Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα UNESCO. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα UNESCO. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 13, 2017

Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 12, 2017

Αποχωρεί και το Ισραήλ από την UNESCO

Αποχωρεί και το Ισραήλ από την UNESCO
Η κυβέρνηση του Ισραήλ ανακοίνωσε σήμερα ότι αποχωρεί από την UNESCO, ακολουθώντας το παράδειγμα των ΗΠΑ, λόγω της αντιισραηλινής στάσης που, όπως υποστηρίζει, τηρεί η υπηρεσία αυτή του ΟΗΕ που έχει εξελιχθεί σε «θέατρο του παραλόγου».

Σάββατο, Ιουλίου 08, 2017

Οι ΗΠΑ απειλούν να διακόψουν δεσμούς με την UNESCO

Οι ΗΠΑ προειδοποίησαν χθες ότι θα διακόψουν τους δεσμούς τους με την UNESCO, χαρακτηρίζοντας «προσβολή προς την Ιστορία» την απόφασή της να ανακηρύξει τη Χεβρώνα στη Δυτική Όχθη «προστατευόμενη περιοχή» της παγκόσμιας κληρονομιάς.

Παρασκευή, Ιουνίου 10, 2016

Γερμανία: Η χρήση της Αγίας Σοφίας είναι υπόθεση της Τουρκίας

H χρήση της Αγίας Σοφίας αποτελεί υπόθεση της Τουρκίας, δήλωσε ο εκπρόσωπος του γερμανικού υπουργείου Εξωτερικών Μάρτιν Σέφερ, αναφορικά με την ανάγνωση του Κορανίου στην Αγία Σοφία, κατά την περίοδο του Ραμαζανίου.

Κυριακή, Δεκεμβρίου 21, 2014

China builds first high-speed railway through karst region

Construction of China's first high-speed railway running through the country's southwest karst regions was completed on Sunday.

The 857-km railway linking Guiyang, capital of landlocked mountainous province of Guizhou, with south China's economic powerhouse Guangzhou, is expected to become operational on Friday.


Guizhou has the world's most typical karst plateau landscape, which was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone.

Stretching through the complicated karst clusters, the railway had half of its length run through 238 tunnels, two of which are more than 14 km long, said Zhang Jianbo, general manager of the Guiyang-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway Co.

It took builders four years to drill through the two longest tunnels. Construction was often disrupted by breaking rocks, rupture of strata and water infiltration, Zhang said.

The construction company applied for six national patents covering their shockproof technology which was adopted to reduce the vibration that occurs when a train travelling at 250 km/hour runs through mountain tunnels.

Wang Mengshu, a tunnel expert with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the technology and machinery engineering developed for building the Guiyang-Guangzhou high-speed railway represents the country's new-generation innovation in tunnel engineering.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
21/12/14
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Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 20, 2014

On World Philosophy Day, UN lauds role of dialogue, diversity in multicultural world

UN,  20 November 2014 – The head the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today marked the twelfth edition of World Philosophy Day with a widespread appeal for dialogue in diversity, adding that only by embracing the intellectual pluralism of our global society can the foundations of a truly global community be laid.

“Philosophy is an invaluable ally that draws on reflexive reasoning and engagement in dialogue, to open our minds to a wide variety of opinions and views,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her messasge for the Day, which this year in on the theme “Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogue.”

“Such a shift of focus is crucial in a world of rising diversity,” Ms. Bokova continued. “This is both the foundation on which tolerance and peace rest and a means of releasing the creative energy that drives societies forward, while respecting human rights.

World Philosophy Day has been observed every third Thursday of November since 2002, with the aim of making philosophical reflection accessible to all – professors and students, scholars and the general public – thereby enlarging the opportunities and spaces for the stimulation of critical thinking and debate.

This year, the Day is being celebrated with a number of events, including roundtables, debates and concerts, held in Paris, where UNESCO is headquartered, and at other venues around the world.

In addition, a roundtable discussion in Paris will see the launch of the Philosophy Manual, a South-South Perspective which UNESCO describes as an innovative tool designed to facilitate the discovery of philosophical texts from Africa, the Arab region, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, while also promoting their full understanding through a critical apparatus which enables easily adapted educational use.

 [un.org]
20/11/14
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Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 23, 2014

Mediterranean, North Atlantic prepares for UN-backed tsunami warning system test -- (Simulations will be carried out between 28 and 30 October)

UN, 23 October 2014 – Some 20 nations with coastlines on the North Atlantic, and Mediterranean and Black Seas are set to participate in a United Nations-supervised tsunami warning exercise to improve their ability to respond to an alert and enhance regional coordination in the event of a disaster.

In a press statement released today, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – the body coordinating the warning test since its first implementation in 2005 – reported that four tsunami simulations will be carried out between 28 and 30 October in an effort to assess the overall reactivity of countries participating in the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System for the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and connected seas (NEAMTWS).

Although tsunamis are not as frequent an occurrence in this area of the globe as they are in the Pacific Ocean, the shores of the Mediterranean and North Atlantic are densely populated prompting concern that tsunami shockwaves could strike and cause widespread damage and fatalities. In 1755, for instance, a tsunami caused by an earthquake in the Azores-Gibraltar Fault Zone destroyed Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. 

Another devastating tsunami swept over Messina, Italy in 1908, claiming tens of thousands of lives. And, more recently, in 2003, an earthquake in Algeria set off a tsunami that struck the shores of Spain's Balearic Islands and the southern coast of France. 

UNESCO noted that due to the short distances they travel in small bodies of water such as the Mediterranean, tsunami occurrences there strike shores with “great speed.”
According to the UN body, the upcoming exercise, named NEAMWave14, is based on a scenario in which four earthquakes unleash two tsunami events in the Mediterranean, one in the Atlantic Ocean, and one in the Black Sea. 

The Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute in Turkey, the National Tsunami Alert Centre in France, the National Observatory of Athens in Greece and the Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute, will send out the alerts, kick-starting the exercise, which set to involve a wide range of countries, including Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. 

“The exercise will be an opportunity to test the efficiency of the communication systems in charge of transmitting tsunami alerts and, in some countries, to ensure that the authorities in charge of public safety are prepared to face such a threat,” UNESCO explained in its press release. 

NEAMTWS is one of four regional systems which are coordinated by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) globally. Similar systems already exist for the Pacific and Indian oceans and for the Caribbean.
un.org
23/10/14
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Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 22, 2014

First World Conference on Indigenous Peoples set to open at UN headquarters

UN,  21 September 2014 – The week of high-level events that marks the opening of the United Nations General Assembly's annual general debate kicks off this year with the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP), which opens Monday.

Convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the Assembly, the two-day World Conference is expected to draw over a thousand indigenous and non-indigenous delegates who will have the opportunity to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of their rights, including pursuing the objectives of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly in 2007.


Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity – more than 5,000 distinct groups in some 90 countries, making up more than 5 per cent of the world's population, some 370 million people. These peoples continue to self-identify as distinct peoples with strong links to traditional territories with their own social, economic and political systems as well as unique languages, cultures and beliefs.

The World Conference is expected to result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document on the implementation the rights of indigenous peoples and the promotion of the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, prepared by the President of the General Assembly on the basis of inclusive and open consultations with Member States and indigenous peoples.

Opening remarks at the Conference are expected to be delivered by General Assembly President Sam Kutesa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, among others.

The opening plenary will also include an opening ceremony involving indigenous peoples and the adoption of the World Conference outcome document.

The meetings will be co-chaired by indigenous representatives from all regions: Pacific, African and Asian, as well as Western and Eastern European, and Latin American and the Caribbean.

[un.org]
21/9/14
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Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 12, 2014

UN-organized tsunami exercise shows Indian Ocean region now ‘better prepared’

UN,  12 September 2014 – A decade after the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, which killed nearly 250,000 people and left an arc of devastation across 12 countries, a warning system devised by the United Nations to assess communications flows and readiness procedures throughout the region is functioning “effectively,” the world body has announced after a two-day simulation exercise.

“The terrible images of the 2004 tsunami are still fresh in our memories. Ten years later, this new warning exercise demonstrates that the efforts of the Indian Ocean Rim countries to be better prepared for such disasters are bearing fruit,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


The warning system, established under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, “is a major achievement of global scientific cooperation that can help to save lives,” declared Ms. Bokova in a press release.

The simulation exercise was conducted on 9 and 10 September, with the participation of 24 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim. According to the preliminary results of the simulated alert, all of the participating countries received timely tsunami advisory messages, and no delays were reported.

Notification messages were issued by the Indian Ocean Regional Tsunami Service Providers (Australia, India and Indonesia) and sent to National Tsunami Warning Centres. On this basis, most of the participating countries successfully conducted exercises involving the national tsunami warning, disaster management and main emergency response organisations.

  • UNESCO says that several countries also chose to involve the general public in the exercise, including India, Mauritius and the Seychelles, where evacuation exercises were conducted in coastal areas. Tourists and personnel were evacuated from a hotel in Mauritius.

  • A full evaluation report of the exercise will be published in November 2014.

“The Indian Ocean tsunami warning system is the result of significant international collaboration and contributions from countries all around the Indian Ocean in response to the devastating tsunami of December 2004,” said Rick Bailey, Chair of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System.

He added that countries now need to sustain the warning system, community education and response capability that have been developed across the Indian Ocean. “Countries must remain alert and prepared against the ever present tsunami threat,” he said.

The exercise, known as “IOWAVE14,” comprised two scenarios: the first simulated an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 south of Java, in Indonesia, on 9 September, while the second scenario simulated an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 in the Makran Trench south of Iran and Pakistan. In both cases, the earthquakes would have resulted in a tsunami affecting the entire Indian Ocean. 

[un.org]
12/9/14
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Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 08, 2014

India to participate in mock tsunami drill in Indian Ocean. (is planned for 9 and 10 September)

India will participate in a two- day major mock tsunami drill in the Indian Ocean, starting Tuesday, along with 23 other countries, an official said Monday.

The drill, organized under the auspices of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, is intended to test the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS), said the official.



The drill is expected to increase preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each country and improve coordination throughout the region, a statement by the Indian government has said.

"The drill also aims at evaluating the system's operational capacity, efficiency of communication among the different concerned actors, and the state of preparation of national emergency services," it added.

Sources: Xinhuan -  indian.ruvr.ru

8/9/14
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Τετάρτη, Αυγούστου 27, 2014

Μυτιλήνη: Υποψήφιο για Μνημείο Παγκόσμιας Κληρονομιάς το Απολιθωμένο Δάσος

Yποψήφιο για ένταξη στα Μνημεία Παγκόσμιας Κληρονομιάς της UNESCO είναι το Απολιθωμένο Δάσος της Μυτιλήνης.

Η πρώτη παρουσίαση της υποψηφιότητάς του πραγματοποιήθηκε από τον καθηγητή Νίκο Ζούρο, διευθυντή του Μουσείου Φυσικής Ιστορίας Απολιθωμένου Δάσους Λέσβου.

Αρχικά, παρουσιάσθηκε από τον κ. Ζούρο η διακήρυξη της UNESCO για την Προστασία της Παγκόσμιας Πολιτιστικής και Φυσικής Κληρονομιάς από το Γενικό Συνέδριο της UNESCO το 1972. Ακολούθως, αναφέρθηκε στα κριτήρια που θα πρέπει να πληροί ένα μνημείο προκειμένου να ενταχθεί στα Μνημεία Παγκόσμιας Κληρονομιάς της UNESCO.


Μέσα από πλούσιο φωτογραφικό υλικό παρουσίασε στους συμμετέχοντες σημαντικά και ιδιαίτερα γνωστά μνημεία από όλο τον κόσμο που περιλαμβάνονται στη λίστα των Μνημείων Παγκόσμιας Κληρονομιάς, όπως το ηφαίστειο της Αίτνας, το Grand Canyon και το ηφαίστειο Φούτζι.

  • Ιδιαίτερη αναφορά έγινε στα 17 ελληνικά μνημεία που έχουν ενταχθεί στα μνημεία Παγκόσμιας Κληρονομιάς, όπως η Ακρόπολη των Αθηνών, τα Μετέωρα, η Ολυμπία, τα βυζαντινά μνημεία της Θεσσαλονίκης και οι βασιλικοί τάφοι της Βεργίνας.
Στη συνέχεια της διάλεξης παρουσιάσθηκαν τα στοιχεία που καθιστούν το Απολιθωμένο Δάσος μοναδικό μνημείο σε παγκόσμιο επίπεδο και τα κριτήρια που πρέπει να πληρούνται προκειμένου να είναι υποψήφιο για ένταξη στον Κατάλογο των Μνημείων Παγκόσμιας Κληρονομιάς της UNESCO.............................energia.gr
27/8/14
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Τετάρτη, Αυγούστου 13, 2014

Poor outlook warned for Great Barrier Reef (five-yearly review to address UNESCO)

Australia's Great Barrier Reef remains under threat despite efforts to rein in major sources of damage to the World Heritage-listed icon, the government said on Tuesday.

Canberra released a five-yearly review of the reef and moves to protect it, to address concerns raised by UNESCO and persuade the world body not to put the key tourist attraction on its "in danger" list next year. "Even with the recent management initiatives to reduce threats and improve resilience, the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor, has worsened since 2009 and is expected to further deteriorate," the government said in its outlook report.


The reef, which stretches 2,300 kilometers along Australia's east coast, is the centerpiece of a campaign by green groups and marine tourist operators aiming to stop a planned coal port expansion that would require millions of cubic meters of sand to be dredged up and dumped near the reef.

The reef has the world's largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 types of mollusc, and is home to threatened species, the World Heritage list says.

The government said run-off from farms, crown-of-thorns starfish and climate change remain the biggest threats to the reef, but acknowledged that shipping and dredging occur in reef areas already facing pressure from other impacts. "Greater reductions of all threats at all levels, reef-wide, regional and local, are required to prevent the projected declines in the Great Barrier Reef and to improve its capacity to recover," the government said.

The government said it would not allow any port development outside long-established ports in Queensland. Those existing ports include Abbot Point, where India's Adani Group and compatriot GVK plan a huge coal terminal expansion, and Gladstone, where ship traffic is set to increase sharply from 2015 as huge new liquefied natural gas plants start exports.

Green groups said the report did not let off the hook the mining industry, which is digging up coal for export, adding to climate change and expanding ports along the reef. "The greatest risk, again, is climate change," said Wendy Tubman, an official of the North Queensland Conservation Council.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has asked Australia to submit an updated report on the state of conservation of the reef, which sprawls over an area half the size of Texas, by next February 1. 

Sources: Reuters -  globaltimes.cn
13/8/14
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Σάββατο, Αυγούστου 09, 2014

On International Day, Ban says indigenous peoples can be "powerful agents of progress"

 UN, 9 August 2014 – Marking the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said indigenous peoples have a central interest in development and can act as “powerful agents of progress.”

“In order for them to contribute to our common future, we must secure their rights,” said Mr. Ban in his message on the Day, in which he added: “Let us recognize and celebrate the valuable and distinctive identities of indigenous peoples around the world. Let us work even harder to empower them and support their aspirations.”


The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August in recognition of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, held in Geneva in 1982.

“Historical injustices have all too often resulted in exclusion and poverty,” Mr. Ban said, adding that power structures continue to create obstacles to indigenous peoples' right to self-determination.

  • There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries around the world who constitute 15 per cent of the world's poor and about one third of the world's 900 million extremely poor rural people. Practicing unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.
Yesterday at an event at UN Headquarters in New York to kick off commemoration of the International Day, the President of the General Assembly, John Ashe, said that with the Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People coming to an end and the World Conference in September 2014, this year celebration carries with it particular significance.

“The historical marginalization of indigenous peoples is still an unfortunate reality in today's world and in many places, daunting obstacles are a part of daily life,” Mr. Ashe said through a statement delivered by his Special Advisor, Crispin Gregoire.

Irina Bokova, head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) noted that the agency, tasked with protecting cultural diversity, is leading the way with two angles of action – first, to promote the use of indigenous cultures, languages and traditions, and second, to provide knowledge and skills that enable indigenous peoples to participate fully and equally on the national and international stage.

“We are taking this forward also in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. With our partners, we are advocating for an ambitious and comprehensive education goal that provides due respect to local knowledge systems, including those of indigenous peoples,” she said.

The UNESCO chief said the International Day is an opportunity for all to mobilize to bridge the gaps that remain to the fulfilment of indigenous peoples' rights, particularly as the international community shapes a new post-2015 development agenda.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007, recognized their right to self-determination and to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. This year's theme, “Bridging the gap: implementing the rights of Indigenous peoples” also marks the 20th anniversary of the celebration, which dates back to 1994. 

[un.org]
9/8/14
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Παρασκευή, Ιουλίου 18, 2014

Central and Southwest China: Concern for ancient buildings after floods

Concerns have been raised over the protection of historic towns as persistent downpours in Central and Southwest China have flooded Fenghuang, a renowned tourism destination in Hunan Province.

More than 120,000 people were relocated amid power cuts in Fenghuang on Wednesday.


The rain, however, has begun to slacken and water levels in Fenghuang have dropped, with many people returning to their homes on Thursday.

Electricity along the Tuojiang River, which runs through Fenghuang, has not been restored, although water supplies to parts of the town have been brought back online, a staff member of Fenghuang's flood prevention office surnamed Gao told the Global Times.

Reconstruction work formally started on Thursday, Gao said. No casualties had been reported as of press time.

Pictures of Fenghuang submerged by floodwaters have aroused worries among netizens and experts on ancient architecture.

Yang Zhi, owner of a traditional inn alongside the Tuojiang River, told the Global Times that everything in his inn had been washed away by floods and estimated his losses at more than 200,000 yuan ($32,234).

He blamed the government for inaccurate warning by saying that the water level of the Tuojiang River would only hit 1.5 meters above normal. The river eventually crested at 3 meters over its normal level, "So people were not prepared."

Many traditional buildings, some dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), were made of wood and stone and could be severely damaged by floods, Zhu Qiuli, an expert with the National Architecture Institute of China, told the Global Times.

Old towns have drainage problems and the Fenghuang  government obviously did not realize that the buildings need protection from water in such a rainy region, Zhu said.

It is also a warning for other old town governments, he added.

Wu Rucheng, director of the flood prevention office, admitted that excessive development along the river bank has changed the river's profile, making it more prone to serious flooding.

Fenghuang is currently being considered for UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Other parts of Hunan Province were also hit by severe rains. According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, more than 8 million people across seven provinces including Hunan were affected by the rainstorms which started on July 10.

A total of 34 people died in the flooding, while 21 remain missing. Some 400,000 people were relocated and 9,300 houses collapsed, while 384,300 hectares of crops were damaged, incurring a direct economic loss of more than 5.2 billion yuan.

  • Rainstorms are also expected in Hainan Province as Typhoon Rammasun makes landfall in South China on Friday. 
By Liu Sha Source:Global Times Published: 2014-7-18  
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Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 16, 2014

Ancient town under water as downpours hit central China



One of China's renowned ancient towns was under water Wednesday as heavy rain hit the centre of the country, with tens of thousands of people evacuated from the area.

The old town district of Fenghuang nestles on the banks of a winding river in a picturesque, mountainous part of Hunan province, and boasts stunning Qing and Ming dynasty architecture dating back hundreds of years.
It can attract 30,000 visitors a day and has applied for world heritage status recognition from UNESCO, but pictures showed it inundated, with the central span of a bridge poking up through the waters.

Reports said electricity had been cut off and 50,000 tourists and locals had been evacuated from Fenghuang and the surrounding county.

"Torrential downpours have led to Fenghuang old town becoming a water town," said a posting on a discussion page on the topic set up on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
[Agence France-Presse/hurriyetdailynews.com]
16/7/14 

Δευτέρα, Ιουνίου 23, 2014

Πλουσιότερη η Παγκόσμια Κληρονομιά. Διευρύνθηκε η λίστα της UNESCO.

Με νέες εισόδους διευρύνθηκε η λίστα των Μνημείων Παγκόσμιας Κληρονομιάς της UNESCO.

Όπως ανακοίνωσε η επιτροπή του οργανισμού στην Ντόχα, τα Μονοπάτια των Ίνκας, η ιστορική πόλη της Τζέντα, το εργοστάσιο Βαν Νέλε στο Ρότερνταμ και το μεταξουργείο της Τομιόκα (Ιαπωνία) εντάχθηκαν στον σχετικό κατάλογο.

Τα Μονοπάτια των Ίνκας, αριστούργημα της προϊσπανικής μηναχικής, συνδέουν σήμερα το Περού, τη Χιλή, την Κολομβία, το Εκουαδόρ, την Αργεντινή και τη Βολιβία, κατασκευάσθηκαν σε μία περίοδο 2.000 ετών και ορισμένες φορές καταλήγουν σε υψόμετρο 5.000 μετρών.


Η Τζέντα υπήρξε από τον 7ο αιώνα ένα από τα σημαντικότερα λιμάνια των εμπορικών δρόμων του Ινδικού Ωκεανού. Εκεί έφθαναν τα εμπορεύματα που προορίζονταν για τη Μέκκα.

Το εργοστάσιο Βαν Νέλε, «ένα από τα αριστουργήματα της βιομηχανικής αρχιτεκτονικής του 20ού αιώνα, κατασκευάσθηκε το 1920 κατά μήκος ενός από τα κανάλια του Ρότερνταμ, ενώ το μεταξουργείο της Τομιόκα ιδρύθηκε το 1872 στη Γκούνμα, βορειο-δυτικά του Τόκιο, συμβολίζει την είσοδο της Ιαπωνίας στον σύγχρονο βιομηχανικό κόσμο.

[elzoni.gr]
23/6/14
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Κυριακή, Ιουνίου 22, 2014

UNESCO adds Grand Canal, Silk Road route to World Heritage List

China gained two more UNESCO World Heritage sites Sunday, bringing the nation's total to 47.

The decision was announced by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Qatar.

The Silk Road, which served as a corridor for trade and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe dating back 2,000 years ago, was inscribed on the World Heritage List along with the Grand Canal, which runs 1,794 kilometers from Beijing to Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province.


China's application for the Silk Road was jointly submitted with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the first transnational application for China.

"We hope the experience gained in the application process will lay the foundation for future transnational projects," said Tong Mingkang, deputy director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Du Yue, secretary general of the Chinese delegation at the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee, said the approval of the application would strengthen cultural exchanges between the three countries.

A total of 33 heritage sites are included along the historic trade route, 22 of which are located in the provinces of Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have eight and three sites respectively. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping mooted the idea of a Silk Road Economic Belt during his visit to Central Asia in 2013, which was then supported by many neighboring countries.

"Different from the Silk Road, China's Grand Canal is a living heritage, which makes its preservation more challenging. Many projects have increased awareness of preservation and improved protective measures during the application process. They should be further enhanced with more investments and higher standards," Chen Tongbin, director of China Architecture Design and Research Group, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying.

  • The Grand Canal, the longest artificial waterway in the world, dates back more than 2,400 years, still plays a dynamic role in transportation, irrigation and flood control.
  • Other canal systems are listed as World Heritage sites, including the Canal du Midi in France and the Amsterdam Canal District of the Netherlands.
"Those canals, built after the industrial revolution, date back some 300 years. The Grand Canal has significant historical and technological value," said An Jiayao, a research fellow with the Institute of Archaeology at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 
Source: Global Times
22- 23/6/14
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Πέμπτη, Ιουνίου 19, 2014

Australia hails Barrier Reef deferral. Environmentalists call UNESCO decision "final warning"

Australia Thursday called a decision by UNESCO to defer listing the Great Barrier Reef as in danger "a win for logic," but environmentalists said it was a final warning.

The UN cultural agency on Wednesday said the reef could be put on a list of endangered World Heritage Sites if more was not done to protect it.

It voiced alarm at a "serious decline in the condition" of the reef, and said "a business as usual approach to managing the property is not an option."

Australia was given until February 1 next year to submit a report on what it was doing to protect the natural wonder. The Queensland state government saw the deferral as "a tick of approval."


"I welcome this decision by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, which gives Queensland a big tick and it gives the work we are doing a big tick," state Environment Minister Andrew Powell said.

"Our strong plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef is already producing positive results, creating a brighter future that Queenslanders and tourists from around the world can enjoy. This decision is also a win for logic and science rather than rhetoric and scaremongering."

The reef is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, but is under pressure not only from climate change and the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, but agricultural runoff and development linked to mining.

  • UNESCO raised particular concerns about the approval in December of a massive coal port expansion in the region and allowing the dumping of millions of tons of dredge waste within the marine park waters.
Green groups said the government was on its final warning, and had "clearly not lived up to the standards expected by the international community."

"The World Heritage Committee has resisted intense pressure from the Australian and Queensland governments to water down its decision on the reef," said WWF-Australia reef campaigner Richard Leck, who is in Doha for the committee's annual meeting.

"Instead, the committee has put Australia firmly on notice to take stronger action to protect the Great Barrier Reef."

"This is a victory for the millions around the world who say our reef is not a dump."

The World Heritage Committee is also due to consider a request from Australia to de-list 74,000 hectares (183,000 acres) of the Tasmanian Wilderness, one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest in the world.

The move, which could give access to loggers, has been denounced by environmental groups and led to thousands protesting last weekend outside Tasmania's state parliament in Hobart.

Sources: AFP - globaltimes.cn
19/6/14
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Κυριακή, Μαΐου 25, 2014

Silk Road inscription into World Heritage list "hopeful"

The multinational campaign to include the Silk Road into the World Heritage list has entered the final countdown, with officials and experts sanguine about its success.

Jointly submitted by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, the application for adding part of the millennium-old trade route into the UNESCO list is expected to be finalized by a vote in June, when the World Heritage Committee convenes its 38th session in Doha.


Tong Mingkang, deputy director of China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage, was optimistic about the result as the route had won recommendation from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which serves as an important reference during the vote.

"We're now emphasizing conservation and management of the relics, and solving some technical problems," Tong told Xinhua on Friday during a seminar on the protection of Silk Road cultural heritages held in Xi'an City in northwest China.

As it is the first time China has cooperated with foreign countries for a World Heritage nomination (also the case for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), Tong described the Silk Road project as "very difficult", as the nominated heritages are often in different protection states, face different threats and are of different natures.

The application consists of 33 historical sites along the route, including 22 in China, eight in Kazakhstan and three in Kyrgyzstan. They range from palaces and pagoda sites in cities to ruins in remote, inaccessible deserts.

"It required large amounts of collaborative efforts to make the world recognize their values and significance," he said. SEEING THE DAWN

Once treaded by camel-driving merchants carrying silk, porcelain and spice, the about 2,000-year-old Silk Road was an important corridor for trade and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe. It fell into disuse in the age of sailing in the 16th century.

The route once again came into the global spotlight after China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in 2011 formally launched the project to apply for adding "Silk Roads: Initial Section of the Silk Roads, the Routes Network of Tian-shan Corridor" into the World Heritage list.

An Jiayao, archaeologist with the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said success of the Silk Road campaign would be like "seeing the dawn" for researchers who have worked years, and even decades, on excavation and conservation of the relics.

Many Chinese archaeologists, including An, have taken part in UNESCO-initiated research on the Silk Road relics since 1990, but many of her colleagues have not lived to see the success which is almost on the horizon.

"They would be very glad if they knew that the Silk Road application for World Heritage eventually sees the dawn," An said at the seminar.

She said the nomination process has ushered in better protection for the relics, some of which had remained in oblivion or in a poor state of repair in the past.

Taking the Daming Palace as an example, the 67-year-old recalled when she joined its excavation in the 1990s, relics of this Tang Dynasty imperial palace in Xi'an, a starting point of the Silk Road, was encroached by graves and shantytowns.

Its fate was changed in 2007, when the Xi'an city government, in an effort to prepare the site for World Heritage status, began relocating locals to make way for a park, which opened in 2010 to better conserve and display the relics. STARTING POINT

In an evaluation report filed to the World Heritage Committee, the ICOMOS recognized the outstanding values of the Silk Road, saying they "contributed to the development of many of the world's great civilizations" and "represent one of the world's preeminent long-distance communication networks".

Still, experts with the ICOMOS expressed concerns about the threats facing properties, including urbanization, expanding roads and railways, and surging tourist numbers.

"In some places, there should be limits on the number of tourists to prevent damage to the ruins, while some others lack roads, facilities and management to receive visitors," said Rii Hae-un, executive committee member of the ICOMOS.

If the Silk Road gets enlisted, it will only be "a starting point", Rii said, urging the three countries to continue to work closely and address the insufficient protection at some nominated sites.

"From the beginning, the World Heritage List was created for the protection and conservation of heritages," Rii said, warning against neglecting conservation and management after inscription. Reports of such cases had prompted the committee to attach more weight to this regard during nomination and keep a close watch after inscription, Rii said.

Archaeologists also hope the expected inscription can inspire the protection of other sites along the Silk Road, many of which failed to enter this year's nomination list but carry no less historic value.

Tong said the Chinese government has put in force management plans for all the 22 nominated sites, while provincial and city governments administering them have signed agreements to better cooperate in protection.

Preparation for the inscription has also accrued experience for cross-boundary application for World Heritage status. The Maritime Silk Road, which also involves many countries, will surely benefit from the nomination of its overland peers, Tong said. 

[globaltimes.cn]
25/5/14
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Maritime Silk Road

Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 19, 2014

"Israel to respond strongly against those who attempt to harm": Netanyahu

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "Hamas should take into account that Israel would respond strongly against those who attempt to harm the country."

In response to a Gaza attack on Sunday morning, Netanyahu said the Israeli government is committed to "protecting tranquility in the south" and that they will continue their policy of pre-emptive action.
Israeli air forces attacked a Palestinian, allegedly held responsible for launching five rockets towards southern Israel last week. 


UN Science, Education and Culture Organization (UNESCO) cancelled a planned exhibition this weekend in France titled "Ties Between Jews and the Land of Israel" because it could harm peace talks between Palestine and Israel.

Netanyahu strongly criticized the cancellation of the exhibition, which he said would not harm negotiations.
‘’Negotiations are based on facts,’’ Netanyahu said. ‘’Truth does not hurt.’’
Netanyahu, who will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos between January 22 and 25, is scheduled to meet Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and respective managers at Google and Yahoo.
http://www.aa.com.tr/en/rss/276515--quot-israel-to-respond-strongly-against-those-who-attempt-to-harm-quot-netanyahu
19/1/14
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Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

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