The Philippines and 192 States Parties to the 1972 Convention met in Krakow, Poland, July 2 – 12, 2017, for the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee, to address the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Led by Ambassador and Permanent Delegate Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro and PH NatCom Secretary General Lila Ramos Shahani, the Philippines actively assessed the conservation reports of 154 sites and examined 33 properties proposed for inscription on the World Heritage List. The Philippines’ Deputy Permanent Delegate, Hendrik Garcia, also served as Chair of the Budget Working Group of the 41COM.
During its last session as a member of the Committee, the Philippines stressed that Danger Listing should not be seen as a sanction, but rather as a tool to reinforce conservation. It also underscored the important role of dialogue between Advisory Bodies and States Parties, and the need to ensure balance between heritage protection and development.
The 21-member World Heritage Committee is one of the most prestigious UNESCO bodies; its main responsibility is implementation of the World Heritage Convention. The Committee decides whether a property is to be inscribed (or deleted from) the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are under threat and/or are not being properly managed. It also determines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests of States Parties.