NATIONAL heritage site managers from around the Pacific region will be converging in Suva for a regional training course on world heritage sites management in the Pacific starting from February 17 to 21.
This course funded by the Government of Australia through the UNESCO/Australian Funds-in-Trust will be the first of its kind for the region.
It is organised by the Pacific Heritage Hub and the UNESCO Office in Apia, Samoa in cooperation with the University of the South Pacific.
The weeklong course to be held at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Nabua, will be facilitated by Dr Anita Smith, an archaeologist and a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Australia.
Since 2004, Dr Smith has been a consultant to the UNESCO Pacific World Heritage Program, facilitating regional meetings, developing World Heritage nominations and designing regional training and heritage capacity building programs.
Dr Smith has advised a number of the Pacific Island governments including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia, Palau, FSM and the Solomon Islands on the management and protection of heritage especially in regard to World Heritage.
Among other important issues that are crucial to the 12 national heritage sites in the region, the 20 participants from the region will discuss the World Heritage Convention and its potential in the Pacific region.
The World Heritage Convention adopted in 1972 played a significant role in promoting the concept of the Common Heritage of Mankind (CHM).
Solomon Islands has one World Heritage listed site, which is Lake Tegano in east Rennell, Renbel Province.
World Heritage Sites in the Pacific Region:
1. East Rennell, Solomon Islands
2. Historical Port Town of Levuka, Fiji
3. Bikini Atoll Nuclear Site, Marshall Islands
4. Reefs and Lagoons of New Caledonia, France
5. Kuk Early Agricultural Site, Papua New Guinea
6. Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, Palau
7. Rapa Nui National Park, Chile,
8. Phoenix Islands Protected Area, Kiribati
9. Chief Roi Mata Domain, Vanuatu
10. Henderson Island, UK
11. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, USA
12. Papahanaumokuakea, USA.