26.09.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO joins the International Seminar “Natural and Cultural Heritage of Sangklirang area: A First Step Towards a World Heritage” from 23-27 September 2013, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

The workshop entitled “A First Step towards a World Heritage” was organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia together with the local government of East Kalimantan from 23-27 September 2013, in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The workshop included some 250 people including representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Public Works and Peoples Welfare, the Mayor of Balikpapan, local governments in Kalimantan, managers at the Sangkulirang natural and cultural heritage sites, academics, local NGOs and community representatives. Mr. Masanori Nagaoka, Head of Culture unit of UNESCO Office Jakarta, also joined this workshop.

The four and a half day workshop aimed to bring key stakeholders together to discuss the natural and cultural values of the heritage of Sangklirang as a preliminary step for World Heritage nomination.  The workshop commenced with a presentation by the Director of the Cultural Heritage Preservation and Museum Department of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Mr. Harry Widianto.  Mr Widianto spoke of the ‘human evolution route’ in the regions of Asia, Pacific and Africa, and explained cultural and natural features of Sangkulirnag sites from an archaeological point of view. Mr. Widianto outlined that the rock art found in cave walls in the area shows the creative expressions of peoples’ lives, especially hunting events and rituals, and indicates the socio-economical life and faith of the society at the time.

During the workshop Mr. Nagaoka gave a general introduction of the World Heritage (WH) Convention, outlined the nomination mechanism, its procedure, a format for tentative list, and guidance for the development and review of an effective management plan/system for a nominated property. Mr. Nagaoka strongly suggested to the participants that they firstly consider if the Sangkulirang site should be inscribed on the Tentative List. This action will help all level of stakeholders to identify the concept of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ (OUV) within the proposed site while also learning more of about the Tentative List format and WH mechanism.

Mr. Nagaoka went on to clarify that the statement of the Tentative List should be well prepared including the geographical scope of the area to be nominated as WH, a brief description of the nominated site, the  defined OUV, the relevant criteria as WH, statement of authenticity and/or integrity, and its comparison with other similar properties. Mr.Nagaoka showed some samples of OUV statement of Borobudur, Prambanan and Bali on the UNESCO website for the participants’ reference. Mr. Nagaoka also explained the Global Strategy for a representative, balanced and credible WH List which was launched in 1994. This is aimed to ensure that the List reflects the world's cultural and natural diversity of outstanding universal value. Given this, he explained that categories such as cultural route, vernacular architecture and rock art are not well represented on the World Heritage List, and therefore, inscription of these kinds of categories will receive a special attention for the future inscription of the World Heritage list.

In summary, Nagaoka mentioned there are eight steps to prepare the WH nomination dossier:

1) Ensure the property is on the Tentative Lists;
2) Obtain endorsement from the authorities;
3) Establish a team to prepare the nomination dossier.  The team should consist of relevant ministries, academics, NGO, and local people;
4) Compile the necessary information;
5) Mobilize the resources, in terms of human resources and funding;
6) Develop a schedule and timeline for preparing the nomination document;
7) Ensure participation of stakeholders, e.g. local community, documents prepared by national authority;
8) Write the nomination dossier.

Considering the many significant values of the Sangkulirang sites, Mr. Nagaoka further suggested to the participants that the discussion for the nomination of World Heritage sites should involve different related ministries, central and local government, the UNESCO National Commission, NGOs and most importantly the community of the proposed site. Following this suggestion, the government will begin initiating internal meetings among the relevant ministries and other stakeholders. The focal points, site managers, university professors, local NGO staff, media and community showed their keen interest in the discussion of specific questions and encountered challenges during the Workshop. All the participants made a great effort in starting the discussion with the central and local authorities.

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