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Induction Training on World Heritage Nomination Process of the Marshlands of Mesopotamia in Iraq - Summary Report

27-29 June 2009
Kempinski Hotel Amman, Amman, Jordan


The objective of this training was to increase the capacity, skills, and knowledge of Iraqi government officials as well as local representatives of Missan, Thi-Qar and Basrah governorates on the World Heritage nomination process, especially for the nomination of Marshland of Mesopotamia. 11 participants from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Culture, State Ministry of Marshlands and Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation as well as local representatives from Missan, Thi-Qar and Basrah governorates participated in the training course. The course was delivered through lectures and discussions, group work and a site visit to a protected wetland in Jordan.


Lectures given over the course provided a comprehensive introduction on World Heritage nomination process, especially focusing on the nomination process for the Marshlands of Mesopotamia. A resource person from International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) introduced the concept of Outstanding Universal Value and its criteria as well as the concepts of 'Authenticity' and 'Integrity' for cultural heritage. Issues of legal framework and management were highlighted. The concept of 'Authenticity' for natural heritage was presented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Both ICCROM and IUCN are on advisory bodies to the World Heritage Convention. Resource persons from UNESCO focused on data collection and surveys of natural and cultural resources.

Group Exercise

Working groups from different ministries carried out a group exercise on establishment of a work plan in line with the nomination process, and gave presentations.

Site visit

The training course included a site to visit to Azraq Wetland Reserve near Amman to provide a practical example of wetland conservation in Jordan. A walk-through around the reserve was followed by an on-site lecture that introduced the site monitoring programme, socio-economic projects as well as ecotourism programmes and facilities. The visit was followed by another stop at the Azraq Lodge, where the participants observed handicraft workshops staffed by local women produced silk screening, ostrich egg carvings, packaging and sewing products. The visit provided practical examples of site management as well as sustainable local employment creation.