UNESCO World Heritage site managers identify priorities for the Eastern African region
UNESCO and the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) hosted an online workshop for World Heritage Site Managers in the Eastern Africa region on 4 December 2020, which focused on the sustainable management of World Heritage properties in the framework of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Africa Region. The workshop was part of a series of online consultations being carried-out in each region of sub-Saharan Africa as part of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting on World Heritage in the Africa region in order to obtain further inputs from site managers on the periodic report as well as the Action Plan for World Heritage in the Africa region.
The Periodic Report is one of the core conservation monitoring mechanisms of the World Heritage Convention, where State Parties submit to the World Heritage Committee a report on the application of the World Heritage Convention in their territory. This mechanism, which is conducted every six years, also promotes regional collaboration and aims to respond to the specific characteristic of each region. With the data gathered and through a collaborative process, the World Heritage Committee is able to formulate Recommendations and Action Plans to State Parties at a regional level.
Following a 100% completion rate of the Periodic Reporting questionnaire related to World Heritage properties in Africa, this workshop for the Eastern Africa region aimed to explore ways of promoting sustainable conservation and effective management of World Heritage properties taking into account the sub-regional context. Site managers representing the 34 natural and cultural World Heritage sites in the Eastern Africa region participated in the workshop, where preliminary results of the regional analysis on the implementation of the Convention in Africa were presented, including factors affecting World Heritage Properties. The participating site managers discussed specific challenges and priorities for their various sites in smaller groups, and were able to share their priority action areas in plenary. Common issues that arose through the group discussions included climate change adaptation, infrastructure development, limited financial and human resources, governance strategies, as well as the galvanization of robust community engagement and awareness raising strategies.