Wednesday, September 11, 2013

World Heritage Committee Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in June 2013

Great Himalayan National Park to become a World Heritage Site:
In 2005, as Director, Great Himalayan National Park, initiated the process of developing a proposal for GHNP to become a World Heritage Site (WHS). Later on, I remained associated with the UNESCO processes which resulted in the acceptance of GHNP for nomination by UNESCO to become a WHS in 2010. Created Friend of GHNP, an informal group of national and international personalities who cared for GHNP and with their help prepared 250 pages GHNP Nomination dossier which was accepted by the UNESCO in 2011. In October 2012, the UNESCO sent an Evaluation Mission consisting of an Australian scientist, Dr Graeme Worboys of IUCN to evaluate GHNP for WHS status. I was deputed by the HP Forest Department to conduct two week visit of Dr Worboys to GHNP which culminated in an aerial survey of the Park. Based on the comments of IUCN, I prepared a 50 pages document, Supplementary Information in January 2013, and later in May 2013 the Factual Errors letter to UNESCO. On 24th May 2013, I held a pre-WHC meeting with Director, World Heritage Site in IUCN in Geneva, Switzerland  regarding the Great Himalayan National Park to become a World Heritage Site. My attending of this meeting has been very fruitful to further the cause of GHNP to become a WHS. I also participated in the final meeting of this five-year long process held as 37th session of the World Heritage Committee in the Kingdom of Cambodia, in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap-Angkor, from 18th to 25th June 2013. The WHC has REFERRED GHNP to the State Party for more information. GHNP will be considered for WHS status during next meeting of WHC in Doha in Qatar in June 2014.