The World Heritage Convention, adopted in 1972, is one of the most important global instruments for the protection, and the effective conservation and management of the heritage sites of Outstanding Universal Value. This Convention is underpinned by the understanding that some heritage places are so important that their protection is not only the responsibility of a single nation, but is also the duty of the international community as a whole, not only for this generation, but for all those to come.
Despite Africa’s great wealth in natural and cultural heritage, only 129 properties are inscribed on the World Heritage List, out of a total of 1052 sites inscribed on the list worldwide. The African continent is not only under-represented on the World Heritage List, but also has the highest number of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (23 out of 55, representing about 42%). In conformity with the World Heritage Committee which is seeking to establish a representative, balanced and credible World Heritage List (Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, 55-61), the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) initiated in 2008 a nomination training programme, in line with the first objective in its current Strategic Plan.
This four year programme (September 2016 – February 2020) aims to contribute to a better implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Africa through increased representation of African properties of Outstanding Universal Value on the World Heritage List. More specifically, the aim is to strengthen the capacities of African Cultural and Natural heritage practitioners to generate and submit nomination dossiers with clear and justified Outstanding Universal Value.
Five main activities are planned under the current programme:
- A survey of sites all over Africa
- Technical Tentative Listing upstream workshops
- Nomination File development training workshops
- In situ technical assistance missions
- Evaluation meetings
The Center for Heritage Development in Africa (CHDA) coordinates the activities in the English speaking countries, while the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain (EPA) coordinates the activities for French and Portuguese speaking countries. The programme is run with the partnership of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), the World Heritage Centre (WHC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the African States Parties.
This evaluation meeting aims to realize the following objectives:
- Finalise the selection of the targeted sites for each nomination workshop (Anglophone and Francophone);
- List of sites to be targeted for in situ missions rather than workshop involvement;
- Define the new perspectives likely to ensure the effective achievement of the nomination workshops programme objectives (structure and content);
- Develop and validate a new format of the World Heritage Nomination Programme.
- Representatives of WHC, IUCN, ICOMOS, ICCROM;
- Representatives of the programme implementation coordination : CHDA, EPA, AWHF;
- Regional resource representatives.
- Expected results:
- List of sites with strong OUV potential targeted for participation in each nomination workshop;
- List of sites with strong OUV potential targeted for in-situ missions;
- New perspectives of the Nomination Consolidation programme are defined and established;
- The new format of the World Heritage Nomination Programme is developed and validated.
Details of the meeting:
Venue: Protea Samrand Hotel Midrand – South Africa
Organizers: Ecole du Patrimoine Africain – EPA, Centre for Heritage Development in Africa – CHDA and the African World Heritage Fund – AWHF
Partners: World Heritage Centre – WHC, International Union for the Conservation of Nature – IUCN, International Council on Monuments and Sites – ICOMOS and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property – ICCROM