ARC-WH Program 2012

The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage and its partners have developed a series of activities involving the implementation of projects, participatory workshops, seminars and training courses. Such activities are designed to preserve and conserve Arab world heritage.
1- Exhibition (Heritage of the Caravans & Dhows, Arab African Exchange Route)
DATE & VENUE:25-30 June 2012, St Petersburg, Russia
This Side Event at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee was brought by the cooperation of three category 2 centres, the ARC-WH, the African World Heritage Fund and the Nordic World Heritage Foundation which aimed to highlight the World Heritage Sites that can be found on the exchange routes between the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent highlighting the strong cultural and economic ties across centuries.
2- World Heritage in the Arab Region Calendar 
DATE & VENUE: July 2012, Bahrain
As an awareness-raising campaign on World Heritage sites in the region, ARC-WH and Bahrain National Holding insurance company agreed to launch a joint 2013 calendar highlighting the World Heritage Sites of the Arab Region. ARC-WH provided the source material including photos and text while the BNH sponsored the design and printing of the calendar. Photos were selected from the book launched last year by the Ministry of Culture (World Heritage of the Arab Countries). The calendar will be distributed to local and regional partners.
3- Translation of the Resource Manual: Preparing World Heritage Nominations 
DATE & VENUE: September 2012
As mandated by the agreement, information dissemination on World Heritage in the Arabic language is key function of the ARC-WH. In coordination with the World Heritage Centre, the resource manual is being translated and is to be finalized by the beginning of 2013 and will be distributed to all State parties. In addition, a workshop on preparing nomination files will take place alongside the launch of the Arabic version of the resource manual.
4- Follow-up on Arab States Membership at the Governing Board 
DATE & VENUE: 18-19 September 2012, UNESCO HQs
As noted in the first governing board meeting and article VIII of the Agreement for the establishment of the ARC-WH, member states from the Arab States region whilst members of the World Heritage Committee may sit on the ARC-WH governing board as voting members following their notification of the Director General of UNESCO.
To follow-up on the full participation of the current four Arab States on the World Heritage Committee, the ARC-WH director met with the UNESCO permanent delegations of the UAE, Iraq, Algeria and Qatar and invited these state parties to take part in the Governing Board given their important role in implementing the World Heritage Convention.
Following these meetings, the State Parties of Qatar, the UAE and Algeria informed the Director General of UNESCO of their interest in the Board membership and provided the names of their representatives. Iraq has written to ARC-WH of their interest to take part in the GB, but has yet to send an official notification to the DG of UNESCO following the agreed procedure.
5- Friends of Socotra meeting 
DATE & VENUE: 20-23 September 2012, Frankfurt, Germany
ARC-WH was invited to attend the annual friends of Socotra meeting which meets to present ongoing scientific research by institutions and individuals on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Socotra. The ARC-WH director presented the role of the Centre in supporting World Heritage sites in the region and the special focus on Socotra. The meeting attended by 65 participants provided technical background knowledge on the state of protection of the site's biodiversity, site management, role of local community and the challenges and pressure facing the site. prior to the ARC-WH participation in the Socotra mission that took place the following November.
6- Meeting on Formulation of Strategic Guidelines Outline 
DATE & VENUE: 26-27 September 2012, ARC-WH HQs
As per decision of the first governing board meeting 1GB5.1.i, the ARC-WH initiated the process of placing strategic guidelines for the Centre in the medium and long term. Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki as a World Heritage expert and an advisor to the ARC-WH was invited to the ARC-WH HQs to collaborate on the elaboration of the preparation of a strategic outline to be further refined. During the two days sessions, a working document was prepared which was further discussed with the WHC and Abs programme head on the 3rd of October 2012.
The draft strategic outline is presented in item 2GB.7a.
7- Agro-pastoral cultural landscapes of the Mediterranean 
DATE & VENUE: 1-5 October 2012, Montpellier, France
The International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies / the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier hosted a meeting on the theme of Agro pastoral Cultural Landscapes and taking the World Heritage Site of The Causses and the Cevennes (2011) as an inscription experience. The aim of which was to share experiences on the site's inscription on the World Heritage list and build a Mediterranean network of agro-pastoral cultural landscapes and support experts for future agro-pastoral World Heritage nominations in the Arab region. The ARC-WH supported the 10 experts from the Arab region to attend the meeting. The Director of ARC-WH presented the role of the Centre in implementing the World Heritage Convention and especially the theme of cultural landscapes.
8- Training workshop for the Arab Core Expert Group on the World Heritage Convention 
DATE & VENUE: 8-11 October 2012, UNESCO HQs
Support the World Heritage Centre's regional programme in a training workshop for five Arab specialists in the field of natural and cultural world heritage. 3
9- Press Conference on the role of the ARC-WH
DATE & VENUE: 11 October 2012, ARC-WH Premises
The Minister of Culture, Chairperson of the Governing Board Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa invited the local and regional press and news agencies to a press conference introducing the role of the Centre in the field of World Heritage. The conference was opened by her excellency and then followed by the Director of the Centre who gave a presentation on the objectives of the Centre, its establishment and the initiative of the Kingdom of Bahrain. This was followed by a question and answer session to clarifying the role of the ARC-WH in relation to the World Heritage Centre and the Arab States in implementing the 1972 Convention. The ARC-WH received good coverage in the print and electronic media as well as television news coverage.
10- National workshop on Tentative lists - Kuwait 
DATE & VENUE: 15 October 2012, ARC-WH premises
In collaboration with the Council for Culture, Arts and Letters in Kuwait an intensive workshop was conducted for 3 Kuwaiti cultural specialists to support the preparation of a tentative list for Kuwait. The objective is to follow the workshop with a tentative list for submission and then work on the nomination of the site of Failka archeological island.
11- National workshop on World Heritage and Site Management – Oman 
DATE & VENUE: 20-24 October, Muscat, Oman
In coordination with the Ministry of Culture in Oman, and the ATHAR centre a workshop was prepared in world heritage site management. The workshop covered the World Heritage Convention, the operational guidelines and site management concepts with special focus on Oman's four WH sites. The participants attending came from different organizations and ministries linked to the world heritage sites.
12- Socotra Archipelago Mission 
DATE & VENUE: 5-13 November 2012, Socotra & Sanaa, Yemen
Further to decision 32 COM 8B.5 of the World Heritage committee to invite for a mission to assess the progress of a set of recommendations put forth during the inscription of the site in 2008, the ARC-WH joined an IUCN mission in November 2012.
In supporting the technical mission, the participation of the Director of ARC-WH allowed for the meeting with officials and stakeholders in the Republic of Yemen and to discuss future ARC-WH supported initiatives including training of site managers as well as consideration of new nominations such as the historical cultural landscapes of the coffee terraces.
13- Advisory Bodies Regional World Heritage Workshop 
DATE & VENUE: 18-23 November 2012, Tunisia
The ARC-WH supported the above capacity building activity organized by the Advisory Bodies and in collaboration with the Swiss Confederation with the aim to strengthen the AB network in the Arab region. This support follows a similar successful workshop that took place in 2011 for English speaking Arab experts in Bahrain. The workshop held in French brought together approximately 20 experts from the Maghreb region who were introduced to World Heritage concepts and conducted exercises in monitoring missions in the World Heritage sites of the Medina of Tunis and Ishkeul National park. 4
14- Focal Point Meeting 3-5 December 2012, ARC-WH Premises
As approved by the first governing Board meeting, the ARC-WH hosted the annual Focal Point meeting of the Arab region as organized by the World Heritage Centre's Arab States Unit which was brought together 19 focal points, the ABs and programme specialists from the UNESCO field offices and other resource persons.
15- Iraqi Marshlands Nomination File Preparation Workshop 
DATE & VENUE: 6-7 December 2012
In coordination with the UNESCO Iraq office, IUCN and the WHC/ARB, the ARC-WH hosted the Iraqi team responsible for the preparation of the Iraqi Marshlands nomination file. This activity was supported by UNEP and the UNESCO Iraq office.
16- 2nd Meeting of the Governing Board 
DATE & VENUE: 12 December 2012, ARC-WH Premises
Chaired by HE Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, the second governing board meeting is to take place at the Centre's premises.
17- Celebration of the World Arabic language Day 
DATE & VENUE: 18 December 2012, HQ Premises
Following UNESCO's Executive Board decision to promote the Arabic language through the celebration of the 18 December of every year as World Arabic Language Day, the Minister/ Chairperson of the ARC-WH governing Board initiated the promotion of this day with a set of activities to take place at the ARC-WH premises.
The domain of the ARC-WH is and a brief on the Centre and its functions is shown in the two working languages of the Convention and Arabic. The full development of the site will be commencing in 2013 after the recruitment of the Web-developer and translator. Social media was also used with accounts in both Facebook and twitter.