From 7 to 10 July, Minister of State Maria Böhmer, Special Representative of the Federal Foreign Office for UNESCO World Heritage, UNESCO Cultural Conventions and UNESCO Education and Science Programmes, will head the German delegation to the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow. She issued the following statement today (5 July):
During my own chairmanship of the World Heritage Committee in 2015 I always stressed that the real work does not end with the inscription of a site. Rather, this is only the start. The annual session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has evolved into an international forum for the protection and preservation of the world’s cultural and natural heritage whose great power lies in the universal attention it attracts.
From 2 to 12 July 2017, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is meeting in Krakow/Poland and is being chaired by Prof. Jacek Purchla. The current 21 members of the Committee are, in addition to Poland, Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Philippines, Peru, Portugal, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.
Minister of State Böhmer chaired the 39th session of the Committee, which took place in Bonn in 2015.
The key points on this year’s agenda include the consultations on the state of conservation of the World Heritage sites. 154 reports have been submitted to the Committee.
The state of the Heritage sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger is especially alarming. These mainly consist of sites in Syria, Iraq and Yemen at risk due to war and civil conflict. However, climate change, infrastructure measures or construction projects also pose a threat to sites. Examples of this are the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as well as Vienna and Liverpool.
This year, consultations will also be held by the Committee on 33 nominations for the World Heritage List.
Germany has nominated the caves and Ice Age art in the Swabian Jura region, the expansion of the Bauhaus sites in Weimar and Dessau to include the Laubengang Houses in Dessau and the ADGB school in Bernau, as well as Naumburg Cathedral and the landscape of the rivers Saale and Unstrut, for inscription as cultural or natural heritage sites on the World Heritage List.