Prof. Eliahu Stern of the Department of Geography and Environmental Development has been appointed by Education Minister Shai Piron to serve as chairman of the National Committee of World Heritage to UNESCO beginning September 1.
The committee chooses, prepares and presents sites for registration with UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Today, Israel has eight such sites – some of them serial – which come to a total of 14 places/sites including Masada, the biblical towns of Hatzor, Megiddo, and Tel Beer-Sheva, the White City of Tel Aviv, the Old City of Acre, the Spice Route and Nabatean cities in the Negev, the Bahai sites and the prehistoric caves in the Carmel mountain.
Stern has been a member of the committee for ten years and has served as Chairman, Forum UNESCO in Israel - Universities & Heritage for the past six years.
In his new position, he will manage the entire registration process of heritage sites in Israel and will represent the country at the global heritage committee meetings which meet annually in a different place each year. This week the global committee meeting is being held in Doha, Qatar, where one of the agenda items is the registration of the Beit Guvrin and Maresha Caves as a world heritage site.