Monitoring Mission of the UNESCO Site “Venice and its Lagoon”

The monitoring mission determined by UNESCO and aimed at assessing the state of preservation of the World Heritage Site “Venice and its Lagoon” took place from 13th to 18th October. The lagoon site is currently being carefully observed by international organizations that will assess to what extent Italy - a State Party which adhered to the UNESCO 1972 Convention - complies with the many measures set forth by the World Heritage Committee in order to ensure the preservation of the universal values of the site. The heart of the matter is the site complexity regarding different aspects whose impact has to be assessed in relation both to the cultural heritage and to the environmental resources: tourism, infrastructures, changes in the lagoon ecosystem. The mission carried out from 13th to 18th October followed the same strategy and saw experts from the UNESCO World Heritage Center, the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat participating in several inspections and meetings. The delegation had the opportunity to meet both the institutional authorities in charge of site protection, and the main stakeholders involved. Moreover, the many inspections and meetings allowed them to understand the main political, socio-economic, cultural, environmental and scenic features of Venice and its lagoon. The delegation was accompanied by the City of Venice -UNESCO Site Office (on behalf of the Steering Committee, responsible for the management of the UNESCO site and made up of 21 local competent authorities), the MiBACT - UNESCO Office Secretariat General (focal point for the implementation of the Convention on World Heritage protection), and the UNESCO Office in Venice during all activities. The mission outcomes will be disclosed in the next few weeks. International experts will provide a report which will be used for further assessment by UNESCO organizations. The matter will probably come up for discussion at the annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee, planned for the summer 2016 in Turkey.