CALAKMUL - Development and use of a 4D Geographic Information System to support the conservation of the Calakmul site (Mexico)

Context and objectives

Within the framework of the R&D cooperation agreement between the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) and UNESCO/WHP (2007-2011), a multi-disciplinary Belgian team of experts will assist UNESCO (within the ‘World Heritage Programme’ and the ‘Man and Biosphere Programme’ perspective) and the local partners in the conservation management of UNESCO- sites

Following UNESCO requirements, GIM proposes to develop and implement a four-dimensional Geographic Information System (4D GIS) for the conservation authorities of the Biosphere Reserve and Archaeological Urban Centre of Calakmul located in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico). Such a system will also help the Mexican Authorities to submit a comprehensive information dossier in order for the Calakmul site to be recognized as a ‘mixed world heritage site’.

A prospective study “Towards a complete Calakmul Conservation and Information System” has been preceding the full project in the framework of R&D to support natural and cultural heritage conservation and was performed during the second quarter of 2007. The Belgium Consortium will include all user needs identified during the prospective study as far as possible within the scope of the project and available resources. Best efforts will be performed to integrate most of the data that UNESCO and users can provide. In addition, the Consortium, while developing the conservation system and integrating available data, will also advise to plan additional data gatherings that in the long-term should be elaborated by the Mexican conservation authorities.