Asia-Pacific Focal Point

for World Heritage Managers

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Asia-Pacific Focal Point

"A Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and UNESCO on cooperation concerning World Heritage in the Asia-Pacific region"

The Asia-Pacific Focal Point (APFP) is a regional network for World Heritage Managers, established to share experience, knowledge and resources between countries in the region. The APFP will help Asia-Pacific countries adopt, and meet their obligations under the World Heritage Convention and will also help ensure best practice management of their World Heritage sites.

7 April 2009

33rd Session of the World Heritage Committee

The next session of the World Heritage Committee will be held in Sevilla, Spain from 22 June to 30 June 2009. Information is available on the World Heritage Committee  web site.

If you are interested in applying for funding to attend the meeting, please visit the World Heritage Centre's International Assistance  site.

7 April 2009

World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region (WHITR-AP)

The WHITR-AP aims to build the capacity of professionals and bodies involved with World Heritage site inscription, protection, conservation and management in the Asia and the Pacific region, through training, research, the dissemination of information and network building.

For more information about the training they offer, visit the WHITR-AP web site .

23 March 2009

Upcoming UNITAR workshop

The next UNITAR Hiroshima Series workshop, 'Conservation for Peace', will be held in Hiroshima, Japan from 19 - 24 April 2009.

More about the workshop and application forms are available on the UNITAR Hiroshima Management and Conservation of World Heritage Sites Workshop 2009  web site.

News from the World Heritage Centre - Nomination Deadlines for 2009: 30 January

We would like to draw your attention on the deadline for submitting the nomination file for the next cycle is 17h00 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009, since 1 February 2009 falls on Sunday.

It is in accordance with the regulation described in the Operational Guidelines (PDF file - 1,162 KB)  (paragraphs 168 "Timetable"), which states "Nomination shall be received by 17h00 GMT, or, if the date falls on a weekend by 17h00 GMT on the preceding Friday."

If you are preparing to submit a nomination file for this cycle, please make sure to send it early enough so that the file would arrive and be received by UNESCO WHC in time.

Please contact Megumi Takimoto of the Asia and the Pacific Unit of the World Heritage Centre with any queries.

Pacific Islands World Heritage Workshop

The Pacific Islands World Heritage Workshop was held in Cairns, Australia from 13-17 October 2008.

The workshop brought together around 85 participants from 17 Pacific Island countries and territories, plus advisory bodies and Australia, New Zealand and the World Heritage Centre (WHC). With three Pacific sites recently inscribed, the workshop was able to build on current momentum and achieve unification and strengthening of the Pacific's commitment to engaging in the World Heritage process. The workshop also provided an opportunity for the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts to announce the Australian Government's $1 million commitment to World Heritage activities in the Pacific.

Lively and interactive discussions were held on common issues such as climate change, land tenure, community education and stakeholder involvement, resources and funding, tourism, and capacity building. Delegates had the opportunity to meet their colleagues from the region, and develop networks. Of course there were a number of musical interludes and a song written especially for the workshop!

Key outcomes from the meeting include:

2010-2015 Pacific Action Plan

  • Developing the next Pacific Action Plan was a key theme of the workshop with the establishment of a working group on the first day and sessions throughout the week. Consensus was reached on the preambular text for the Action Plan, including vision, achievements, objectives, challenges and funding.
  • The WHC will distribute a draft of the preambular text, and participants are able to provide comments on this document up to 15 December. After this date, the WHC will develop a version for submission to the next WH Committee meeting in June 2009. The actions for the next plan are also being drafted, with input provided by all countries on their priorities for the next five years.

Pacific World Heritage Fund

  • Following discussion by delegates and the efforts of a working group, a document was drafted which outlines the purpose and objectives of a sustainable financing mechanism to support the effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the Pacific. The Terms of Reference for a scoping study on the financing mechanism, to be commissioned by the WHC, was also developed. The WHC aims to commission a consultant/s to undertake the study in the near future. The key achievement on this issue was a broadening of the previous focus on the endowment fund model, to allow consideration of a range of models that may be more suited to the Pacific.

Capacity building

  • The working group for capacity building drafted an excellent document to feed into the Action Plan that aims to develop competence in World Heritage issues in the Pacific Island states. It also seeks regional, formally recognised courses of study to achieve national best practice in the conservation of sites of significance for Pacific Island states.

The presentations from the workshop are being distributed to each participating country and organisation on a USB flash drive.

The organisers would like to thank of all the participants for making this workshop a success! For more information, or any queries, please email:

Outcomes for the Pacific from the World Heritage Committee Meeting

The latest meeting of the World Heritage Committee from 2-10 July 2008 in Quebec, Canada, resulted in some very positive developments for the Pacific region. Congratulations to all involved in the successful inscription of three sites in the region:

  • The Kuk Early Agricultural Site, Papua New Guinea, on the basis of criteria (iii) and (iv).
  • Chief Roi Mata's Domain, Vanuatu, on the basis of criteria (iii), (v) and (vi).
  • The Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems were inscribed under the State Party of France.

The meeting inscribed 27 sites, bringing the total on the World Heritage List to 878 sites. 30 sites remain on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The next session of the Committee will be held 22-30 June 2009, in Seville, Spain. Spain will chair the Committee over the next 12 months, with the new Bureau comprising Vice Presidents from Kenya (for Africa), Tunisia (Arab), US (EU and North America), Barbados (Latin America and Caribbean) and Australia (Asia Pacific). The Rapporteur will be Mr Antonio Ricarte (Brazil).


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