Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Giants Causeway World Heritage - An Inspector Calls

The Department of the Environment (DOE) has confirmed Dr Andrej Sovinc, representative of the IUCN, will visit the World Heritage Site following an invitation from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

The remit of Dr Sovinc’s visit will be:

- to visit the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage property and meet those responsible for its protection and management;

- to assess the overall state of conservation of the property and its Outstanding Universal Value;

- to provide technical advice on the management of the property and its Outstanding Universal Value; and

- on the basis of the findings, to prepare a joint draft report on the requirement for ensuring the protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value.

The February visit sounds more like an inspector calls than a response to an invitation from a Northern Ireland minister. The Department of Culture Media and Sport is the Westminster department which is responsible to UNESCO for the protection of World Heritage Sites across the UK. 

Draft Decision:  36 COM 7C
The World Heritage Committee,
Other conservation issues not reported on at the 36th session under Items 7A and 7B
12. Requests furthermore the State Party of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland to halt the proposed development of a golf resort at the World
Heritage property “Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast” until its potential impact on
the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property has been assessed. .. LINK
A little background on Andrej Sovinc [pdf file]:

"Ernesto Enkerlin appointed Kathy McKinnon as WCPA Vice-Chair, while in Europe, Andrej Sovinc was appointed as Regional Vice-Chair. 

“Protected Planet”, managed by the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) and supported by IUCN and WCPA presents relaunched and repackaged the World Database on Protected Areas in a user friendly internet accessible manner and linked to Google applications. Be sure to check www.protectedplanet.net

Trevor Sandwith, Director of IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme was recently elected as Chairman of the  International Academy for Nature Conservation, part of BfN, located on the island of Vilm, Germany. Andrej Sovinc is also on the Council. The Academy provides support and interchange to nature conservation professionals in the European Union countries."

It's a little disconcerting that the Protected Planet folks can't find us on the map!