UNESCO Vacancy: Programme Assistant in Samoa (Underwater Cultural Heritage)

If you are a Samoan National or have a legal right to work in Samoa as per the law of the country, who is passionate and committed professional interested in administrative and programme support work of our Organization in the Pacific States, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) would like to hear from you.

UNESCO is calling for consultancy to prepare a review of current Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH)-related policies/legislation and programmes/initiatives in the five countries in Micronesia.

More information can be found in the Terms of Reference.

Expression of interest should contain the following information: Details regarding the consultant, including CV, referees, past experience in the area of work, and demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and the requirements of this consultancy; availability; detailed workplan and budget; proposed consultancy fee. The expression of interest should be sent via email to: a.takahashi@unesco.org COB 19 March 2018. UNESCO will only contact the successful bidder.

See posting here

UNESCO and ASEAN joint forces to strengthen the protection of underwater heritage in the Southeast Asian region

via Unesco, 21 September 2017: I was in Makassar last week to attend this meeting organised by Unesco and ASEAN. On the agenda was the 2001 convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage (of which only Cambodia is signatory to).

Source: UNESCO and ASEAN joint forces to strengthen the protection of underwater heritage in the Southeast Asian region | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Unesco listing for Phnom Kulen spells unease for residents

A recent announcement to include Phnom Kulen in the Angkor World Heritage property means an uncertain future for the some 300 people who live on the mountain.

Communities on Phnom Kulen. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160705
Communities on Phnom Kulen. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160705

UNESCO push will clear villagers off of Kulen Mountain
Phnom Penh Post, 05 July 2016

Hundreds of villagers living on Siem Reap’s historic Phnom Kulen are reeling after the government announced they would be relocated as part of a scheme to secure a UNESCO World Heritage Listing for the site.

Poung Lyna, the head of the Siem Reap environment department, yesterday confirmed the news villagers received over the weekend. “About 300 families, most of which are army and newcomers’ families who live near the Preah Ang Thom area on Kulen Mountain, will be relocated to a new place soon as their presence is affecting the environment of the national park,” Lyna said.

However, he added that those who had “lived there a long time” – upwards of 20 years – would not be moved. But uncertainty shrouds the ministry’s plans, with Lyna admitting he did not know when the villagers would be moved, or to where. However, he claimed it would be near their former homes.

“They will maybe be moved to the foot of the mountain, and we might give them a piece of land larger than what they currently have,” he said, making no mention of monetary compensation. “We will move their houses, but we will keep their businesses on the mountain untouched.”

Full story here.

UNESCO Jakarta is looking for an intern

UNESCO Jakarta is looking for an intern! Applications close on 13 April 2016.

UNESCO Office Jakarta, Culture Unit, welcomes interns in the field of Culture. The purpose of the UNESCO Internship programme is to offer selected graduate and postgraduate students in the field of Culture, the opportunity to supplement their academic knowledge with practical work assignments and to enable them to gain a better understanding of UNESCO’s mandate and programmes. The duration of an internship in UNESCO Office Jakarta generally ranges between 4 and 6 months

Full details here.

In Luang Prabang, world heritage listing may have destroyed its soul

Luang Prabang is one of my favourite places in Southeast Asia, but the increased tourism caused by its World Heritage site status is one of the things that is destroying its essence. It’s not just Luang Prabang, however, this article is a critique of tourism management at World Heritage sites.

The Haw Pha Bang temple. Source: Skift.com 20160128
The Haw Pha Bang temple. Source: Skift.com 20160128

UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Downside of Cultural Tourism
AP, via Skift, 28 January 2016

It is officially described as the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia, a bygone seat of kings tucked into a remote river valley of Laos. Luang Prabang weaves a never-never land spell on many a visitor with its tapestry of French colonial villas and Buddhist temples draped in a languid atmosphere.

But most of the locals don’t live here anymore. They began an exodus from this seeming Shangri-La after their hometown was listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, and sold itself wholesale to tourism.

It’s not an uncommon pattern at some of the 1,031 sites worldwide designated as places of “outstanding universal value” by the U.N. cultural agency: The international branding sparks mass tourism, residents move out as prices escalate or grab at new business opportunities, hastening the loss of their hometown’s authentic character to hyper-commercialization. But locals may also prosper and some moribund communities are injected with renewed energy.

Full story here.

Myanmar still needs technical assistance to save heritage

Myanmar’s Minister for Culture notes the ongoing challenges to put Bagan on the Unesco World Heritage List.

Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150928
Bagan. Source: TTR Weekly 20150928

Bagan needs assistance to save heritage
TTR Weekly, 28 September 2015

Myanmar’s Minister for Culture says Bagan is facing challenges to preserve the area’s heritage.
Union Minister for Culture, U Aye Myint Kyu, told local media during a workshop, late last week, that technical expertise, communications and cultural understanding were crucial for Bagan if it is to save its heritage.

“There is a need to make sure heritage conservation management is in line with UNESCO’s policy, as well as taking on board experts from ASEAN member states in conserving Bagan’s cultural heritages and work for enlisting Bagan in the world heritage list.”

Bagan Archaeological Zone covers about 42 sq km (16 miles) and has more than 3,000 pagodas.

Full story here.

Pyu sites report increased numbers following Unesco listing

Visitors to the Pyu cities of Sri Ksetra, Halin and Beikthano are on the rise since the three cities were collectively inscribed in the Unesco World Heritage List.

Visitor numbers up at UNESCO site
Myanmar Times, 14 August 2015

Since being listed as a World Heritage Site, the ancient city of Sri Ksetra has seen a surge of visitors, reviving the town’s tourism industry, officials say. U Zaw Myo Kyaw, deputy director of the department of Archaeology and National Museum told The Myanmar Times yesterday that Sri Ksetra is the most popular among visitors to the three ancient Pyu cities. The other two, Halin and Beikthano, were also listed.

“Visitor numbers rose after the UNESCO listing. It’s an easy day trip from Yangon,” he said.

While U Zaw Myo Kyaw could not provide exact figures to show the increase since the sites were listed in June 2014, he said tourist numbers have increased from 600 in 2010-2011 to about 9000 in 2014-2015.

Full story here.

Siem Reap to host minsterial conference on Culture and Tourism

The First World Conference on Tourism and Culture will be held in Siem Reap next year, addressing issues of tourism in cultural sites.

Unesco and UNWTO conference in Siem Reap
Unesco and UNWTO conference in Siem Reap

UNWTO and UNESCO to organize first World Conference on Tourism and Culture
Unesco, 19 December 2014
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