Leading historians, archaeologists and conservation specialists from eight neighboring countries have joined their Peruvian counterparts in Cusco this week to draw up a South American heritage action plan 2015-2020. The aim is to to define conservation strategies to be applied in each country and focus on certain priorities that will improve compliance with the World Heritage Convention, signed in 1972.
The delegates include the specialists and government officials from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Kishore Rao, director of Unesco’s World Heritage Centre, opened the meetings with the Minister of Culture, Diana Alvarez-Calderón, and the head of the Latin America and Caribbean unit of the Centre, Cesar Moreno.
The discussions include sub-regional conservation strategies, cross-cutting and inter-institutional management of data, as well as sustainable tourism. Details are also being covered on risk management, impact assessment, and pilot projects, in compliance with a decision made at the World Heritage committee’s meeting in June last year in Doha, Qatar. The action plan drawn up this week will be presented to the 39th session of the committee, to be held this June in Bonn.
The Peruvian team is led by the deputy minister of Cultural Heritage, Juan Pablo de la Puente, and by the Culture Ministry’s director for Cusco, Ricardo Ruiz-Caro. The delegates include and government officials from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Delegations from nine South American nations are convened in Cusco city since yesterday, April 5 in order to prepare the South America’s Action Plan for World Heritage 2015-2020.
Participants will discuss aspects such as the application of the World Heritage Convention, definition of sub-regional strategies, transversal and inter-institutional management, as well as sustainable and participatory tourism.
Other topics to be discussed include impact assessments, risk management, capacity building strategies in South America, pilot projects and examples of good practices, representativeness of the World Heritage List, among other aspects.
As the ceremony opened, Deputy Minister of Heritage of Peru’s Culture Ministry, Juan Pablo de la Puente, exhorted participating delegations to enhance their professional competences in each country in order to improve the implementation of the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
The head of Decentralized Culture Directorate of Cusco (DDCC), Ricardo Ruiz Caro, welcomed the delegations and noted this meeting will permit to strengthen capacities of South American countries towards an adequate management of the World Heritage.
Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Kishore Rao, opened the meeting by urging participants to discuss and responsibly approve action plans to be implemented by each country in accordance with the agreement adopted at the 38th session of the Committee held in Doha, Qatar in June, 2014.
“This meeting is a great opportunity to identify activities and projects intended to improve conservation and management of World Heritage sites in South American countries,” Unesco’s representative added.
The Sub-Regional Action Plan will be adopted on Thursday, May 7 after consensus has been reached among delegations from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru.