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UNESCO (and other) "Lists"

Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 24 Aug 2008 07:15 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I discovered yet another UNESCO list today! The UNESCO Director-General Kolchuro Matsuura had travelled on from Edinburgh (where he had told that city NOT to do any more developments for a year during the UNESCO inspection as to whether it should be removed from the list if it continues with another development) to Glasgow which he then inscribed as a "City of Music" (really!) within UNESCO's "Creative Cities Network" list.

The current published list of 9 inscribed cities is on 01.html

However, there are said to be 12 such cities (prior to Glasgow) and another 20 looking for inscription. There are some differences in the inscription process c.f. WHS applications are done by cities themselves rather than "States Parties" and cities may withdraw unilaterally (rather than being ignominiously "delisted"). They have to meet UNESCO criteria however and may be "invited to leave the Network" (so much more civilised than "delisting"!)by UNESCO if they fail to maintain the required features!

There is a linkage to WHS
a. Edinburgh is a "City of Literature"
b. Berlin is a "City of Design" (appropriate in the light of its recent housing estate inscription and the 2 taken together are indicative of how Berlin is trying to position itself within the tourism/culture market)

But, unless any of the 3 sites not shown on the link are WHS, there are not enough for a formal "Connection" on this site. Does anyone know about the "missing 3"?

There are a number of "Lists" maintained by UNESCO (and other "prestigious organisations") which should be of interest to WHS enthusiasts both because of their cross-links to WHS and because we enthusiasts are likely to be interested in "lists" per se and in anything related to "things to see" whilst travelling!

We have already established "Connections" to the following lists
a. Memory of the World
b. World Biosphere Reserve
c. RAMSAR Wetlands

Does anyone know of other "site-related" lists where inscription isn't just a matter of paying the entrance fees (as per the "World Heritage Cities" list)? I say "site-related" because UNESCO even has lists related to "people"!! e.g. the "Artists for Peace" list -

Some lists which might not at first sight seem "site-related" are still well worth looking through by anyone who is travel-planning. I think particularly of the "Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" list. The Wiki site is better for getting a full view of the complete list nity
as the list on the UNESCO site is "being updated"!

Some of these take place/can be seen in WHS-inscribed locations (It might be worth going through and identifying these?) but, even if they are not , they contain some fabulous sights I still value having watched Gelede dancing in Togo , heard the Manas story teller in Kyrgyzstan and experiencing the Wayang shadow puppets in Java among a number of others from the list. They are not all in "exotic" places either - even Belgium is represented!!

Author meltwaterfalls
#2 | Posted: 24 Aug 2008 17:46 
"Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" list. The Wiki site is better for getting a full view of the complete list nity
as the list on the UNESCO site is "being updated"!

Some of these take place/can be seen in WHS-inscribed locations (It might be worth going through and identifying these?)

I had been trying to find the list that contained the Gilles of Binche, so thanks for pin pointing it for me.

I can see the three needed for a conection. Though there may be more if people want to pick over the rest.

Carnival of Binche -> Belfries of Belgium and France
Songs of Sanaa -> Sanaa
Cultural Space of Jemaa el-Fna -> Marrakesh

These seem to be associated with WHS but I don't know enough details to pin point them;
The Baltic singing (Old Towns Tallin, Riga & Vilnius), Georgian Polyphonic singing (Upper Svenetia), Opera dei Pupi (Val di Noto [Catania]), The Mystery Play of Elx (Takes place in a Basilica in Elche, not sure if it is near the Palmerie)

Author m_m
#3 | Posted: 25 Aug 2008 02:18 
there are many other listings aside from unesco. the most ancient is of course the seven wonders list--this is the list that initially got me interested in listings. under unesco, you have the whs, biosphere reserve, masterpieces of intangible and oral heritage, memory of the world, and geoparks. other lists are the wmf's 100 most endangered list, ramsar wetlands of international importance, ci's global biodiversity hotspots. wwf also has several lists, the most prominent i think is the global 200 ecoregion. there is also the list of endemic bird areas. some lists are "fixed"--no sites get added up annually, while the others are changed every period (like the wmf list).

Author m_m
#4 | Posted: 25 Aug 2008 02:28 
btw, lyon is part of the creative cities network too, so you can have a connection there already. not sure about aswan--it is part of the creative cities network, but is it part of the whs? also, considering the conclusion of the olympic games, is it possible to have a connection there, of olympic host cities? this can include the main host city as well as supporting cities (especially for sailing and football events). problem here is that the vicinity of the sporting events may not be located in the city center (likely to be the world heritage site) itself. among the host cities certain to meet the connection will be rome (several roman ruins hosted events like gymnastics and wrestling), sydney (the vicinity around the opera house was used as the site of triathlon), beijing (a section of the great wall of china was used as part of the road events, as well as the ming tomb reservoir as site of triathlon).

Author m_m
#5 | Posted: 25 Aug 2008 02:32 
just would like to add a note on the mystery play of elche which was inscribed on the oral and intangible heritage list. what's interesting is that the mystery play was initially used as a justification (for certain criterion vi) of the elche world heritage site, which was done in the 1990s. but the state party revised the nomination to focus on the palm grove instead of the mystery play. so the value of the world heritage site does not truly reflect the mystery play, unlike in the case of the cultural space in marrakesh.

Author Solivagant
#6 | Posted: 26 Aug 2008 15:26 
More Oral masterpeices DIRECTLY/SPECIFICALLY connected to WHS to go with those listed above (Certainly Sanaa and Jmaa el-fna. I am not sure if the Binche ceremony is "directly" linked to the Belfries)
a. The Hudhud Chants of the Ifugao (Rice Terraces - the chants are related to the rice harvest
b. The Cultural space of the Bedu in Petra and Wadi Rum (Petra)
c. The Royal Ancestral Ritual in the Jongmyo Shrine and its Music (Chongmyo Shrine)

Author meltwaterfalls
#7 | Posted: 26 Aug 2008 18:06 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
In regards to Binche, the connection would be that the focus of the parade is the Grande Place on which the Belfry sits. I would guess there is no direct link between the belfry and the carnival and the religious vs. secular nature of the two sights would certainly differentiate the two. But to be honest I wouldn't have to much of a problem linking them.

Author meltwaterfalls
#8 | Posted: 27 May 2011 07:26 
The memory of the world list has been updated incase anyone is interested: s/memory-of-the-world/register/access-by-year/2011/

In terms of connections at first glance I can see these:
Warsaw Reconstruction office (Integral part of the WHS)

Ones that are located in WHS
Collection of 526 prints of university theses from 1637-1754 is in Charles University, Prague
Documentary Fonds of Royal Audiencia Court of La Plata (RALP) in Sucre
Mainz Psalter at the Austrian National Library in Vienna

Sixteenth to eighteenth century pictographs from the "Maps, drawings and illustrations" of the National Archives of Mexico in Mexico City?

Privateering and the international relations of the Regency of Tunis in the 18th and 19th centuries in Tunis?

Author Solivagant
#9 | Posted: 27 May 2011 16:54 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I have been interested to note that the "Memory of the World" program maintains 3 tiers or "levels" of register
a. National
b. Regional
c. International

So, using Australia as an example, these 3 registers are maintained as follows

"The national registers list documentary heritage of the nation approved for inclusion by the national committee of Memory of the World or, where there is no national committee, the corresponding National Commission of UNESCO"
Australia has 37 documents on its national Register

REGIONAL REGISTER (e.g The Asia/Pacific Regional Committee for the Memory of the World Program (MOWCAP))
"MOWCAP ... maintains an Asia/Pacific Regional Register of the MOW documentary heritage, a listing of documentary heritage of influence in the Asia/Pacific region. MOWCAP is the authority that approves inscriptions on the Asia/Pacific MOW Register"
Australia has 1 Document on this register also on its National Register
a. Landmark Constitutional Documents of the Commonwealth of Australia

"The IAC (International Advisory Committee) is responsible for approving additions to, or deletions from, the international Memory of the World International Register".
Australia has 5 Documents on this register also on its National Register
a. Manifesto of Queensland Labour Party to People of Queensland
b. Convict records of Australia
c. Endeavour Journal of James Cook
d. Mabo Case Documents
e. Story of the Kelly Gang

It is interesting to consider how things might have been if the World Heritage Program had adopted a similar approach!! A country would have had a "National Register" of Heritage sites of National significance whilst sites solely of Regional significance would also have been inscribed on a "Regional Register". Finally those of "Outstanding UNIVERSAL Value" would have been nominated to the International Register. But all 3 levels would operate within a single "quality" framework supervised by UNESCO (as do the 3 Memory of the World registers)

Such an approach might have been beneficial in fostering an interest in conservation of heritage across a wider range of sites and states than the current one and also in avoiding the rather unseemly pressure to oversell sites in order to get them on the current sole "International Register". At the moment there is no need for a country to do anything to conserve a site on its T List if it really has no interest in progressing its nomination (and that would seem to be the case with many sites on T Lists!!) - the "Memory of the World" program will be having positive impacts on a vast number of documents which will never appear on the International register. It would also have offered some protection to those more important sites which are currently dismissed by UNESCO as being "only" of "Regional significance". It would also provide a "good home" for those sites which currently find their way onto the current list when they are clearly also of "Regional" rather than "International" significance (numerous Cathedrals, Palaces etc etc!!!). The management etc criteria for those inscribed at the "International" level would be no strong less than now whilst the OUV criteria could be imposed more strictly - in so doing enhancing the importance of those (rather fewer) sites reaching this highest level.


Author Durian
#10 | Posted: 8 Dec 2014 22:44 | Edited by: Durian 
Not relate to UNESCO but the result of New7Wonders Cities is announced

Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz and Vigan

2 World Heritages sites in the list: Havana and Vigan

Author meltwaterfalls
#11 | Posted: 9 Dec 2014 04:01 
Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz and Vigan

hmm... good to know the world has finally agreed on this :)

It seems like a BuzzFeed article that has had money wasted on research rather than getting an intern to cobble it together. 7 cities that will literally amaze the world!.

But on the whole I don't think I will be drastically altering my future travel plans.

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