First UN review for Blaenavon World Heritage Site
A review has been undertaken on the Blaenavon World Heritage Site for the first time.
The purpose of the review is to assure the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) points to ensure the effective protection and management of sites are being upheld at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site.
As the site was inscribed in 2000, this is its first review.
The review comprises of a questionnaire made up of 170 questions that covers factors affecting the protection, management and monitoring of the site.
It was concluded that the Blaenavon World Heritage Site Partnership has maintained its OUV. Head of Economy, Enterprise and Environment for Torfaen Council, Cath Thomas, said: “A lot of people won’t know where the World Heritage Site starts and finishes, which was highlighted in the report.
“This is something that is constantly being worked on and information is made available through organised walks and at the World Heritage Centre.”
However, the review highlights that out of 77 factors, five are considered as posing a current risk to the area and require further attention.
This includes the input of renewable energy facilities, erosion caused by water damage, illegal activities such as vehicles off roading in the landscape, deliberate destruction of the heritage landscape and hyper-abundant species such as bracken on the landscape.
The Blaenavon World Heritage Site Partnership is managing the impact of each of these factors.
The review, which was undertaken in order to maintain the World Heritage Site Status, also identified that there was a need for a buffer zone around the World Heritage Site, as the boundaries were not known by local residents.
The reviewwill nowbe presented to the Blaenavon World Heritage Site Partnership Board on March 27, and will be submitted for final review at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in July. Torfaen Council Cabinet noted the outcome of the review at the cabinet meeting yesterday (March 19) and approved the report’s submission.