UNESCO launches new partnership to reinforce World Heritage site managementFive post-graduate students in world heritage management will be granted scholarships to continue their studies at University College Dublin in Ireland and at Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus in Germany under a new partnership to reinforce the management of World Heritage sites. The partnership, between UNESCO and the French not-for-profit organization Vocations Patrimoine, l’Héritage du futur, will be launched on March 16 at UNESCO Headquarters (Room XII, 6 p.m.). It is funded by two French companies: AXA and the MAZARS Group.
Julian Machange (Tanzania) will work with University College Dublin on a study of the effects of recent poverty alleviation programmes, particularly livestock restocking, on the pastoral inhabitants and natural environment of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a World Heritage site which has become Tanzania’s biggest tourist attraction.
Working with University College Dublin, Sandra Flavin (Ireland) will examine the impact and management of tourism on Iriomote, the second largest island of the Ryuku Archipelago, which has been described as the “last wilderness of Japan” and as the “Galapagos of Asia” because of its rich biodiversity.
Zhu Yujie (China) will work with Brandenburg University on tourist management in the Old Town of Lijiang in Yunnan (China). Populated by a majority of ethnic Naxi, Lijiang, with its architectural blend of elements from Chinese, Tibetan and indigenous cultures, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997. The number of tourists visiting Lijiang yearly jumped from 200,000 a year to three million from 1994 to 2003.
Samuel Janse (Netherlands) will work with Brandenburg University to assess the possibility of the increased involvement of local residents in the conservation of the Sundarbans National Park, a World Heritage site in the Delta of the Ganges, shared by India and Bangladesh. The park constitutes the largest mangrove forest in the world and is home to rare and endangered wildlife species, including the tiger.
Iryna Kravets (Ukraine), will work with Brandenburg University on a comparison of western World Heritage management practices with a view to applying them, with appropriate adaptations, to Ukraine and other Post Soviet countries. Ms Kravets proposes to study the management of the Old and New Town of Edinburgh.
The World Heritage Centre has worked closely with both universities in selecting the first beneficiaries of the new programme. Particularly deserving students were selected among those currently enrolled on Masters courses at the two universities, on the basis of their academic performance and the development of suitable project proposals. Priority was given to candidates who are already pursuing a career in world heritage management and, or, to those from developing countries.
There are plans to increase the number of host institutions in the future to include other regions of the world to better ensure geographical and linguistic balance.
The purpose of the partnership between UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and Vocations Patrimoine, l’Héritage du future is to develop the skills of professionals working, or preparing to work, in the management, conservation and development of World Heritage sites.