This proposed project aims to provide technical support to Azerbaijan to formulate the nomination dossier, advise Iran on fulfilling the requirements of the World Heritage Committee set out in Decision 43COM 8B.4, as well as to advise both countries to realize the World Heritage Committee's recommendation for the expansion and development of a joint management. The project enables enhanced exchange between the relevant organizations and representatives of the "Hyrcanian Forest" World Heritage Site in Iran and the potential expansion areas in Azerbaijan. It also provides international expertise and knowledge sharing and thus makes a significant contribution to the success of the planned expansion nomination. Elaboration and establishment of the essential structures for a common cross-border management and the continuous cooperation between the individual parts of the future transnational world heritage site is among the most ambitious and imperative expected achievements during this project.
Human settlements in the Hyrcanian Forest area date back to 10,000 BC (in Gorgan). A variety of cultures have settled in the area throughout history and are closely linked to the forests and landscape. However, these local communities need support to conserve and sustainably use these resources.
In line with IUCN's requirements for this World Heritage Site to "foster collabo-rative and participatory approaches to managing the property which respect rights, traditional practices and customs", the need for increased engagement and partnership and cooperation with local communities based on their cultural background and traditions is clarified and highlighted (Decision 30 COM 8B.24. (WHC/19/43.COM/18, p. 211-213)).
Therefore, this follow-up project will help partner communities to better understand their ecosystem and strengthen their role in the protection and use of these forests.
The project also aims to raise awareness of the importance of the successful inscription of the Hyrkanian Forests as a UNESCO World Heritage Site among the local Iranian population, thus engaging them in the protection of these globally unique natural landscapes through appreciation and support.
This project is funded by the German Federal Environment Ministry’s Advisory Assistance Programme (AAP) for environmental protection in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and other countries neighbouring the European Union. It is supervised by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the German Environment Agency (UBA).
Expertise: Protected area management, World heritage
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