The ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership (WHL) programme, the Unit for the Caribbean and Latin America of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and the Regional World Heritage Institute in Zacatecas (IRPMZ) have come together to support World Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In the second half of 2023, a 3-day course on applying the new Enhancing Our Heritage Toolkit 2.0 (EOH 2.0) was organized for World Heritage site managers. Between October and November 2023, three World Heritage properties in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru received support in conducting a management effectiveness assessment for their sites.
ICCROM-IUCN's WHL, UNESCO and IRPMZ have established a strong partnership to provide capacity building on World Heritage management to institutions, organizations and heritage professionals involved in the management of World Heritage sites in the LAC region with the “Strengthening World Heritage management in World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean” project. This is an advanced capacity-building activity that targets participants of the previous two Spanish editions of the “Managing World Heritage: People Nature Culture” courses, which were held in February 2022 (PNC22 LAC) and April 2023 (PNC23 LAC).
The project has two phases: a regional course on management effectiveness assessment and a second phase of mentoring three selected teams in the application of the Enhancing Our Heritage 2.0 Toolkit (EOH 2.0). The aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the management system of three properties in the LAC region. The goal is to provide essential capacity building and tools to manage World Heritage sites and strengthen the regional network of professionals and institutions tasked with managing them.
For the first phase, a 3-day course on assessing the effectiveness of World Heritage management brought together 64 representatives of heritage institutions and practitioners from 14 World Heritage properties in Argentina, Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru, namely:
Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico - represented by the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH);
Colonial City of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - represented by the Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Historic Centre of the National District Council;
Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo, Panama - represented by the Portobelo-San Lorenzo Trust;
Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso, Chile - represented by the property's Municipal Corporation for its administration; the Municipality of Valparaíso; and the Chilean National Cultural Heritage Service;
Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán, Mexico - represented by the INAH-Oaxaca and the City Council of Oaxaca de Juárez;
Maya Site of Copan, Honduras - represented by the Institute of Anthropology and History of Honduras;
Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan, Mexico - represented by the Archaeological Area of Teotihuacan of the INAH;
Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico - represented by the National Institute of Anthropology and History of the Corredor Arqueológico Valle de Tlacolula (INAH-COVATLAO) and CONANP;
Qhapaq Ñan - Sistema Vial Andino in Argentina, Ecuador and Peru - represented by the Programme of Qhapaq Ñan Salta World Heritage of the Subsecretaries of Cultural Heritage of the Secretariat for Culture of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology of the Government of the Province of Salta; the National Institute of Cultural Heritage of Ecuador; and the Project Qhapaq Ñan of the Decentralised Directorate of Culture Cusco of Peru's Ministry of Culture;
Quebrada de Humahuaca, Argentina - the Directorate of Heritage of the Secretariat for Culture of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Province of Jujuy, the University of Buenos Aires, and the University of La Plata;
Sacred City of Caral-Supe, Peru - represented by the team of the Archaeological Area of Caral;
Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios, Cuba - represented by the Office of the Conservator of the city of the Trinidad and Valle de los Ingenios.
The course gave participants an overview of the importance of assessing the effectiveness of management efforts to understand what is working and what needs improvement using the EOH 2.0 methodology to conduct a full assessment of their sites' management systems. The course explained the uses of EOH 2.0 and how it should be applied and provided a thorough explanation of how to carry out the entire assessment process, including an explanation of how to use all the toolkit's worksheets.
"The use of the Toolbox 2.0 tools has allowed us to make an x-ray of the state of the management system of our World Heritage property".
– Participating team from the World Heritage property of the Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca
After the course, the teams had the chance to apply for four months of one-on-one tailored mentoring. From September to December 2023, the WHL programme and UNESCO guided the three selected teams - the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; the Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico; and the Peruvian component of the Qhapaq Ñan - Sistema Vial Andino - in applying the EOH 2.0 Toolkit to assess the effectiveness of their sites' management systems.