Periodic Reporting Follow-up Meeting for the Mediterranean
and South-eastern Europe subregions
Corfu, Greece, 17 -19 April 2008
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Follow-up Meeting to Periodic Reporting the Mediterranean and South-eastern Europe subregions, which took place from 17 - 19 April 2008 and hosting by the Greek authorities, in particular the Hellenic Ministry for Culture, the General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.
The meeting was attended by 43 participants from 15 countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Israel, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey), as well as by Representatives of IUCN (IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation), ICOMOS, ICCROM and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the Chairperson of the European Periodic Reporting exercise.
The participants recalled the success of the Periodic Reporting for the European Region presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006 for 5 sub-regions covering 48 countries and a total of 244 sites (including transboundary properties). They considered that the process became an important tool for cooperation, exchange and joint action to enhance heritage conservation in general. The participants noted that the World Heritage List celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2008 and that many sites from Europe and particularly in the Mediterranean region were inscribed at a very early stage. Concepts such as management plans, buffer zones or integrity evolved with the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and were refined over time. The participants reviewed the results of the Periodic Reporting and focused follow up presented by the Advisory Bodies and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and highlighted the situation in the respective countries in their status reports in line with the 5 “C”s (conservation, credibility, communication, capacity building and communities), in particular regarding updated legislation, name changes, revisions to Tentative Lists (to include underrepresented themes and also reduce existing lists and develop appropriate methodologies and frameworks), (transnational, serial and transcontinental) nomination projects, boundary revisions and buffer zone preparations, updating and adoption of management or other plans (urban plans, master plans, spatial plans etc.) and trends in conservation and effective monitoring (issues of ownership and stakeholder consultations), restoration/rehabilitation/intervention projects, management systems, risk preparedness and specific – such as fire, theft - protection systems etc. ). Visibility of World Heritage and public awareness was enhanced through interpretation and various promotion materials, publications and electronic dissemination and also increased among civil society and NGOs in particular in SEE. Additional funding sources are required for World Heritage activities, access to EU funding to be increased and new and enhanced partnerships are encouraged (e.g. heritage routes, cultural tourism, as well as with other Conventions). Information was also provided on training courses, university programmes and capacity building as well as national networks of site managers and organizations in charge of World Heritage (e.g. national World Heritage Committees, Commission or offices). In depth discussions were held on the situation with processes related to management planning and consultation and a number of issues were discussed including involvement of local people and stakeholders including investors, planning processes and updating of management plans, coordination with different bodies and management of complex sites such as historic cities, cultural landscapes and large scale sites with different municipalities. Specific working groups were held for the following themes for which the summaries are included in Annex III to assist in reflections for revisions of Tentative Lists:
- Historic urban landscapes
- Archaeological sites
- Cultural landscapes
- Industrial heritage
- Cultural routes, Routes of Healing, Olive and Wine Routes, Water Routes
- Greco-Roman Theatres and Amphitheatres
- Phoenician, Greek and Roman sites.
In view of these considerations, follow-up actions taken so far and animated discussions in plenary and working groups, a number of recommendations from the meeting should be taken into account. These are addressed to States Parties to the Convention, the Advisory Bodies ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the World Heritage Committee:
Updates of national legislation
The participants noted that a number of national legislations concerning heritage have been revised, updated or are under revision, and that States Parties are encouraged to provide copies to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre; cooperation between national agencies dealing with natural and cultural heritage is encouraged;
Statements of significance/statement of outstanding universal value
The participants urged ICCROM to disseminate the information on the workshop on the Statements on Outstanding Universal Value, and noted that the concept is not fully understood at the national and local levels. Further time and advice is required to prepare proper statements in accordance with the Operational Guidelines.
Boundaries and buffer zones
The participants reviewed progress made with many boundary clarifications provided by 1 December 2007, which are being presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Quebec City, July 2008).
The participants noted that further work is required on major boundary modifications and the establishment of buffer zones for the properties which do not have any. The recommendations of the workshop on World Heritage and Buffer zones (Davos, March 2008) should be taken into account, in particular as many buffer zones are not covered by the management plans for the World Heritage property;
Management plans and management systems
The participants consider that management plans are useful tools in heritage conservation and should be based on clear statements of outstanding universal value for World Heritage. The participants welcomed that a number of management plans have been prepared and were submitted in draft form (2 copies, also electronically) to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies (IUCN, ICOMOS, ICCROM); They however note that further work is required and welcome the preparation of the Resource Manuals on management planning. The participants encourage the Advisory Bodies to advance in this project as specific advice is required for best practice models. The participants emphasize that stakeholder consultation and involvement throughout the process of planning and preparation of management plans and documentation of systems is crucial. The participants acknowledge that these
processes take considerable time. Concerning risk management and risk preparedness, the participants welcome a conference to be hosted by the Greek authorities in September 2008.
The participants, through thematic workshops, discussed a number of heritage themes relevant for the Mediterranean region and considered that these themes provide a basis for cooperation among the countries and to explore linking existing sites and revising Tentative Lists to include transnational serial sites. They encourage States Parties to offer hosting focused thematic meetings and suggest establishing working groups on specific topics (e.g. by ICOMOS on classical civilizations in the Mediterranean).
The participants encourage in-depth comparative analysis on these topics both at the national level and through comparative studies (regional, global) by ICOMOS and IUCN.
The participants noted that progress had been made with updating existing Tentative Lists and encourage all States Parties to use best practice methodologies and frameworks for a thorough selection of potential sites. The participants welcomed the public access to all Tentative Lists at whc.unesco.org; they considered, however, that direct exchange and consultations among States Parties and focal points is the best way to work towards harmonization of Tentative Lists for certain themes in line with the Global Strategy.
Sustainable Use of properties
The participants considered that the authenticity and integrity of use and functions of World Heritage properties and parts of sites need to be taken into account in any re-development and re-use of monuments, buildings and landscapes.
Presentation, Promotion and communication of World Heritage
The participants noted the efforts undertaken at national levels concerning publication and dissemination of World Heritage information and encourage further efforts specifically for transnational serial projects;
The participants note that a meeting on cultural corridors, routes and cultural
tourism is scheduled 12-13 June 2008 in Athens for South Eastern Europe;
The participants encourage that sustainable tourism be included in the
management plans for World Heritage properties;
Concerning the reliable database of European site managers (Decision 31 COM
11A.1), the participants urge the States Parties concerned as soon as possible to
provide and to update as necessary the details (name, function, address,
telephone, fax, e-mail, web-page) to the World Heritage Centre;