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Pataro Learning from World Heritage

Pataro Learning from World Heritage

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09/22/2010

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LEARNING FROM WORLD HERITAGELessons in International Preservation & Stewardship of Cultural & EcologicalLandscapes of Global Significance7
th
Annual US/ICOMOS Symposium. 25-27 March 2004. Natchitoches, Louisiana“Implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Argentina”By: Maria Susana Pataro. Ministry of Foreign Relations, International Trade andWorship, Argentine Republic.
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 Introduction
At the XXVII Session of the World Heritage Committee that took place in Paris, in July2003, Argentina had its 8th World Heritage Site included in the World Heritage List –Quebrada de Humahuaca, the first cultural landscape in South America, having had aremarkable involvement of the local communities in the overall process of preparation.At present, Argentina is cooperating with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru inthe Qhapaq Nan (Inka Trail) Project, which, if successfully implemented, might play asignificant role in the development of new standards for World Heritage Sites.By analyzing the participation of Argentina in the implementation of the World HeritageConvention since its adhesion in 1978, we intend to reflect on the problems the 1972Convention faces in several countries in Latin America, as well as in other regions. Wehope, in that sense, to make a contribution towards the development of some axes of thought for this Symposium, towards the First Periodic Reporting of the Latin Americanand the Caribbean Region, to be held this year in China at the time of the XXVIII Sessionof the Committee and, of course, to our own country.
 Argentina and the World Heritage Convention: Two periods marked by a long interval
For the purpose of this presentation it might be useful to bear in mind some basicinformation on the country.Its official name is Republica Argentina and it limits, to the north, with Paraguay andBolivia, to the east with the Atlantic Ocean, Uruguay and Brazil, to the west with Chile,and to the south with Chile and the Atlantic Ocean.Argentina is a federal country with 23 provinces and one federal district, its capital city.Its surface – including the Antarctic region and the islands – reaches 3.761.274 km2 andits population amounts to 36 million inhabitants.The country encompasses five main regions, characterized by an extraordinary culturaland natural diversity. To the west, the Cuyo Region, which comprises the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and San Luis and is home to the highest mountain in the Westernhemisphere, Aconcagua (22,834 ft.), the Northwest, including the Provinces of Salta,
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The opinions in this presentation are the author’s own.
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Jujuy, La Rioja, Catamarca, Tucuman and Santiago del Estero, the Northeast, with theprovinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Chaco and Formosa, the Center withCordoba, Santa Fe, La Pampa and Buenos Aires and, last but not least, the PatagoniaRegion, comprising Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego,Antartida and Islas del Atlantico Sur.The Argentine Republic adhered to the 1972 Convention as early as 1978.
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At present ithas eight sites in the World Heritage List -four cultural and four natural sites- and itsannual contribution to the World Heritage Found amounts to us$ 41,000.
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 Between 1978 and 1985, Argentina was a member of the World Heritage Committee and,in this capacity, hosted in 1983 the World Heritage Committee in its ordinary session,held in the city of Mar del Plata. Nevertheless, it was not until 2001 -16 years later- thatArgentina participated again as a full member of the Committee - and, at present,Vicechair of the Bureau on behalf of the Latin American and the Caribbean Region. It isinteresting to note that, over the same period, Brazil and Mexico were members of theCommittee for 19 and 18 years, respectively.
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Nevertheless, Argentina participated as anObserver to several meetings of the Committee and the Bureau - yet without a systematicfollow-up of its decisions and of the Orientations of the Convention, at least until thenineties.Between 1981 and 1984, Argentina had three sites included in the World Heritage List -two natural and one cultural sites:Los Glaciares (1981, N ii, iii).Iguazu National Park (1984, N iii, iv).Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Senora deLoreto and Santa Maria la Mayor (Argentina) - Remains of Sao Miguel dasMissoes (Brazil) (1983-1984, C iv).It is interesting to note that for the period 1978/1995, no assistance was required from theWorld Heritage Fund for any activity - the first submission for international assistancedating only from 1998. It should also be pointed out that no Tentative List was drafted byArgentina until 1995.
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Ley 21.836. Argentina has also adhered to other main Conventions concerning the protection of culturalproperty: the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of ArmedConflict and its 1999 Protocol; the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the IllicitImport, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention onStolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.
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For a description of the sites see Annex 1.
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Document WHC –2001/CONF.206/INF.3. Distributed at the time of the 13
th
General Assembly to theStates Parties of the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO, October 2001.
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It seems obvious at this point that a long interval of stagnation followed the ratification of the Convention and an apparently auspicious beginning characterized by a certain degreeof participation in the activities of the Convention.We shall consider hereinafter the following “active” period, starting at the beginning of the nineties and ending by 2003. The main reasons for the changes operated over thisperiod arise from different circumstances, both domestic and international.Among the first, it must be pointed out that in 1994 the Argentine National Constitutionwas amended and that the new text included an Article that clearly recognized thepreservation of the natural and cultural heritage as a value to be promoted by theauthorities.
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Also among the domestic reasons, it should be noted that at the beginning of the nineties, Argentina began a period of transformation and modernization that led to amore central consideration of the resources coming from tourism. And, as is the case in agreat number of countries, Argentine authorities –even those in charge of the culturalsector– found in World Heritage a way to respond to demands from cultural and Naturetourism and adventure travel.At the international level, the period 1985/1995 corresponds to a significant expansion of the World Heritage Convention, which spread rapidly in this continent. The first two sitesto be included in the World Heritage list were located in Latin America: the GalapagosIslands and the City of Quito, included in 1978 as number one and two of the List,respectively. In 1994, the number of States parties to the Convention in the regionreached 26, and the total number of World Heritage Sites amounted to 53 (38 cultural, 12natural and 3 mixed sites).By 1992, the UNESCO DG created the World Heritage Centre as a Secretariat for theCommittee in order to further develop relations with and assistance to States Parties,enhancing the interactive work with Permanent Delegations to UNESCO in a verypositive way.Within this general context, Argentina inaugurated then a new cycle, where variousactions were undertaken in a very positive sense:a) Institutional framework for the implementation of the 1972 Convention.By 1998, an interministerial informal group begun meeting in the context of theArgentine National Commission for UNESCO in order to approach World Heritageissues. By 2001, this informal group had become the Argentine World HeritageCommittee, a fully institutionalized framework for the implementation of World HeritageConvention. It is chaired by the Secretary to National Commission for UNESCO andincludes representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Culture, Tourism andEnvironment sectors, all of them closely involved in the implementation of the protection
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Article 41. The Argentine Constitution was adopted in 1853 and amended in 1860, 1866, 1898, 1957 and1994.
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