ICOMOS Talks: UNESCO World Heritage – Perspectives from the Field

ICOMOS Talks: UNESCO World Heritage – Perspectives from the Field
8 August 2016 (Monday) | 1PM (Manila City, Philippines)

ICOMOS is one of the key advisory bodies to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and members of the organisation are dedicated to the stewardship of the world’s significant monuments and sites, and the dissemination of pertinent knowledge.

For this year’s World Heritage Committee meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey, ICOMOS Philippines supported the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines for evaluating various World Heritage nominations and reviewing the states of conservation reports. The Philippines is one of the members of World Heritage Committee from 2013 to 2017.

International conservation practitioners Augusto Villalon, Bojer Capati, Gabriel Caballero, Eric Zerrudo, and Michael Manalo will discuss triumphs, challenges, and guidelines that could better Philippine heritage policy and management.

  • Augusto Villalon, “The Benefits of the World Heritage Convention to Sites, People and Culture
  • Gabriel Caballero, “Unraveling World Heritage: Breaking Down the Concept of Outstanding Universal Value
  • Bojer Capati, “Safeguarding OUV (Outstanding Universal Value): Zonation Method for Heritage Sites
  • Michael Manalo, “Damming It Up: Recent Case Studies in World Heritage and their Philippine Parallels
  • Eric Zerrudo, “The Concept of Sustainability in Philippine World Heritage Sites

The event will be on August 8 (Monday), 1PM, at the National Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium, P. Burgos Drive, Manila City.

Registration fee for ICOMOS Members, as well for students and faculty with valid school ID, is PHP 200. For others and the general public, registration fee is PHP 400. To reserve seats, email info@icomosphilippines.com.

The image on the poster is of Alhambra in Granada, Spain, inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984.

2015 UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture: Building A New Partnership in Siem Reap, Cambodia

The first UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture: Building a New Partnership held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from February 4-6, 2015, broke new ground in bringing together over 600 delegates including over 40 ministers and vice-ministers of tourism and/or culture from around the world to jointly discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by both the tourism and culture sectors.

The participants endorsed the Siem Reap Declaration on Tourism and Culture and committed to encourage and facilitate effective partnerships between government, private and community organizations in both tourism and cultural heritage sectors.

ICOMOS Philippines was represented by the following members: Ivan Man Dy, Claudia Isabelle Montero, Richard Daenos, Jeremy Balagat, Kat Correa, Rene Luis S. Mata, Tracey Santiago, Ivan Henares, and Marianne Claire Vitug.

They witnessed the Signing Ceremony of the ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty) and met up with the Mexican Patrimonio Mundial and Jordi Tresserras Juan of the Universitat de Barcelona.

ICOMOS Philippines participates in the UNESCO joint expert mission with ICCROM and NCCA

ICOMOS Philippines attended the discussion on the joint expert mission in assessing the situation and damage caused by the recent natural disasters. The mission was held from 2 to 12 December 2013 to Manila to assess areas hit by the Bohol earthquake of 15 October 2013 as well as those areas affected by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) of early November 2013. 

The goal of the joint mission is to identify immediate needs and emergency safeguarding measures, as well as medium-term interventions that would be needed for rehabilitation and recovery.  Other representatives from the cultural agencies were also present, with the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) leading the mission.   

More information can be found in the ICCROM website.

17th ICOMOS General Assembly held in Paris, France

The 17th ICOMOS General Assembly was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France from November 27 to December 2, 2011. Representing the Philippine National Committee were Ma. Joycelyn Mananghaya, Ivan Anthony Henares and David Mason.

Mananghaya and Henares also attended the 2011 annual meetings of the Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL) and Cultural Tourism (ICTC) committees respectively. The Philippines will be hosting the 2012 ICTC Annual Meeting in Vigan, Ilocos Sur from November 5 to 10, 2012.

Twinning program between Ifugao Rice Terraces and Cinque Terre bared

A twinning program between the Ifugao Rice Terraces and Cinque Terre, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has been initiated beginning with a study tour of Cinque Terre this coming May 11 to 20, 2009. UNACOM Secretary General Ambassador Preciosa Soliven, Governor Teodoro Baguilat, Jr. of Ifugao, Mayor Pablo M. Cuyahon of Hungduan, Ifugao and Archt. Joy Mananghaya of ICOMOS Philippines will join this study tour. The objective of the visit is to learn from the management and conservation approaches of this Italian cultural landscape, with the aim of applying some of their best practices to our own Ifugao Rice Terraces. Cinque Terre is a living cultural terraced landscape with vineyards and olives. It faces the same conservation and management challenges that our the rice terraces are facing.

Post Conference Report: 2007 CIAV Conference – “Preserving Traditional Landscapes”

The ICOMOS Philippines successfully hosted the 2007 meeting of the ICOMOS International Committee on Vernacular Architecture (CIAV), held last 2-8 December 2007 at the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a UNESCO World Heritage site. International heritage experts, members of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) participated in the event.

ICOMOS is the official international organization of heritage conservation professionals involved in heritage conservation and who are recognized as international leaders in the field. It regulates the worldwide conservation profession and is the only NGO accredited to advise the UNESCO World Heritage Committee on cultural heritage matters. Its headquarters is in Paris and its Philippine members are prominently involved in conservation projects for the government or private sectors and are also members of the academe.

The conference was unveiled with a welcome dinner organized at the National Museum. Sumptuous dishes were shared as the hosts presented their welcome remarks to the numerous distinguished guests and delegates of the conference. Respected heritage specialists from Canada, Italy, Finland, Germany, United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Japan and Korea joined their Philippine counterparts in the welcome event.

Continue reading “Post Conference Report: 2007 CIAV Conference – “Preserving Traditional Landscapes””

Protecting endangered traditional landscapes

International heritage luminaries are meeting in the Philippines for the first time from 2-8 December 2007. They are members of ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites), the official international organization of architects, landscape architects, urban planners, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, tourism professionals, lawyers, and other professionals involved in the heritage conservation profession who are recognized as international leaders in the field.

Headquartered in Paris, ICOMOS is the international organization that regulates the worldwide conservation profession and is the only NGO accredited to advise the UNESCO World Heritage Committee on cultural heritage matters. Its Philippine members are prominently involved in conservation projects for the government or private sectors and are also members of the academe.

On 2-8 December the ICOMOS National Committee Philippines hosts the 2007 meeting of the ICOMOS International Committee on Vernacular Architecture (CIAV), to be held at the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Respected heritage specialists from Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Macedonia, United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Japan and Korea are joining their Philippine counterparts to meet on “Protecting Endangered Traditional Landscapes”, focusing on the current status of the 5 terrace clusters located in Ifugao province inscribed in the World Heritage in Danger List. The “In Danger” designation simply means that conservation measures for a site on the World Heritage List must be stepped up to prevent its rapid deterioration.

The experts will discuss conservation and the socio-economic issues that can support heritage conservation in countries like the Philippines. On the meeting agenda are:

a) The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage Site, is endangered today because of physical deterioration but more importantly, the resident population who has always maintained the site is having difficulty bridging the task of preserving their heritage with 21st century lifestyle. Case studies will be presented showing steps taken by other international sites with similar issues.

(b) In countries like the Philippines preserving heritage is really a lost cause unless preservation becomes more relevant to its host communities through tying preservation in with development and income generation. Therefore methods have to be found to use heritage as a resource for income generation i.e through community tourism programs, craft development, or harnessing natural resources for sustainable development such as mini-hydroelectric plants, etc.

At this moment, physical repair of the terraces is necessary. However restoring the terraces and their walls must come together with establishment of cultural and economic opportunities that make terrace life more viable for the 21st century. Among the positive measures suggested by UNESCO, is the establishment of additional income-generating opportunities such as community-based cultural and eco tourism programs.

Therefore the meeting’s sub-theme is identifying methods to use the underutilized rice terraces heritage as a resource to increase present income levels. One program is the establishment of community-based tourism.

Conserving heritage has little relevance to most site residents who live from day to day in survival mode. Therefore ICOMOS aims to make them aware that among the values of heritage is its use (not exploitation) as a sustainable cultural and eco tourism resource. Therefore heritage must be preserved as a livelihood opportunity and also to provide community identity.

Successful community-based heritage projects in the Philippines will be presented such as the Freedom Trail that unites seaside towns in south Cebu province in a trail of conserved heritage and community-led tourism sponsored by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, the heritage tourism project by the Bohol community, Taal heritage program, and the Save Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMO) community development programs in Ifugao province. These success stories prove that the Filipino, contrary to popular opinion, has actually done well in conserving his heritage. The Philippine presentations will show that good community-oriented conservation work is being done in the country, proving that our heritage is not going down the drain like everyone else thinks.

Training of Philippine conservation practitioners is another objective of the meeting. Since conservation courses are not offered in Philippine universities, the presence of foreign colleagues is a rare opportunity for ICOMOS Philippine Committee members and other heritage professionals to widen their personal international networks and to upgrade professional. Most of the Philippine participants will be from the youth sector.

Institutions supporting the ICOMOS endeavor are the US Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation, e8/TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), Fundación Santiago, Ayala Foundation, Ramón Aboitiz Foundation, Department of Tourism, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).