Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Ceisteanna (268)

Cian O'Callaghan

Ceist:

268. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the Irish UNESCO Tentative List was last revised; when it will next be revised; the application process to include a site of historic significance on this list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56938/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Tentative List is an inventory or list of properties which have potential to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and therefore considered suitable for nomination to the World Heritage List. To have OUV a property must be so exceptional for present and future generations so as to transcend national boundaries. Ireland’s current Tentative List of World Heritage Properties was submitted to UNESCO in 2010. In keeping with UNESCO guidance to review the Tentative List at least once every ten years, my Department initiated a review of the Tentative List in 2019 by seeking applications from local authorities and the wider heritage sector for natural and/or cultural heritage sites which may be considered to possess OUV. The deadline for applications was 30 June 2021.

I appointed an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to assess the potential OUV and other UNESCO requirements in respect of the six valid applications received, and earlier this month I informed each of the applicants of the EAG’s recommendations. Further information on the recommendations can be found here www.gov.ie/en/press-release/71039-minister-endorses-recommendations-for-new-world-heritage-tentative-list/.

My Department is now liaising closely with all applicants to assist them in addressing the EAG’s recommendations and it is envisaged that a new Tentative List will be submitted to UNESCO in 2022. It is important to note however that inclusion on the Tentative List does not necessarily result in the inscription of a property on the World Heritage List. The nomination process itself often takes a number of years and includes the preparation of a detailed dossier to be officially submitted to the World Heritage Centre in Paris for evaluation.

Simultaneously with the ongoing Tentative List revision process, my Department is also developing a World Heritage Strategy to guide the future management and nomination of World Heritage Properties in Ireland. This Strategy will inform future Tentative List revision processes and it is envisioned that applications to the Tentative List will be opened up on a more frequent basis than heretofore.