C2Cs Meeting in Bahrain
Author:Mohamed Ziane Bouziane; Simone  PublishDate:2019-04-24  Hits:1363

The establishment of UNESCO World Heritage related Category 2 Centres and institutes (UNESCO C2Cs) in various regions of the world was an important development in the field of World Heritage providing States Parties with an access to research centres and institutes that engage in the effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention and its strategic objectives. UNESCO Category 2 Centres operating in the field of World Heritage play a significant role, on both regional and global levels, in protecting World Heritage, reinforcing technical capacities of heritage professionals and providing the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies with technical and financial support towards the effective implementation of the 1972 Convention.


The Annual Coordination Meetings of UNESCO C2Cs have become a vital platform for exchange and interaction between C2Cs, Advisory Bodies and UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The 2019 coordination meeting was hosted by the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, from 22nd to 23rd April, and focused on the recommendations made by the previous Coordination Meetings, as well as on recent decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee. Representatives of 8 World Heritage C2Cs, attended the meeting.


The positive and intense debates among the participants proved the importance of these annual events and the growing interaction developing among C2Cs. In 2018, ARC-WH and AWHF signed an MOU to develop joint activities in Africa, and an MOU between AWHF and WHITRAP will be finalized in the coming weeks.


The meeting aimed to contribute to the effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention through the enhancement of interregional cooperation, examining the potential role of the UNESCO C2Cs in the implementation of the Resource Mobilisation and Communication Strategy (Decision 42 COM 14) as well as of the framework of collaboration between UNESCO C2Cs and UNESCO and in the implementation of the Third Cycle of the Periodic Reporting Exercise.


“Periodic Reporting” is one of the core conservation monitoring mechanisms of the World Heritage Convention that concerns, one after the other, all the regions of the world in six-year cycles. UNESCO C2Cs play a major and growing role in this process. ARC-WH presented the activities it organized in this framework to familiarize national focal points and site managers of the Arab Region with the Periodic Reporting process, in view of the upcoming involvement of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) in this process for Africa next year.


Finally, as most of the world population is living in cities, and urban heritage represents an overrepresented category on the World Heritage List, the meeting also discussed the Historic Urban Landscape approach and the role that UNESCO C2Cs can play in its application. In Manama, WHITRAP presented its recent HUL activities and initiatives and discussed the possibility to launch HUL-based cooperation programmes with the other C2Cs.


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