Union Cabinet approves proposal to sign agreement with UNESCO
Union Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal to sign an agreement with UNESCO for establishment of a Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia-Pacific region.
This centre will be established as a category-2 centre (C2C) of the UN body at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
By signing this agreement WII Dehradun will be first existing institute to be accorded recognition by UNESC. It will be also the first institute to get natural heritage recognition by UNESCO as currently there are 9 C2C institutes related to cultural heritage.
It should be noted that this agreement has been mooted by the Union Environment Ministry. While, Union Government will provide capacity building for establishing this centre in order to support countries in the region for up keeping of heritage and natural sites.
Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia-Pacific region will provide
- Services for evaluation and preparation of proposals for new cultural and heritage sites in Asia-Pacific region.
- Capacity building and training on management and monitoring of heritage sites.
Thus its establishment will have a catalytic effect in case of improving management of heritage sites in the country. Presently, India has 32 UNESCO heritage sites of which 7 are natural sites and 25 are cultural sites.
Implications: Operationalization of the UNESCO C2C at WII, Dehradun will enable India to establish leadership in the Asia-Pacific region that comprises of around 50 countries. This leadership will be in matters related to management, identification and monitoring of world heritage sites and to build capacity of a range of professionals and stakeholders.