The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Dr Mechtild Rössler, launches the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the region of Asia and the Pacific via a video message addressed to the National Focal Points

One of the two main monitoring mechanisms within the framework of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, alongside Reactive Monitoring, the Periodic Reporting exercise is a statutory requirement under the Convention, whereby all States Parties are asked to provide up-to-date information on the implementation of the Convention, both at the national level and for each World Heritage property.

As the only monitoring mechanism that systematically encompasses all World Heritage properties, it allows for a detailed picture of how the 1972 Convention is implemented across the world and by region and highlights trends, successes, challenges and needs for each region. In turn, the analysed data feeds the (sub-)regional Action Plans, which are developed by the National Focal Points and will provide a strategic framework for the implementation of the Convention over the next six years.

With special emphasis on the sharing of good practices, the integration of a Sustainable Development perspective and the synergies between various Conventions and designations, Periodic Reporting explores how World Heritage integrates into broader and global objectives.

The third region to undergo the current cycle of Periodic Reporting, Asia and the Pacific begins the exercise at a very difficult time: for the first time ever, all preliminary meetings have been held online, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. As the workshops foreseen under the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust could not take place in person, the World Heritage Centre made a number of tools available to build capacities before and during the exercise, from learning modules to an online exchange platform for National Focal Points. Together with the UNESCO Field Offices, the Category 2 Centres under the auspices of UNESCO in the region and the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Centre will provide coordination and guidance for this State Party-led, self-reporting exercise.

Questionnaires for the region of Asia and the Pacific are to be submitted by the end of July 2021, and the outcomes will be presented at the 46th session of the World Heritage Committee.