more focused T lists are more effective.

Author bojboj
#2 | Posted: 18 Oct 2011 11:52 
It has been mentioned that China will be doing a "clean up" on its tentative list next year – in time for the 40th anniversary of the WHC. It would be interesting to find out which sites will remain.

New site added would more likely be Gulangyu (Gulang Island) in Xiamen, Fujian Province. The property is tagged as "Piano Island" - referring to a part of its history and the musical instrument.

What excites me personally is the plan to nominate a sort-of "Historic Center of Beijing," a heritage zone which will include all within the second ring road (covering two existing heritage sites – the Imperial Palace and Temple of Heaven). Renovations are already being made for historic buildings in the north-south axis starting from the Drum and Bell Tower - Jingshan Park – Forbidden City – Tian'anmen Square – Zhengyang Gate (Qianmen) – Temple of Heaven – Yongding Gate.

Notable lakes found west, northwest of the Palace will be included, too - Houhai, Qianhai, Beihai, Zhonghai, Nanhai.

The east-west axis, on the other hand, apart from the already "polished" Chang'an Avenue (Fuxingmen to Jianguomen), are also undergoing facelift, i.e., Ping'an Avenue; the stretch of historic buildings from Fuchengmen to Chaoyangmen (7 kms); Xuanwumen, Qianmen & Chongwenmen; Guang'anmen to Guangqumen.

It is a huge area, shaped like the Chinese character凸 (tu) when viewed from top (try Google map). Renovations of numerous traditional courtyards and hutongs will be made as well.

Author winterkjm
#3 | Posted: 18 Oct 2011 14:26 
I have always liked the idea of "cleaning up" large tentative lists. I can attest the Drum and Bell Towers are worthy additions as part of an ensemble of historic sites in Beijing. Perhaps they should include the major section of Hutongs adjacent to the Drum tower? Actually, I feel the Drum & Bell Tower, and the hutongs nearby would be a worthy addition to the World heritage list by themselves.

Author Durian
#4 | Posted: 18 Oct 2011 20:47 
Dear bojboj

Is the idea of "Historic Centre of Beijing" include all Beijing four sacrificial altars - Temple of Heaven, Temple of Earth, Temple of Sun and Temple of moon?

Author Durian
#5 | Posted: 18 Oct 2011 20:51 
Dear bojboj

Is the idea of "Historic Centre of Beijing" include all Beijing four sacrificial altars - Temple of Heaven, Temple of Earth, Temple of Sun and Temple of moon?

Author bojboj
#6 | Posted: 12 Jun 2012 23:28 
Here's that bit about Beijing's "historic center" (longest urban central axis in the world)

Beijing central axis in bid for UNESCO world cultural heritage:

Author Assif
#7 | Posted: 13 Jun 2012 02:10 | Edited by: Assif 
Regarding filling up the gaps -
it is interesting to see Europe's share of the annual new inscriptions is still disproportionally high. Europe's share should be 7% according to its territory, 11% according to its population, 14% according to the division of continents (with two Americas and Asia counting as two due to its scale) and 22% according to its number of countries. Filling up the gaps would probably have to mean lower feagures than these since Europe has always been overrepresented on the list. The real rate of European inscriptions, however, has remained excessive. Here are the rates since 2004, when the "Filling up the Gaps" report was released:

2004 41%
2005 37%
2006 28%
2007 32%
2008 33%
2009 46% (!)
2010 9% (the only year within boundaries!)
2011 28%

It will be interesting to see whether these figures will indeed decrease in the following years as they indeed should.

Author Durian
#8 | Posted: 13 Jun 2012 09:31 | Edited by: Durian 
Here's that bit about Beijing's "historic center" (longest urban central axis in the world)

Thanks Bojboj, seem that Beijing focus only for North-South axis :( if the whole axis inscribed, this may include the Bird Nest Olympic Stadium which also on the axis.

Author winterkjm
#9 | Posted: 23 Jun 2012 16:36 
I found this statement interesting concerning underrepresented countries on the world heritage list.

"Peru and Italy are about the same size and, arguably, have about the same number of worthy heritage sites," said Jeff Morgan, founder and executive director of the Global Heritage Fund. "Yet, Italy has 47 World Heritage Sites and Peru has only 11. They're underrepresented because it takes intensive resources to put the paperwork together to be on the list."

Author Solivagant
#10 | Posted: 23 Jun 2012 18:49 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I am not quite sure under which topic this might best be placed - a critique of recent WHCs for inscribing sites too soon and against ICOMOS/IUCN advice. It could go under this year's WHC but perhaps best lies with this subject of "Current outlook of future Inscriptions"!

I was particularly struck by this statement regarding "recent" WHCs
"In 44 percent of the cases, the Committee proceeded to inscribe sites on the World Heritage List that in the judgment of the advisory bodies had not met the requirements for inscription."

We had of course noted the number of times this happened during the 2011 WHC. The full article with various examples of contrary conclusions is here - eritage-listings/

Author winterkjm
#11 | Posted: 9 Sep 2012 21:43 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Using the advanced search option, you can highlight some interesting statistics concerning the Tentative World Heritage List.

1542 properties

Europe and North America
- 528 properties (48 states)
- 17% Natural Sites

Asia and the Pacific
- 428 properties (38 states)
- 24% Natural Sites

- 247 properties (38 states)
- 30% Natural Sites

Latin America and the Caribbean
- 185 properties (27 states)
- 22% Natural Sites

Arab States
- 154 properties (17 states)
- 17% Natural Sites

*169 properties are nominated under a single criteria
*381 Properties were nominated before the year 2000 (25%)

Author hubert
#12 | Posted: 10 Sep 2012 11:44 
Indeed, interesting statistics. But we should be careful with interpretations. The T-lists are very different. Some state parties have recently submitted new T-lists based on previous evaluations - UK, Netherlands, US. Probably most of these sites will be nominated within the next 10 years.
Other countries have long T-lists, such as Italy, Spain, France, India, etc. But most of these sites will never make serious attempts to get the final inscription.
For instance, Italy has 41 sites on the T-list, all from 2006 or later. But it's hard to believe that all of these sites will be nominated in the near future. Austria has 10 sites, but with the exception of the Danube Limes there are no efforts to nominate one of these sites.

Author Assif
#13 | Posted: 11 Sep 2012 11:06 
Interesting statistics. Even according to this sample there's far too much Europe and far too little nature.
I agree with Hubert that not all T-lists have the same future perspectives, but still exactly such countries with lengthy lists such as India, China, Iran, Mexico, Italy, Spain and France do nominate new sites on an almost yearly basis.
Even Austria did recently make two failed attempts from its current T-list, namely Hohe Tauern NP and Bregenzer Wald. I even remember reading about Steyr having feasibility studies carried out. The only Austrian T-site which is surely out is Innsbruck, but that's due to local opposition.

Author winterkjm
#14 | Posted: 11 Sep 2012 14:37 | Edited by: winterkjm 
31 sites remain unchanged pre 1992

Bulgaria - 7 sites from 1984 (Recently began updating list)
Finland - 4 sites from 1990
Romania - 12 sites from 1991 (only small updates since 1991)
Ukraine - 5 sites from 1989 (Recently began updating list)
Oman - 2 sites from 1988
Vietnam - 1 site from 1991 (Currently very active submitting new nominations)

4 of the 6 countries are in Europe. Beyond the many future nominations from Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. This leaves potential for new tentative lists within Europe that may provide a steady stream of inscriptions for years to come. Bulgaria and Ukraine have re-emerged with updated T-lists. Ukraine already has nominations up for inscription in 2013 and 2014.

I think it is clear that Asia is in the process of achieving more inscriptions per year than Europe on a consistant basis. Yet, just from the data it is clear Europe has many nominations to come (most of them cultural).

Author hubert
#15 | Posted: 12 Sep 2012 05:19 
Even Austria did recently make two failed attempts from its current T-list, namely Hohe Tauern NP and Bregenzer Wald. I even remember reading about Steyr having feasibility studies carried out. The only Austrian T-site which is surely out is Innsbruck, but that's due to local opposition.

In 2011 the management board of the mining company decided that „the plans for the nomination of Erzberg Iron Trail for WHS are stopped until an end of the mining activity is foreseeable. Since this is currently not the case, there will be no activity on our part in this issue." rzberg-werden-begraben.story

Far as I remember, the problem with the nomination of the Hohe Tauern NP was, that only the part in Carinthia was certified by the IUCN, not the parts in Salzburg and Tyrol. Therefore the nomination was withdrawn. But they made up for that several years ago and now the entire NP has the IUCN certification. The Alliance of Nature in Austria sometimes points out that this issue is still pending and that it is a shame that Austria has no natural WHS, but so far with little success.
I think an inscription is justified although other alpine landscapes are already inscribed.

Innsbruck/Karwendel is interesting. Most people in Innsbruck think, that the city is well known anyways and that the WHS status would rather restrain the development of the region. And that modern architecture like the Hungerburgbahn by Zaha Hadid would not have been built with the Unesco.

The other sites – abbeys, castles, a cathedral - are on the T-list since almost 20 years. Today, these sites only have little chancec and I suppose that they will not spend the money to submit a nomination.

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