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World Heritage Dream List

 
 
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Author Jonas Bergmann
Partaker
#46 | Posted: 23 Oct 2021 14:41 
Solivagant:
Regarding the National Museum of India in New Delhi.

I didn't know that. In one of the later cases Delhi as a whole will be one theme. I think than we can discuss everything related to New Delhi then.

Author Jonas Bergmann
Partaker
#47 | Posted: 24 Oct 2021 11:20 
To all the experts of Russian architecture

Case No. 5: Open Air Museums, Russian/Siberian wooden architecture & cherry-picking


Preface: After Solivagnant rightly mentioned the special case of Open Air Museums (OAM) I have decided to bring this case forward.

Explanation: Imo the best OAM to show the original concept for this special form of museums is, as Solivagnant has already pointed out, the first founded: Skansen, next to Stockholm. So it will be on my WHS dream list.
But in general UNESCO does not seem to like the concept: In Kizhi Pogost and Kolomenskoje, both OAM in Russia, only the originally in-situ parts have been inscribed successfully. For Kizhi Pogost the recommendation for inscription included the advice: "Adding homes and wooden churches to the southern part of the island of Kizhi would alter the historical and visual caharcteristics oft he site." Additionally the try for inscrption of the whole OAM of Kolomenskoje got a deferral in 1992. But two years later the reduced site (Church of the Ascension) was successful. So it seems obvious for me that the non-movable rule prevented the acceptance of the other buildings although imo both OAM present a good overview of Russian wooden architecture.
I think that Russian and especially Siberian wooden architecture (especially beyond churches) is a missing gap on the list. But with OAM excluded by the rules of UNESCO I see Tomsk as the only possible site to fill the gap. Irkutsk as another possible alternative option lost most of its wooden architecture during the fire of 1879 and after that constructing of wooden buildings was not longer allowed there. So it is not a real choice. But I also want to know from the experts if it is possible to form a core zone containing the most important examples or if the buildings are spread all over the city. I hope for the former because I don't like cherry-picking of single elements distanced from each other a lot with many non-related buildings in between.

Questions:
1. Should Tomsk get on the WHS dream list as an example of Russian/Siberian wooden architecture or are there better examples (OAM excluded)?
2. If Tomsk is the choice, is it possible to create a core zone including most of the best examples where wooden architecture is clearly the dominant part?

Author Colvin
Partaker
#48 | Posted: 24 Oct 2021 15:54 
Jonas Bergmann:
it seems obvious for me that the non-movable rule prevented the acceptance of the other buildings although imo both OAM

The non-movable rule amuses me since saving/moving Abu Simbel and other treasures from rising Lake Nasser after the construction of the Aswan Dam was the impetus for UNESCO. That said, an open air museum is a little different, since all the buildings may not be moved in context to their original locales.

At any rate, I've been to Irkutsk, but haven't been to Tomsk, so I can't compare between the two. I can say that I was impressed by the wooden architecture I saw in Irkutsk, especially the area where the Decembrists lived, and there are still several buildings in Irkutsk that predate the fire. I would be happy with Russia moving forward with its TWHS nomination for Irkutsk if it were to focus on the wooden architecture.

That said, from what I see online about Tomsk, it does seem like they are doing a tremendous job preserving their wooden architectural heritage. Would love to hear an opinion from someone who has been to both cities.

Author Jonas Bergmann
Partaker
#49 | Posted: 26 Oct 2021 13:40 
Until now all the cases have been linked in some way to the very basic question: Is it allowed to inscribe them at all (missing authenticity, missing state party, missing non-movability)? From now on they will be more content-related.

The next three cases will need experts in Geography and Geology.

Case No. 6: Big Waterfalls

Explanation:
Atm there are already 14 sites connected to "Big Waterfalls". Possible further entries that come to my mind are e.g. Kaieteur & Niagara. But do they or others add any OUV to this connection the inscribed ones still missing? I can't find any. IMO it's sufficient.

Questions:
1. Do you think we need more Big Waterfalls on a WHS dream list? Yes or no?
2. If yes, which ones and which OUV do they add to the list still missing atm?

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#50 | Posted: 26 Oct 2021 14:25 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Jonas Bergmann:
Atm there are already 14 sites connected to "Big Waterfalls". Possible further entries that come to my mind are e.g. Kaieteur & Niagara. But do they or others add any OUV to this connection the inscribed ones still missing? I can't find any. IMO it's sufficient.

To be fair - of the 14 WHS with a "Big Waterfall" Connection, only 2 waterfalls, Iguassu (inscribed twice by different countries) and Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria) are inscribed "solely" because of their waterfalls. Of the other 11 - I don't think any of them would not have been inscribed if the Waterfall concerned had not been present - even Canaima fully justifies inscription because of the Tepuis with or without Angel Falls.

We have discussed Kaitetur before on this forum.
You may care to read up this from 2009. Unfortunately the link I found that long ago which gave a history of the attempt to gain inscription at that date is broken.
This from 2012 gave extra information to that date.
Since then of course Guyana has removed the site from its T List altogether. Whether because it received clear indication that it would never gain inscription .. or because it got fed up with UNESCO/IUCN's attitude towards it .... or because it came to the view that countries like Guyana are unfairly penalised by the rest of the World who want them to maintain their natural respources (i.e forests) in pristine condition without compensating them for doing so and that they might just as well therefore capitalise on those assets I know not.
I would fully expect that the area around Kaieteur will become badly compromised by logging and gold mining etc The sheer stupidity of IUCN/UNESCO in not inscribing the site when it had the chance and giving Guyana some positive strokes (as well as gaining some "leverage" in dealing with Guyana) will then be seen for what it was. When other small countries are given a degree of "license" to help them gain a first inscription that was noticeably lacking in the case of Guyana. To alter an English quotation ...."For the sake of a few extra hectares the forest was lost".

You will gather that I believe that Kaieteur should have been (and should still be) inscribed.......with or without much of its surrounding forest. At least if it is "inside" the UNESCO tent there might be more chance of getting Guyana to make an extension. And the WH scheme is, after all, primarily supposed to be about "protection". The fact that IUCN was prepared to countenance inscription with more land would indicate that IUCN wasn't of the view that the Surinam inscription adequately covered the OUV of the Guyana Shield area. Regarding the "scenic" merits of the Falls - I see Wiki claims them to be the "World's largest single drop falls by volume of water"- but, in most size comparison criteria they don't match Iguassu or Victoria. However, they are pretty amazing. If I had to put all the major waterfalls I have seen (which include most of those "connected" plus others not inscribed) in sequence they would come 4th after Vic Falls, Iguassu, Angel....but, not by much!!! The "List" should have room for all of them - certainly well well ahead of much of the other dross which has been inscribed!
Just looking at the inscription criteria for each of Iguassu and Vic Falls
Iguassu - Cit vii (size etc) and Crit x (ecology of area)
Vic Falls - Crit vii (size etc) and Crit viii (geology)
In both cases the second criterion chosem seems to me to posess a somewhat "thin" argument and we can assume that Crit vii was paramount in both cases. Kaieteur could have been given the same treatment IMO.

Niagara is a different matter - "Waterfalls sitting inside a Tourist theme park very messed around by hydro schemes" just about says it all for me.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#51 | Posted: 26 Oct 2021 21:45 | Edited by: Colvin 
I would definitely support Kaieteur, the world's largest single drop waterfall by volume, but that would probably be all from the Wikipedia lists referenced in the Big Waterfalls connection.

I'm with Solivagant on Niagara Falls. It's great to visit, but I don't think it holds enough OUV to be a World Heritage Site.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#52 | Posted: 27 Oct 2021 01:58 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Solivagant:
Unfortunately the link I found that long ago which gave a history of the attempt to gain inscription at that date is broken.

I have managed to use Wayback Machine to access the 2009 article on Kaieteur's UNESCO experience
2 quotes
"In 2000(?) Guyana submitted the Kaieteur National Park, including the Kaieteur Falls, to UNESCO as its first World Heritage Site nomination. The proposed area and surrounds have some of Guyana's most diversified life zones with one of the highest levels of endemic species found anywhere in South America. The Kaieteur Falls is the most spectacular feature of the park falling a distance of 226 m and exceeding the height of Niagara Falls (USA/Canada) five times. Unfortunately, the nomination of Kaieteur Park as a World Heritage Site was not successful, primarily because the area was seen by the evaluators as being too small, especially when compared with the Central Suriname Nature Reserve that had just been nominated as a World Heritage Site (2000). The dossier was thus returned to Guyana for revision."
Unfortunately we don't know for sure the size of the nominated area. Was it continguous with the boundaries of National Park as implied by the title of the Nomination or was it cut out from the full NP? Wiki's article on Kaieteur indicates that Guyana had considerably increased the size of the NP 2 years before submitting it for Nomination - "In 1999 the park's area was increased from 5 square miles (10 km2) to 242 square miles (630 km2) by a Presidential Order." This would surely have been done specifically to allow the entire (new) NP area to be nominated?? The Central Suriname Reserve inscribed in 2000 had been 1.600.000 ha - so, much larger than even the increased Kaieteur NP size. But was 630 km2 really too small to inscribe??

"as a result of the Kaieteur National Park being considered too small, there is a proposal to prepare a nomination for a Cluster Site that will include the Kaieteur National Park, the Iwokrama Rain Forest and the Kanuku Mountains. The Iwokrama Forest, an area rich in biological diversity, has been described by Major General (Rtd) Joseph Singh as "a flagship project for conservation." The Kanuku Mountains area is in a pristine state, and is home to more than 400 birds and animals. These three sites together, we feel, more than adequately meet the requirements of exceptional natural beauty and biological diversity, as well as the requirements of size and integrity, for a successful nomination."
It would appear that the latter initiative didn't bear fruit. From my background knowledge having visited Iwokrama (which is around 110 kms away from Kaieteur as the crow flies) the grouping would seem to have been somewhat artificial. In any case -by itself it wouldn't seem to do anything to overcome a determination by IUCN to get a larger area around Kaieteur inscribed in line with what Suriname had done.

Author Jonas Bergmann
Partaker
#53 | Posted: 27 Oct 2021 05:23 | Edited by: Jonas Bergmann 
1. I think name dropping has not been a good solution. I could also have mentioned e.g. Khon Phapheng Waterfalls in Laos because of its width. So if anybody wants to propose and give reasons for any other waterfall I haven't mentioned please do so.

2. Kaieteur: With having Canaima and Central Suriname Nature Reserve inscribed as typical ecosystems of the Guyana Shield the surrounding forests of Kaieteur imo are unimportant for inscription now compared to former times around 20-25 years ago. It's just about the waterfall now. And I see no reason concerning the ecosystem to remove Central Suriname Nature Reserve for Kaieteur National Park.

3. Niagara: It is very touristy indeed. But that is not the reason I have been thinking about it. It is a good example for a waterfall caused by retrogressive erosion. But is it enough for inscription? I think it's too niche. And if you do so also the whole river area in front of the falls has to be also part because the falls have been there in former times.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#54 | Posted: 27 Oct 2021 07:19 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Jonas Bergmann:
. It is a good example for a waterfall caused by retrogressive erosion. But is it enough for inscription? I think it's too niche.

Isn't this already adequately represented by Vic Falls? "Criterion (viii): The Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls and associated eight steep sided gorges have been formed through the changing waterfall positions over a geological time scale. The gorges are an outstanding example of river capture and the erosive forces of the water still continue to sculpture the hard basalts. These gorges take a zigzag course of a distance of about 150 km along the Zambezi River below the falls. Seven previous waterfalls occupied the seven gorges below the present falls, and the Devil's Cataract in Zimbabwe is the starting point for cutting back to a new waterfall. In addition, an aerial view of the falls shows possible future waterfall positions"

Author Colvin
Partaker
#55 | Posted: 27 Oct 2021 08:00 | Edited by: Colvin 
If you are concerned you are "leading the witness", I reviewed the Wikipedia List of waterfalls by height and the List of waterfalls by flow rate, and Kaieteur was the only one listed that I might support for OUV on its own (the world's largest single drop waterfall by volume).

On the Wikipedia list by height, Mutarazi Falls in Zimbabwe looks impressive, and is the second highest waterfall in Africa, but I don't know that that would be enough OUV to inscribe it alone as a big waterfall. In fact, I think most of the world's highest waterfalls (save for Angel Falls, the highest in the world, but already inscribed through Canaima) would be better considered for the OUV of their environs; a high waterfall to me is not as impressive as one with great volume.

On the list by flow, I discount any waterfall regulated by power. I'd also be looking for something spectacular with OUV, and while Khon Phapheng is the widest in the world (potential OUV), to me its 21 meter drop does not seem spectacular enough for me to support. Just off the Top 20 on the flow list, Kalendula Falls in Angola looks spectacular, but it suffers in comparison to the already inscribed Victoria Falls.

The only waterfall not on either list that came to mind when you introduced the topic was Ban Gioc-Detian, on the border of China and Vietnam, a waterfall that was discussed during last year's Missing Top 50 exercise. Ban Gioc does not meet any criteria to be a Big Waterfall based on the connection criteria, though, nor do I think it would have enough OUV to be inscribed solely as a waterfall.

Author jonathanfr
Partaker
#56 | Posted: 27 Oct 2021 13:14 
The impressive fall of Dettifoss in Iceland was considered to be part of Vatnajökull. Maybe a future extension. Iceland has a lot of beautiful waterfalls besides.
Dry Falls (USA), without water !, also has some potential.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#57 | Posted: 27 Oct 2021 17:21 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Colvin:
On the list by flow, I discount any waterfall regulated by power.

Actually, although not mentioned in the Wiki "List by flow", Vic Falls has a hydro scheme which diverts water from the main falls (not that I am suggesting that its existence constitutes a reason. to downgrade their value!) - It is on the Zambian side. The inlet is upstream of the main falls and the outlet between Gorges 3 and 4 - all inside the inscribed area I believe. It was built in 1938 and is relatively small in both size and impact. Its water usage is stated in this article (see page 8) as being "about half the dry-season water flow in the Zambezi River, diverting it away from the falls"

Author Colvin
Partaker
#58 | Posted: 27 Oct 2021 19:53 
Solivagant:
not that I am suggesting that its existence constitutes a reason. to downgrade their value!

True, and Victoria Falls is already inscribed. One day I hope to see them in person.

Author Jonas Bergmann
Partaker
#59 | Posted: 28 Oct 2021 04:15 
jonathanfr
Dry Falls will be on my dream list as part of the new created site Channeled Scrublands including also Drumheller Channels.

Author Jonas Bergmann
Partaker
#60 | Posted: 28 Oct 2021 15:57 | Edited by: Jonas Bergmann 
Case No. 7: Submarine Volcanos

Explanation: There are a lot of sites having volcanic activities as category or connection. But as far as I can see there is no recently active submarine volcano without a created island (Nishinoshima of Ogasawara-Islands is an island now) on the list. And I don't think it's necessary because I suppose all volcanic activities that can be seen terrestric are the same like below sea level.

Task: If there is anybody opposing this view please give a reason and examples. But there are two conditions:
1. The volcano should be (at best permanently Stromboli-like) active.
2. Its peak being not more than one hundred meters below sealevel so that eruptions can be seen breaking through the waterline.


So Black Smokers do not count. In general Kavachi (Solomon Islands), Home Reef (Tonga) or Fukutoku-Okanoba (Japan) come to my mind.

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