Konwencja w sprawie ochrony światowego dziedzictwa kulturalnego i naturalnego
CONVENTION CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF THE WORLD CULTURAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE
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The Polish People’s Republic ratified, in 1976, the Convention Concerning the Protection o f the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, November 16, 1972. The first step which initiated UNESCO activities in the that sphere — says the author — was the international campaign started a dozen or so years ago and aimed at saving the rock-cut temples in Abu Simbel in Nubia. That campaign, and and the following ones of similar nature, made the foundation for the setting up o f a system o f international cooperation and assistance striving for protection of the cultural heritage of outstanding and universal value. Proceeding with his deliberations the author quotes the assumptions of the Convention formulated in its preamble and points out to their significance from the viewpoint of interpretation o f the provisions o f that act. Now one of the most important tasks in the sphere of national protection o f the cultural and natural heritage is the state’s task o f including the programme for that protection into general planning. The author is aware o f the complexity of that task and the difficulties involved in its implementation because of the ditferent assumptions and values employed by the staff of monument protection service and by planners and making premises for the preparation of plans. Moreover, in some cases the planners’ failure to take into account all the elements o f environment results in the undesirable fact of certain goods o f the heritage discussed being an obstacle to implementation of plans. ' Another group o f the tasks examined by the author are those ensuing from ratification o f the Convention by Poland. The most essential there is, in his opinion, that o f drawing up an index of the goods of the nation’s cultural and natural heritage which should be proposed for being entered into the ’’list o f the world heritage”. As regards the heritage o f culture, such an index should be drawn up, together with relevant scientific documentation, by the Centre for Documentation o f Historical Monuments, Warsaw, in association with scientific institutions, major museums, and the branch offices of the Centre. In consonance with the stress laid by the Convention on the growing role of science, the author takes up the problem of the need for enchancement of the number o f high-skilled personnel to work in the respective lines of the service for the protection of the cultural and natural heritage, for improvement and development o f the scientific and research potential actively engaged in the protection o f the heritage discussed. Reference is also made of the contribution paid by Polish conservators and scientists, especially those versed in Mediterranean archeology, to the work on saving a number of monuments abroad. The following part of the paper comprises an attempt at an evaluation of the Convention. Its significance is seen by the author to lie in the grounding of a realistic system of cooperation o f the international community in protecting the goods of the said heritage which are recognized as those o f universal importance. What is meant by him as the reality o f that system is, on the one hand, the fact o f a subsidiary character having been imparted to international assistance and, on the other, that of prividong for the Convention being put into effect due to the indispensable material means of the World Heritage Fund. The author is highly appreciative o f the fact of the problems o f the cultural heritage, and those of the natural one, having been combined in the Convention. This solution is recognized as a correct one on account o f common elements appearing in the protection o f both o f them, to mention but similar tasks involved, and methods employed, in that protection and the legal institutions which serve it. In view o f the ever growing and negative role of the threats of various kinds, the author postulates preparation of a comprehensive inter-ministerial (horizontal) programme for cooperation which would take into consideration not only the problems of the protection o f the cultural and natural heritage, but also those of environmental protection in the full sense of the word. The author concludes his paper in determining the Convention as an act, internationalist in its essence which, like the whole of UNESCO activities, is far from a cosmopolitan approach to the cultural and natural heritage of the respective nations.
- K. W. Ka p p , The Implementation o f Environmental Policies, [w.‘] Development and Environment. Report and Working Papers of a Panel o f Experts Convened by the Secretary-General o f the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Founex, Switzerland, June 4—12, 1971), Mouton, Paryż—Haga 1972, s. 66—94.
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