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Media Center > Press Releases > WORKS IN PROGRESS IN LEVUKA AFTER UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LISTING

WORKS IN PROGRESS IN LEVUKA AFTER UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LISTING

7/11/2013
With Fiji’s old capital Levuka now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Listing, further works are progressing to ensure the maintenance of the site’s uniqueness.

The Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts permanent secretary, Dr Brij Lal said Fiji would report back to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee in 2015 on the further works undertaken.

“There are three or four things that need to be done. One is looking at the Fiji World Heritage Decree; slight amendments have to be made. We also have to look at the conservation programme at Levuka, both of buildings and national sites, the landscape and we also have to have a Levuka Town Planning Scheme which various ministries are working on,” Dr Lal said.

“We also have to look at the existing buildings that are there to ensure that they are kept in the same shape. While some renovations can be done, they have to be kept to the same shape. Some of the ecological sites and an inventory for Levuka also have to be looked at.”

Dr Lal said the Ministry of Education was also providing assistance to schools within the zone so that they could upgrade and maintain their status.

“Every year, we provide a grant to schools in Levuka and this is for buildings. There are four schools within the zone.”

Dr Lal said the Fiji World Heritage Decree is the governing legislation that would ensure that the historic and unique structures in Levuka are maintained.

“We have met 90 per cent of the requirements at this stage. Come 2015, we would have met over 100 per cent. All the projects given to us are in progress. We are thankful to the people of Levuka for their support in getting Levuka listed on the UNESCO World Heritage,” Dr Lal added.

Levuka is among 14 new sites declared by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO -the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation -at its meeting in Cambodia last month.

Department of National Heritage, Culture and Arts senior policy planning officer, Sipiriano Nemani said it took them around two decades to get Levuka listed on the World Heritage Listing.

“The first submission that we made to World heritage Centre in Paris indicating our efforts to have Levuka listed was in. In 2012, we had a review and that inculcated some provisions to help Levuka be part of the listing,” Mr Nemani said.
 
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