The Steering Committee which saw the successful bid of the Gorham’s Cave Complex as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016, became the World Heritage Advisory Forum (WHAF) after inscription. WHAF, chaired by the Minister with responsibility for Heritage including the World Heritage Site itself, is defined as the main body established by the Minister to advise on matters pertaining to Gorham’s Cave Complex under the Gorham’s Cave Complex Regulations 2019. WHAF is a formal meeting point for the World Heritage Site’s stakeholders.
A meeting of WHAF, chaired by the Hon Professor John Cortes, was held last Thursday with the purpose of reviewing progress at the site and, specifically, to take part in the formal consultation procedure of stakeholders in the process of Periodic Reporting which comes round every six years. The process is overseen by Gibraltar’s World Heritage Office (WHO), which is run by the Gibraltar National Museum as the competent authority under the Gorham’s Cave Complex Regulations. The Gibraltar WHO has been liaising with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) of the United Kingdom Government, who act on behalf of the United Kingdom as State Party to the World Heritage Convention. DCMS will report on all the United Kingdom’s sites, including the Gorham’s Cave Complex, to UNESCO as part of the Periodic Reporting process.
Commenting after the meeting, Professor Cortes expressed his satisfaction at the good state of conservation of the Gorham’s Cave Complex World Heritage Site. “The Periodic Reporting Process is a lengthy and complicated procedure and I am very happy with the progress that has been made by our WHO. I am also very pleased at the input given by the various stakeholders in this process. We have a fantastic World Heritage Site, one that we should all be proud of, and H.M. Government of Gibraltar will continue in its commitment to support it and its development.”