Assessment of Cultural Heritage Monuments and Sites in the Arctic

SDWG , Cultural heritage sites
The project aimed at presenting a short list of 20-30 cultural heritage sites in the Arctic which are of particular international importance. While each Arctic nation already has a process for ranking and a management strategy for its own national sites, the project aim was to identify sites that have significance which transcends national boundaries. It was not a criterion that the final list should contain an equal number of sites from each country or region, or even a minimum of one from each country or region. It is the international criteria which decided the listed sites, while “non-listed” sites of course may retain their national importance and designations. This same principle is reflected in the World Heritage List which, although it ideally may seek equal representation from all nations and themes, will not accept nominations solely to fill these criteria. A larger number of heritage sites was originally proposed and formed the basis for the selection of the few proposed here. Before nominations to the list could be initiated, it was necessary to develop a set of criteria for the designation of sites in the Arctic in order to clarify the international significance. These criteria are presented in this report. In addition the project aimed to present a Statement of Best Practice for the protection and preservation of these designated sites along the lines of the World Heritage standard for the protection and management of WH Sites. The Statement is presented in this report and it is hoped that the principles stated there will contribute towards ensuring excellent management of the listed sites and of other important sites not on the list.