Report on the National Committees meeting in Marrakesh (15 October 2019): Roles, Common Concerns and Common Objectives
The structure of the meeting was largely determined by the results of the 60 National Committees’ annual reports that were received prior to the meeting. In total, 62% of National Committees submitted reports, while 41% (44) did not submit reports.
The meeting began with reports on the results of the five ICOMOS regional meetings that had been held on 14 October. Recommendations and concerns presented will be used to further identify areas of common concerns and objectives, especially those that suggest opportunities for collaboration to address these by the National Committees in the various regions.
Marie-Laure Lavenir (Director General of the International Secretariat) then provided a highly informative membership analysis that addressed National Committees’ compliance, benefits, and fees. Gaia Jungeblodt (Director of the International Secretariat) reported on the status of National Committees twinning, newly formed Committees, and emerging professional representation on National Committees.
A special report on the Africa Initiative was given by Alpha Diop, ICOMOS Vice President of the Africa regional group. It emphasized the desire to form more National Committees in Africa and to arrange for programs that would provide for collaboration with universities and other institutions. The desired outcome would be to build capacity to work upstream by conducting studies necessary to formulate Tentative Lists and ultimately to prepare dossiers for the nomination of sites to the World Heritage List.
The balance of the meeting was devoted to brief presentations followed by discussions that addressed two topics: The Role of National Committees in Advancing ICOMOS Heritage Leadership and National Committees Outreach: Technology Enhancement, Communication Strategies.
For the former, the focus was on the role of National Committees to promulgate and implement:
1) conservation, protection, use and enhancement of monuments, building complexes and site;
2) doctrine and the evolution and distribution of ideas developed by International Scientific Committees; and
3) conducting advocacy awareness for community involvement, engagement of indigenous heritage groups, and combating unregulated tourism, looting, insensitive development, and other destructive activities.
Two examples of how National Committees are doing this were given. Said Alsalmi (ICOMOS Oman) sent a presentation on how the implementation of a doctrinal text developed by an ICOMOS Scientific Committee is being promulgated by ICOMOS Oman through a guide book being developed in concert with the UNESCO World Heritage Center, and HRH Dana Firas (ICOMOS Jordan) sent a report on how social and economic benefit to communities near Petra is being enhanced by ICOMOS Jordan. A panel discussion was then chaired by Douglas Comer that included Grellan Rourke (Vice President, Europe regional group), Alpha Diop, and Stacy Vallis (from the Emerging Professionals Working Group), with invitations for discussion with the audience.
During the National Committees Outreach session, Ian Travers (ICOMOS Australia) presented on technical development and enriching content for a National Committee's website; Riin Alatalu (ICOMOS Estonia) talked about objectives, progress and recommendation made by the ICOMOS Communication Committee; Tiong Kian Boon (National Committees Officer), Goh AI-Tee (ICOMOS Malaysia), and Clara Villalba Montaner (ICOMOS Spain) presented on involving emerging professionals in National Committees’ Boards. A panel composed of the speakers and chaired by Douglas Comer invited questions and comments from the audience.
Representatives from 48 National Committees attended, as did 12 Board members observers, and 46 other observers.
National Committees Officer and Vice-President of the Advisory Committee
Photo credits: ICOMOS
More information about the 2019 ICOMOS meetings in Marrakesh
Report on the Scientific Council meeting in Marrakesh
ICOMOS Morocco's website with more information on the 2019 ICOMOS meetings