Seminar of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information System: The current state of and issues involved in world heritage
The Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems held a seminar on April 21. Entitled “Problems with the World Heritage Committee and Their Solutions: Capitalizing on Those Approaches to Safeguard Cultural Properties under the World Heritage Convention,” the seminar featured a presentation by the author, who has been observing the World Heritage Committee since 2008. In her presentation, the author analyzed what was discussed at Committee sessions.
The public is highly interested in World Heritage, and flocks of visitors visit World Heritage sites. Many of the books on World Heritage cover specific heritage sites. In contrast, only a few books in Japanese specifically discuss the World Heritage Committee and related issues.
During her presentation, the author described the process from nomination of a site to its inscription on the World Heritage List, and she also explained how sites were considered during Committee sessions. The author described how the Committee Members are chosen from 21 of the State Parties to the Convention and how the Advisory Bodies act as expert advisors to the Committee. The author also noted the issues facing the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (Secretariat of the World Heritage Committee). In addition, the author offered her own views on the utility of the World Heritage Convention from her perspective as an expert in safeguarding cultural properties.
The original role of the World Heritage Convention was to establish a framework to safeguard and preserve cultural heritage and natural heritage for posterity. The nomination dossier nominating a site for inscription on the World Heritage List must describe how the site will be protected. The process of nominating a site for inscription on the World Heritage List involves a process of verifying and improving the framework for protecting that site. This approach facilitates international support for effective protection of the site. Gleaning the tendencies of the World Heritage Committee should allow Japan to more effectively prepare nomination dossiers and reports on the state of conservation of given sites. Thus, Institute personnel plan to study the World Heritage Committee and World Heritage Convention in the future as well.