The UNITAR Hiroshima Office recently concluded the 11th Cycle of its highly regarded training series on the management and conservation of World Heritage Sites, held between 14-18 April. Attended by 21 participants from countries including South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand, and Thailand, the week-long workshop examined the processes required for the justification for the inscription of cultural landscapes in world heritage site nominations. Nominations of cultural landscapes - being the combined works of people and nature - often pose particular challenges as their potential Outstanding Universal Value arises not from their cultural or natural qualities assessed independently but from the inter-relationship between culture and nature. The workshop therefore examined how to present a clear argument for the justification for inscription of cultural landscapes on the World Heritage List. While there was an emphasis on cultural landscapes, the overall scope of the workshop also applied to other types of natural and cultural sites. By the end of the workshop, participants were to be able to:
- Identify the Principles and Objectives of the World Heritage Convention.
- Explain the fundamentals of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
- Explain the World Heritage Nomination and Evaluation Processes.
- Summarise the concept of Outstanding Universal Value, with particular regard to Cultural Landscape Nominations.
- List the criteria for the Assessment of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).
- Analyse the concepts of World Heritage Cultural Landscapes and Mixed Sites, including identifying and defining potential OUV.
- Identify key elements of both Authenticity and Integrity with regard to World Heritage Sites.
Utilising Resource Persons from ICOMOS, IUCN, UNESCO, and UNITAR, the workshop also incorporated study tours to the iconic Atomic-bomb (genbaku) Dome, and Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, the two sites of World Heritage in Hiroshima Prefecture.