World Heritage: Canada

Periodic Report on the Application of the World Heritage Convention

SECTION I OF THE PERIODIC REPORT
ON THE APPLICATION OF THE
WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION

APPLICATION OF THE
WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION
BY CANADA

December 2004

SECTION I: APPLICATION OF THE WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION BY CANADA

I.4 INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION AND FUND RAISING

Canada co-operates with other nations in a number of ways to ensure the future of natural and cultural heritage both in Canada and abroad. Canada is an active participant in meetings of the World Heritage Committee, chaired the World Heritage Committee sessions in 1986, 1987, and 1990, and hosted the 14th session of the Committee in Banff in 1990.

The Head of the Canadian Delegation has chaired a number of expert meetings, including that to prepare a 20-year Strategic Plan (1992), to develop a global strategy for cultural World Heritage Sites (1994), and the Natural and Cultural Heritage Experts Meeting (1998) in Amsterdam. Canada also chaired the Task Force created by the Assembly of the State Parties on the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, conducted an evaluation of the Nordic World Heritage Office, and has been an active participant in many other working groups, including that on the revision of the Operational Guidelines (2000-2003). In 1997, a Canadian team, as External Auditors to UNESCO, conducted an audit of the World Heritage Centre.

Canada has an excellent working relationship on heritage issues with its direct neighbour, the United States. Parks Canada and the United States National Park Service have a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in management, research, protection, conservation and presentation of national parks and national historic sites. The agreement specifically cites strengthening participation in the World Heritage Convention as an area of co-operation. This agreement was renewed in 2003 for another five-year term. The production of this report on the state of the World Heritage Sites has encouraged further co-operation between these two countries. Working meetings were held in each country (Los Angeles, January 2003 and Québec City, January 2004), with participation of managers from most of the World Heritage Sites. Additional networking and ongoing communication are anticipated.

To the top

Canada has taken steps to ensure that international projects with federal government support will not adversely impact World Heritage Sites in other countries. Export Development Canada (the federal agency responsible for providing financing to Canadian corporations wishing to invest in foreign countries) and the Canadian International Development Agency have been briefed on the World Heritage Convention and its implications. Briefings of Canadian corporations on the World Heritage Convention resulted in significant modifications to two projects that could have affected World Heritage SItes, one in South America (Huascaran in Peru) and the other in Russia (Kamchatka). Export Development Canada has on staff an environmental specialist and a unit which evaluates the environmental impacts of the projects it sponsors. The Corporation regularly seeks advice from Parks Canada, as the State Party representative for World Heritage, to ensure the proposed projects will not adversely affect World Heritage Sites. The Canadian International Development Agency has provided major funding for a project in Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls and was involved in a workshop in the Dja, Cameroon, to identify ways to minimize adverse affects on this World Heritage Site. It has also provided funding to projects in World Heritage cities in the Baltic.

In 1991, Canada hosted the Symposium of World Heritage Cities, in Québec City, which led to the creation of the Organization of World Heritage Cities. The Canadian effort was the result of federal, provincial and municipal collaboration.

During this same period, Canada committed $400, 000 CDN to ICOMOS-International and the World Heritage Centre to finance international projects on World Heritage. These included the preparation of the first Framework for a Global Study, a major mission to Kizhi Pogost (Russia), a study on tourism in World Heritage cities, the publication of a handbook on the management of World Heritage cities, and the participation of experts from less developed countries to the Special Symposium on Geological Sites. Canada was also a co-sponsor of an expert meeting in Bergen (Norway) on Authenticity and in 1994 Canada hosted an expert meeting on Heritage Transportation Canal Corridors.

From 1992 to 1995, Parks Canada was involved in a Canada/Hungary National Parks Project. The main focus of the project was the Hortobagy National Park, which has subsequently been inscribed on the World Heritage List. In 1993, Canada participated in an expert mission to Cambodia to evaluate threats to Angkor World Heritage Site.