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World Heritage sites are beautiful and wonderful places with great values attached to them due to their uncommon nature. According to the Department of Environment and Conservation: World Heritage: Shark Bay Heritage Area (2009, p. 1), world heritage sites are mysteries, and they bear great memories in those who visit them. In this paper, research will be concentrated on The Royal Exhibition Building, and Carlton Gardens found in Melbourne city in Australia.
The Royal Exhibition Building was constructed between 1879 and 1880 in Melbourne (Heritage Victoria: Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens n.d.). It was constructed at this particular point of time since it was to house the international exhibition in 1880. According to Sopray: Assessment of Significance (n.d., p.148), this site is significant because it is one of the world’s 19th century exhibitions that remains standing. It is argued that this building shows the wealth and confidence of Victoria era in the 1870s.
The Carlton Gardens are also significant since they serve as a habitat for many plants like palms, conifers, and evergreen trees. The Royal Exhibition Building and the Carlton Gardens are of great social significant to the people who interact with them, both the residents and the tourists (Sopray: Assessment of Significance n.d., p. 148).
Primary Challenges Management
Adiplock: REB & CGWH Heritage Management Plan (2011, p. 8) stated that the Department of Environment and Heritage in Australia came up with some basic objectives of world heritage properties management in Australia. Some of the objectives that were set are to conserve and protect the world heritage value of the sites, to incorporate the protection of the site into a complete planning program and to ensure that people have knowledge concerning world heritage value of the property.
The world heritage sites in Australia face challenges in accommodating tourism. The Department of the Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property (n.d., p. 58) highlighted that the royal exhibition building deals with huge crowds of tourists who visit this site each year. However, it is not overwhelmed by these huge numbers since it has upgraded some projects in management of the numbers.
The Carlton Gardens are utilized by both residents and visitors since they are attractive and also located near the central business district of Melbourne. Each year, these sites are repaired after they have been used, and this maintains them in good conditions. On the other hand, the Australia Department of Environment and Heritage: Australia’s world heritage places (2010, p.2) argued that some caves are not accessible since they are restricted to tourists who may be eager to visit such places.
However, to manage this challenge the management has provided light to other unrestricted areas in the same caves to ensure that there is save public viewing. This is one way which has been used to manage and protect the value that is attached to the caves. The walk tracks and picnic areas have also been improved in order to cope with the big number of tourists flowing in.
There is development pressure affecting the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens sites. These sites cannot be sold or transferred to anyone without an Act of the Victorian state parliament. The environment protection authority in Melbourne supervises the quality of air in the city.
Therefore, the issue of pollution is not a challenge in this city at all and there is no environmental pressure that can destroy the building and the gardens. This gives it a credit before the eyes of the tourists who frequently visit these attractive sites (Department of the Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property n.d., p. 58).
According to the Department of Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property (n.d., p. 58), Melbourne is not a high-risk zone for volcanic disturbances; however, it has ever recorded some small earthquakes. The only risk to this building is fire since its large part is constructed using timber, which can catch fire easily.
This risk is foreseen and therefore, a full sprinkler system has been installed, and fire alarms have been directly connected to the fire brigade in Melbourne. The fire brigade is located less than 500 meters from this site, and this becomes an advantage for The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.
There are guards, a caretaker, and other staff that work and reside within this property. It is therefore maintained, and guarded for its value to be maintained throughout (Department of Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property n.d., p. 58).
According to the Australia Department of Environment and Heritage: Australia’s world heritage places (2010, p.2), the scientists who do research by collecting residue for investigation through digging are likely to destroy the world heritage sites. It is argued that there is a need for a balance to be observed to ensure that research is not done at the expense of the environment.
The research methods should observe respect to world heritage values, local communities and traditional owners. However, research is important and it should be conducted in relevant areas to pave the way for improvement in the management of the world heritage.
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The royal exhibition building also experiences the challenge related to conservation and maintenance. According to Australian Government Department of the Environment, water, Heritage and the Arts: Challenges and management (2010, p. 1), this challenge is managed through the conservation management plan that involve risk preparedness.
Carton Gardens are also managed through an environmentally sustainable way of watering and taking care of the tree which are over 110 years old. Funds have been obtained, which will be used to install water harvesting and storage systems underground. The management wishes to end this challenge through storing 900,000 litres which can ensure that Carlton Gardens is watered throughout.
The Royal Exhibition Building and the Carlton Garden challenges are managed through the management plan that ensures that actions that are of unsustainable impact on the Royal Exhibition Building, and the Carlton Garden cannot be approved. This helps in conservation and management of the building.
Department of Planning and Community Development, the royal exhibition and Carlton gardens: world heritage management plan (2011, p. 5) highlights that management plan minimizes duplication in the general assessment and approval of actions that may impact on the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.
The management plan has also ensured that the Australian government, and the Victoria state ensures that the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens are protected and conserved in order to maintain its attractiveness and value.
The Royal Exhibition Building and the Carlton Garden realize a high number of visitors and tourists throughout the year. There are fixed displays and guided tours through the employed staff. They usually take tourists through a slide show tour detailed on the construction of this property.
This encourages the tourist to frequently visit since the place is conducive and through this interpretation, they are able to grasp a lot in terms of history of The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens(Department of Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property n.d.).
The staff members who are employed here are well trained to handle and address the needs of all the visitors, including those with special needs. This ensures that the tourists in this place feel accommodated when they receive the assistance they may be in need of in this strange place. This building also has a theatre section with audiovisual shows that are also used as a tour guide, they give more information that those who attend to visitors might not touch on.
It is stated that over 300,000 tourists visit the Royal Exhibition Building with an aim of having commercial events every year. This shows that the number that visits this site per year is high hence the need to maintain it as a way of preserving nature and culture of the indigenous people in this place (Department of Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property n.d.).
Due to the large numbers of people that Royal Exhibition Building receives, it has to provided accommodation, entertainment, restaurants, and shops. All these are geared to ensuring that the visitors are comfortable while visiting this site and also as a way of adding more value to The Royal Exhibition and Carlton Garden.
These shops contain some of the products that are related to the Royal Exhibition Building; this makes them even more attractive to the tourists who visit this site for their first time. Security is ensured in this site and alarm are set 24 hours and also the securical companies patrol the whole building throughout to ensure protection to the site and the tourist inside this place (Department of Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property n.d.).
Protection of the World Heritage Values
The museum board is responsible for maintaining the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens sites. Commercial income stream funds the daily maintenance of the Royal Exhibition Building. Building, facilities, and venue management groups are involved in working within these sites and ensuring that everything is in order and ready for any tourists who may wish to visit at any time.
The protection systems, especially against fire are maintained to ensure that any eventuality can be dealt with accordingly without interfering with the flow of the tourists visiting this site. UNESCO World Heritage Centre: Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit (2011, p 9) argued that it has become a priority for states to improve the effectiveness of protected areas through management and the best way to do so is through examining the management strategies and evaluate their effectiveness. This will give the states an opportunity to know what they need to change and come-up with lasting solutions that will curb such problems in the future.
There is also need for the management of the world heritage sites to observe the balance that should exist between commercial and conservation values. Since these sites are important, Sheehan (n.d., p.7) highlights that there should be balance because if such sites are not protected they will be no more in the future. It is therefore, crucial that conservation values will not be assumed and in addition, commercial values should not be valued more than conservation.
The operation manager, venue manager, office manager and casual staff are among the people who ensure smooth running of the sites. The Department of Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property (n.d., p. 25) stated that planning and management of the Carlton Gardens is done by the planning unit and the business support unit from Melbourne city.
These exhibitions have brought balance between the world heritage values and tourist needs. Adiplock: REB & CGWH Heritage Management Plan (2011, p. 8) stated that: “The exhibitions themselves brought people and ideas together on a grand scale, in diverse locations around the world, and greatly enhanced international social and economic links” (Adiplock: REB & CGWH Heritage Management Plan 2011, p. 8).
World Heritage Committee
The World Heritage Committee comprises of 21 representatives from the state parties and they hold their meetings yearly. According to the World Heritage Committee: The World Heritage Committee (2011, p. 1), the world heritage committee decides how the finances are to be used in different areas of the properties. Through managing the finances, it is able to ensure that there are better standards in the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.
The world heritage committee also investigates the reports of conservation of each site and if poorly managed it requests the concerned state to take care and manage it properly. The committee also expects the state parties to report to them if any danger is about to happen or happens. The committee, therefore, takes the initiative to look for a way forward for such sites.
According to World Heritage Committee: The World Heritage Committee (2011, p. 1), through the world heritage committee, the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens have retained their value and authenticity despite many such sites being no more. Through proper management, they have remained some of the tourists’ attractions in Australia, with their value of retaining culture and tradition being one of the reasons why many visitors visit these sites.
Adiplock: REB & CGWH Heritage Management Plan 2011, Melbourne, Australia.
Australia Department of Environment and Heritage: Australia’s world heritage places 2010. Web.
Australian Government Department of the Environment, water, Heritage and the Arts: Challenges and management 2010. Web.
Department of Environment and Conservation: World Heritage: Shark Bay Heritage Area 2009. Web.
Department of Planning and Community Development, the royal exhibition and Carlton gardens: world heritage management plan 2011. Web.
Department of the Environment and Heritage: Factors affecting the property n.d., Melbourne, Australia.
Heritage Victoria: Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens n.d., Melbourne, Australia.
Sheehan, John n.d., The conservation of national heritage building: the Australian experience. Web.
Sopray: Assessment of Significance n.d., Melbourne, Australia.
UNESCO World Heritage Centre: Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit 2012. Web.
World Heritage Committee: The World Heritage Committee 2012. Web.