National heritage site managers from around the region meet in Suva this week for a regional training course on world heritage sites management in the Pacific.
The weeklong training, the first of its kind in the Pacific is funded by the Government of Australia through the UNESCO/Australian Funds-in-Trust. It is organized by the Pacific Heritage Hub and the UNESCO Office in Apia, Samoa in cooperation with the University of the South Pacific.
The lead trainer is 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 World Heritage sites.
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).
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
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, USA
SUVA, (PACIFIC HERITAGE HUB)