World Heritage programme taps future managers

20th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 20, 2006 (AFP) - Five young people have been awarded the first grants under a programme supported by the UN's culture organisation UNESCO and French businesses to train future managers of world heritage sites.

PARIS, March 20, 2006 (AFP) - Five young people have been awarded the first grants under a programme supported by the UN's culture organisation UNESCO and French businesses to train future managers of world heritage sites.

The programme "will allow students and professionals from around the world to study World Heritage site management at recognised institutions and learn how to contribute to World Heritage site conservation," said UNESCO director general Koichiro Matsuura.

The five honoured at a ceremony in Paris last week included Sandra Flavin from Ireland who is to study Japan's island of Iriomote, often called the 'Galapagos of Asia' to study a possible enlargement of the Gusuku sites.

Yujie Zhu, from China, will work on a project to improve management strategies in the old town of Lijiang, in southwestern Yunnan, which is coming under pressure from increased tourism.

Samual Janse, from the Netherlands, will assess the increased involvement of local communities in conserving the Sundarbans National Park in India, on the World Heritage List since 1987.

Tanzanian fellow Julian Machange will study the reintroduction of livestock in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and their ecological and social impact, while Ukraine's Iryna Kravets will compare World Heritage management practices in Western and Eastern Europe focusing on Edinburgh and Kiev.

They will be able to follow courses at the Brandenburg Technical University at Cottbus in Germany and University College Dublin in Ireland.

The programme supported by the French heritage association, Vocations Patrimoine, as well as the insurance giant AXA and auditing group Mazars, was launched in October 2005 and 10-15 grants are set to be awarded annually.

"Training the future custodians of World Heritage sites will be a key factor in reconciling responsible tourism and the preservation of masterpieces for the good of our future generations," said Yves Coppens, president of Vocations Patrimoine.

Candidates hoping to win grants have to present an innovative project for managing one of the 812 current World Heritage sites, or a future site.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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