Socotra to be declared World Heritage site [Archives:2007/1039/Local News]

April 5 2007

Jamal Al-Najjar
SANA'A, April 4 ) Minister of Water and Environment Abdul-Rahman Fadhl Al-Eryani has confirmed that Socotra Island will be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site within a year.

His statement came during presentation of a Socotra archipelago program produced by MM Promotion Studio Slovenia-EU at the Yemeni House for Music to inaugurate a promotional and tourism campaign for Socotra.

“Two weeks ago, we were informed by UNESCO that Socotra Island has been listed among World Heritage sites. Therefore, it's incumbent upon the Yemeni government to put in place a sustainable development plan that doesn't harm island residents or their homes,” Al-Eryani pointed out.

He further revealed that Zabid city already has been on the World Heritage list, but negligence and mismanagement have hindered the process and delayed the city's nomination.

The Yemeni House for Music, which collects Yemeni cultural heritage, including songs and traditional dance nationwide, will conduct a field survey on the island to document all types of musical arts, as well as produce a documentary film as part of its media campaign about the island.

“Yemeni musical heritage remains unclear due to negligence. Since the establishment of the Yemeni House for Music in April 2006, we've been working on collecting Yemeni music as part of Yemen's cultural heritage,” explains Fuad Al-Sharjabi, director of the Yemeni House for Music.

The U.N. World Heritage administration so far has declared 200 World Heritage cities and reserves worldwide, including Sana'a and Shibam Hadramout. Apart from the cultural heritage cities in Yemen, Sharma and Bura'a Natural Reserves are due to be officially declared, thanks to their rare animal species.

During the inauguration, Miran A. Hvala, director of MM Promotion Studio Slovenia, presented a DVD documentary he recently prepared about Socotra Island, including the archipelago's natural landscapes and folk music.