The UNITAR Series on the Management and Conservation of World Heritage Sites 2011 Session was held recently in Hiroshima, Japan, and was attended by representatives of 19 countries. Uniquely well-placed in the eternally resonant city of Hiroshima, the Series seeks to utilize UNESCO’s Convention concerning the Protection of the Worlds Cultural and Natural Heritage more effectively by focusing on national policy making and planning, and on exchanging know-how on best practices and case studies.

The Series offers a set of innovative approaches to heritage conservation, including:

A values-based management approach examining the significance of the properties to be conserved; The fusion of cultural and natural heritage management; and
The recognition of both the tangible and intangible aspects of heritage values.

The theoretical focus of the 2011 Session was UNESCO’s new Preparing World Heritage Nominations Manual and the utilization of such in regards to management, decision making and policy formulation. The practical focus of the session examined Comparative Analysis as a key element in the nominations process. Through discussion with practitioners and experts related to the field, the area of Comparative Analysis has been highlighted as a major challenge in the preparation of many nominations, and one in which UNITAR’s unique training methodologies and approach to World Heritage Management would be particularly beneficial.

Following in-depth explanations and case studies examining the current state of the World Heritage Regime, UNESCO’s Operational Guidelines, the themes behind Values-based Management, the Preparing World Heritage Nominations Manual and Comparative Analysis itself, participants were split into groups and, utilizing a real-world example of a potential World Heritage Site, submitted as part of the application process, worked on developing a nominations dossier. The interaction between representatives of different cultures, of academia, government and sites themselves is highlighted as one of the most beneficial elements of the intensive week in Hiroshima.

For more information on the Series to date, please visit our page: Management and Conservation of World Heritage Sites

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