Monday, 23 June 2014

No funds allocated for Natural World Heritage Sites in 2014-2015

Posted by: Kevin Heath / 6 days ago

Taking a look through some of the accounts of the World Heritage Committee it is surprising to see that there has been no funds allocated for international assistance for natural world heritage sites. This at a time of a poaching epidemic when more resources presumably are needed to keep the wildlife within World Heritage sites (WHS) safe.

The blame can not be put on the WHS committee though as only one request was submitted (which was rejected) for help from the funds. The application that was rejected was a request from the DR Congo for funding of a youth educational programme for the protection of the environment.

The application was denied in February because;

The activity proposed does not contribute to the implementation of the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee and which are a priority for the sites in danger of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It may be that a general programme to educate the youth to look after the environment would benefit the world heritage sites that are found in the DR Congo and that the committee may be a little harsh in its decision. That said having been involved in the distribution and spending of public funds myself it is not always easy to be flexible on its use because of the accountability involved and the consequences that can happen if you step over clearly described outcomes. It’s what makes government and public bodies so slow and inflexible in its responses to fast changing situations – but it also makes the money relatively safe when funding areas with high corruption and crime rates.

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