The World Heritage Advisory Forum, formerly the World Heritage Bid Steering Committee, held its second meeting last Thursday at the Gibraltar Museum. The meeting was chaired by Dr John Cortes, the minister with responsibility for heritage; this was his first meeting after taking on heritage matters at the end of 2016.

The meeting covered a wide range of issues related to the new Gorham’s Cave Complex World Heritage Site. Among the items that were discussed was the review of an action plan for the coming year. Among the immediate matters within the plan was the opening of the new viewing platform at Europa Advance Batteries 1 & 2, of which more will follow in a further announcement. The annual excavations at Gorham’s and Vanguard Caves will also resume, once again for a period of two months after the shorter 2016 season due to commitments related to the process of World Heritage inscription.

Commenting on his first meeting Dr Cortes said he was delighted to be chairing this forum, which had a great balance of stakeholders covering a wide range of aspects, from archaeology to natural history. “This was an excellent meeting with a first class team of professionals and experts”. He added “it is a wonderful example of how integrated heritage management can work and a good template for how we will be managing the rest of Gibraltar’s heritage in the future.”