Applications flood UNESCO for heritage tag: Dr Rossler

DEHRADUN: Dr Mechtild Rossler, Director, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris Division, has expressed concern over rising number of nominations from various countries across the globe for getting UNESCO World Heritage status for several sites, many of which at times do not even have outstanding universal value.

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Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 22

Dr Mechtild Rossler, Director, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris Division, has expressed concern over rising number of nominations from various countries across the globe for getting UNESCO World Heritage status for several sites, many of which at times do not even have outstanding universal value.

Dr Rossler presided over the fifth annual coordination meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage category 2 centres and institutes at the Wildlife Institute of India here today.

“There has been a tendency among countries to get more and more sites for nominations in order to get them under the ambit of UNESCO World Heritage status. Sometimes it is a political push. It should not be more than one site for every country per year,” she said.

According to Dr Rossler, fund raising is also a big challenge before the UNESCO. She disclosed that even UNESCO staff in Paris had to be retrenched due to shortage of funds.

Wildlife Institute of India’s Director Vinod Mathur said the UNESCO Category 2 Centre (C2C) for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region, which had been established at the WII, was working to strengthen the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Asia and the pacific region by building the capacity of professionals and institutions involved with world natural heritage site protection, conservation and management, through training, research, dissemination of information and network building.

Elisa De Cabo, Director General of Heritage Protection, Spain; Kamal Bittar, cultural heritage expert, Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage, Bahrain; and Dr Lokesh Ohri, co-convenor INTACH Uttarkhand, also participated at the meeting.

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