Sub-regional meetings on the Second cycle of Periodic reporting in the Arab states

After the first Regional meeting on the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Arab States which took place in Bahrain in December 2008, the Arab states were divided into three clusters to attend the sub-regional World Heritage Meetings that were held in Jordan, Qatar and Morocco. IUCN Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) has actively participated in the three meetings represented by IUCN World Heritage Focal Point Ms Haifaa Abdulhalim.

Participants of the World Heritage Sub-Regional Meeting in Meknes, Morocco Photo: Haifaa Abdulhalim

The first cluster sub-regional meeting was held in Amman, Jordan in April to include: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. During the same month, the second meeting was held in Doha, Qatar for the Gulf Countries, Egypt, Sudan and Yemen, followed by the last meeting that was held in June in Meknes, Morocco to conclude the series of meetings and start finalizing the filling process of their questionnaires that should be submitted end of July 2009.

This questionnaire aims to analyze the conservation status of the World Heritage sites and the need to conserve World Heritage sites and maintaining their Outstanding Universal Values. It is worth mentioning that the Arab region is the first to fill out this questionnaire, and subsequently the results will be presented to the World Heritage Committee in order to prepare an action plan to be implemented by state parties in coordination with the World Heritage center.

UNESCO has three advisory bodies to have mentor role this process which are: ICOMOS- International Council on Monuments and Sites, ICCROM- International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property to mentor the Cultural sites and IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature as a mentor for natural world heritage sites, which is represented by IUCN ROWA, to deal with five Natural World Heritage sites.

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