Tanzania which holds the deputy chair at the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, held a special meeting in Arusha to set the continental agenda for the WHC meet which had been held in France this October. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Major General Gaudence Milanzi said Tanzania, being a member of the World Heritage Committee convened the special meeting in Arusha, to lay grounds for the Paris meet which took place in Paris on the 24th and 25th of October 2016.
“We have set one position and delegated a single agenda for the Paris Conference. From now henceforth the continent will be presenting a single agenda as African Members, unlike in the past when each country used to go about it its own," he said. According to the Permanent Secretary, one of the issues that have been tabled is how countries in Africa can make use of advanced, modern technology in tapping gas, oils and mineral resources from protected areas such as National Parks, Game Reserves and World Heritage Sites without interfering with nature or destroying the original conservation environment up.
The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected by their General Assembly, initially this year’s meeting was supposed to be held in Turkey but some political unrest in the country compelled the event to be postponed and moved to France. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed. It also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.