26 June 2012 The World Heritage Committee today placed an historic UK property on its list of endangered world heritage, and removed another two sites, in Pakistan and the Philippines, following improvement in their conservation.
The Committee has placed Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the proposed construction of Liverpool Waters, a massive redevelopment of the historic docklands north of the UK city’s centre, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a news release.
The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and is responsible for the implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List. The Committee’s other responsibilities include the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The endangered list is designed to inform the international community of threats to the outstanding universal values for which a property has been inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.
The Committee contended that the Liverpool Waters development will extend the city centre significantly and alter the skyline and profile of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004. Furthermore, the Committee noted, experts argued that the redevelopment scheme will fragment and visually isolate the property’s different dock areas.
The inscribed property is made up of six different historic areas in the centre and docklands part of Liverpool which bear witness to the city’s development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Noting the property’s important role in the growth of the British Empire as a major port and pioneer in the development of modern dock technology, as well its great number of significant commercial, civic and public buildings, the Committee warned that if the redevelopment project is implemented, Liverpool may entirely lose the outstanding universal value for which it was given World Heritage status.
Also on Tuesday, the World Heritage Committee removed the Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan, and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, in the Philippines, from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Successful measures have been taken to remove the threat to the palaces, mosques and gardens of Lahore, according to the Committee, which inscribed the Mughal property on the World Heritage List in 1981, at the request of the Pakistani Government, following problems such as urban encroachment.
Many of the site’s monuments have since been restored, and better drainage and planning have also improved the preservation of the site’s external walls and solved problems of dampness.
The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1995 as an outstanding cultural landscape. It was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2001 because of threats which required the development of better management and planning. The Philippines sought the listing as a way to raise national and international support and cooperation for the preservation of the remote rice fields.
Currently, the World Heritage List includes 936 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.
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