What does it mean to be a World Her­itage Site?

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COMMUNITY - Cliff Notes

The Joggins Fos­sil Cliffs is a UN­ESCO World Her­itage Site, but what does that ac­tu­ally mean?

UN­ESCO stands for the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion. In 1972 it adopted the World Her­itage Con­ven­tion. This con­ven­tion is sig­nif­i­cant be­cause, ac­cord­ing to the World Her­itage web­site (http://whc.un­esco.org/en/con­ven­tion/), “... it links to­gether in a sin­gle doc­u­ment the con­cepts of na­ture con­ser­va­tion and the preser­va­tion of cul­tural prop­er­ties. The Con­ven­tion rec­og­nizes the way in which peo­ple in­ter­act with na­ture, and the fun­da­men­tal need to pre­serve the balance be­tween the two.

UN­ESCO World Her­itage Sites can be cul­tural, nat­u­ral, or a mix­ture of both. Ev­ery sin­gle site has, in UN­ESCO-speak, a unique state­ment of “Out­stand­ing Univer­sal Value” – this means that each site is deemed im­por­tant to ev­ery­one, every­where for­ever. For the Joggins Fos­sil Cliffs, this is the sin­gle best place in the world to view the late car­bonif­er­ous time pe­riod over 300 mil­lion years ago.

There are 1,052 sites on the UN­ESCO list and that num­ber grows ev­ery year. It is no small task, how­ever, to be­come a World Her­itage Site. For Joggins, the jour­ney took over 10 years and many, many ded­i­cated peo­ple who formed var­i­ous com­mit­tees to get the job com­pleted.

Ul­ti­mately, it is UN­ESCO that de­cides whether sites should be added to the list, but there are many other com­mit­tees and groups (such as the In­ter­na­tional Union of the Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture) that give rec­om­men­da­tions. Once on the list, it is ex­tremely un­usual for UN­ESCO to di­rectly sup­port sites with fund­ing. Rather, it is ex­pected that there is leg­is­la­tion and a rea­son­able man­age­ment plan in place to pre­serve the site and pro­vide its own fund­ing.

We at the Joggins Fos­sil In­sti­tute (JFI) work closely with the Province of Nova Sco­tia and the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the County of Cum­ber­land to man­age the site and they pro­vide some op­er­a­tional fund­ing (50 per cent and five per cent, re­spec­tively). The JFI needs to earn the re­main­der of its bud­get through tours, gift shop and café sales, and do­na­tions. Re­mem­ber, we are a not-for-profit, char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion so please con­sider sup­port­ing us through a do­na­tion or a visit this sum­mer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.