In April 2007, GCI staff participated as instructors and resource personnel in a weeklong workshop entitled "World Heritage Management over Time—Maintaining Values and Significance," presented by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Hiroshima, Japan. This is the fourth in a six-year series of UNITAR workshops on the management and conservation of World Heritage Sites.
The UNITAR workshops, one of the main program pillars of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office for Asia and the Pacific, aims to facilitate better utilization of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention through providing support to national policy making and planning, as well as information exchange on best practices and case studies. UNITAR workshops are designed to train heritage site managers in a values-based approach to cultural and natural heritage resource management.
Eleven years have passed since the inscription of the Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome and the Itsuku-shima Shinto Shrine on the World Heritage List in 1996. To mark this occasion, in the 2007 session, UNITAR and its faculty decided to focus on the management of World Heritage Sites over time in order to maintain their values and significance. Designation as a World Heritage Site potentially entails significant changes to a site's tangible and intangible aspects. The two sites in Hiroshima have also seen a shift in their significance, and they therefore provided a case study for the training workshop, which gathered forty-seven participants from twenty-four countries, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region.