UNESCO looks to boost World Heritage sites’ management in Romania


Jointly organized by UNESCO through its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and the Institute for Cultural Heritage of Romania, the national capacity-building workshop on managing World Heritage properties will take place on 14-19 July 2019 with the support of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and National Identity and the Hunedoara County Council. The workshop will enable site managing authorities and other key stakeholders to improve heritage management systems in World Heritage properties, with special focus on integrated approaches and community engagement.

Romania joined the 1972 World Heritage Convention on 16 May 1990. As of February, 6 cultural heritage properties and 2 natural heritage properties in Romania had been inscribed on the World Heritage List (most of them being serial properties), while 15 sites are currently on the Tentative List.

As in many countries, progress is still developing in Romania to ensure management approaches meet the additional obligations created by World Heritage inscription more effectively. There is a need to enhance the capacities among practitioners and institutions for nominated properties, so that each site is equipped with “an appropriate management plan or other documented management system which must specify how the Outstanding Universal Value of a property should be preserved, preferably through participatory means”.

In Romania, an orientation of the legal framework towards giving public authorities almost exclusive roles, at different levels, and establishing demanding procedures – such as the approval of zoning plans by governmental decision – led to a situation in which no management plan is yet established and operational for properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Currently, a new legal framework on cultural heritage is in the final stage of the drafting procedure and it will be published for consultation soon, before adoption by the government. This will re-establish the necessity of proper management systems and provide a new frame for the definition of management plans, including in relation to the shared roles and responsibilities among authorities and communities. In particular, the new system will seek to enhance the engagement of public and private community actors in the management of local heritage assets.

In view of the above, the training workshop for Romania on managing World Heritage properties will seek to develop capacities of the authorities, professionals, and other relevant stakeholders involved to ensure the effective management for the protection and enhancement of World Heritage properties in the country, with special focus on community engagement and participatory approaches.

The workshop will explore the main concepts and provisions to understand values-based management properly in the World Heritage context, and to define, assess and improve heritage management systems in World Heritage properties.

Methodological approaches will be introduced to ensure the open, inclusive and pro-active engagement of multiple actors, with a view to establish management approaches better suited to managing continuity and change within and around heritage places.

The workshop will address relevant stakeholders from the cultural and natural heritage sectors and other related sectors. Some 30 participants are expected, representing national authorities involved; site managing authorities and other relevant local government agencies; and, other key stakeholders involved in World Heritage sites’ management – like property owners, including churches, NGOs or community associations.

The programme is composed of three thematic modules, respectively on: the international Context; Getting to know Heritage Places; and, Getting To Know Heritage Management Systems.

Case studies from around the world will provide reference for modules 2 and 3, to root learning in experiences in the field for a variety of heritage typologies and settings. Group work sessions, a strong feature of the workshop programme, will be dedicated to Romanian case studies, also in the context of site visits.

Local case studies include: the components of the World Heritage property “Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains”; medieval religious heritage in the Hunedoara County on the Romanian World Heritage Tentative List.

An overriding theme of the workshop will be to address the integration of World Heritage management within national and local sustainable development to create a synergic, mutually beneficial relationship between cultural heritage protection and sustainable development processes.

Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains: