No Indian site has made the cut in evaluations made by two international advisory bodies for inclusion in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites this year. UNESCOs World Heritage Committee meets in St Petersburg,Russia,between June 24 and July 6 to consider 38 nominations,including two from India.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have recommended not to inscribe the Hill Forts of Rajasthan in the list,and to defer the examination of the nomination of the Western Ghats.
The evaluation report forms the basis for decisions taken at the World Heritage Convention every year. Only in rare instances have recommendations of the report not been implemented.
ICOMOS has told the Indian culture ministry that it recognises the importance of the theme of Rajput military architecture… for the World Heritage List and encourages the State Party to prepare a new nomination for a series of sites that present… the whole range of the Rajput kingdoms physiographical terrain.
On the Western Ghats that stretch across more than one state,IUCN has said there is a need to establish improved coordination and integration between component sites and implement an overarching management plan through a Western Ghats Natural Heritage Conservation Authority.
Shikha Jain,member secretary of the committee set up by the ministry to review the nominations,said,There are factual errors in the evaluation report… The final decision lies with the World Heritage Committee.
Sources said the only hope for India now lies in active diplomacy to push its case despite the adverse reports.
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