Limited distribution                                WHC-93/CONF.002/INF.5
                                                        Original: English
                                                  Paris, 23 November 1993

                       UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL,


                         WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE

                           Seventeenth Session

                           Cartagena, Colombia
                          6 to 11 December 1993

U.K. (1 to 4 November 1993)


This document is the report of the expert meeting convened
at the request of the sixteenth session of the World
Heritage Committee held in December 1992 in Santa Fe.
Individuals from the natural and cultural fields met from
1 through 4 November 1993 at the World Conservation
Monitoring Centre, in Cambridge, U.K. We were received
most hospitably by the WCMC, and wish to express our
gratitude to them and to the World Heritage Centre for
organizing the meeting.

A number of the individuals who attended the meeting
reported on cases from their own experience around the
world relating to the issues at hand. The discussions of
the entire group and the resulting recommendations were
firmly grounded in practical experience and professional

We recommend that this document be used by the Committee in
the work of strengthening the guidelines, standards, and
procedures for systematic and continuous monitoring of the
state of conservation of World Heritage sites. We
anticipate that enhanced strategies of reporting and
monitoring will have the effect of improving the quality
and usefulness of support afforded to site managers by the


We wish to emphasize the importance of the next step by the
Committee and the Secretariat to put in place a structure
that enables them to oversee the implementation of our
recommendations and to follow up the resulting information.
Otherwise we see a danger that the authority and integrity
of the World Heritage Convention will be compromised.


In our discussions we distinguished the following three
types of monitoring:

a)   systematic monitoring: a continuous process of
     monitoring the conditions of World Heritage sites with
     periodic reporting;

b)   ad-hoc monitoring: reporting on the state of
     conservation of a specific site when the need arises,
     in general in response to information received at
     UNESCO or the advisory bodies of the Convention, or in
     response to an emergency situation;

c)   administrative monitoring: follow-up to ensure the
     implementation of the Convention by States Parties as
     well as recommendations and decisions of the World
     Heritage Bureau and Committee;

The representative of the Ramsar Convention informed that
they apply procedures similar to the above. Systematic
monitoring is in cooperation with the World Conservation
Union (IUCN) and the International Waterfowl and Wetlands
Research Bureau (IWRB). Ad-hoc monitoring relates to sites
where threatening ecological change takes place, while
administrative monitoring is carried out by the Convention

This expert meeting dealt with systematic monitoring
exclusively. By "monitoring" we mean, therefore, a process
of continuous co-operation between site managers, States
Parties and the World Heritage Convention and its partners
involving the continuous/repeated observation of the
condition(s) of the site, identification of issues that
threaten the conservation and World Heritage
characteristics of the site and the identification of
decisions to be taken; and reporting the results of
monitoring and recommendations to the appropriate
authorities, the World Heritage Bureau and Committee and
the cultural and scientific communities.

Monitoring in this sense is predicated on the existence of
a base of information that describes the heritage
properties, their use and management as well as their
characteristics, qualities and significance. It is a
process of repeated comparison of the current status of a
site against the original baseline information about its


physical, social and administrative condition, undertaken
with the collaboration of local authorities and

Systematic monitoring and reporting will have to apply to
all sites on the World Heritage List and in a larger notion
should also include an appreciation of the overall
implementation of the World Heritage Convention at the
national level.


The World Heritage Convention sets out the responsibility
of the States Parties, in collaboration with the
appropriate regional and local agencies and institutions,
to put in place an adequate structure for the conservation
and management of World Heritage sites.

We consider that monitoring and reporting arrangements are
an essential part of such a structure. We recommend that
the World Heritage Committee request the States Parties to
put monitoring arrangements in place and report to the
UNESCO World Heritage Centre on the action they have taken
in order to do so. As they proceed, States Parties should
ensure that the arrangements they make have the following

3.1. Information

To form a foundation for subsequent monitoring reports,
baseline information must be collected according to
international standards that define the condition of the
site as well as the administrative and legal framework. In
the case of cultural and mixed sites this will include an
assessment of their physical and social conditions.
Baseline information should also include a statement of the
universal significance and the character of sites.
Guidelines to implement this process should be developed by
the Committee and its expert advisers, drawing upon the
experiences in this field of the World Conservation
Monitoring Centre for natural sites and other institutions
for cultural sites.

The Committee should insist on stringent adherence to the
regulations of the nomination process regarding the
materials required for the original nomination and
documentation. We recommend that revised nomination and
evaluation procedures be sufficiently rigorous and thorough
to ensure the provision of adequate baseline information.

The Committee could also consider promoting, at the time of
inscription, orientation sessions for site managers and
national authorities to encourage greater appreciation for
the Convention and the implications of inscription.


In the case of sites that have already been inscribed, the
first stage in the monitoring process, making use of
existing information resources, should be the compilation
of a statement equivalent to what should now be required of
newly proposed sites.

Every five years, the information collected on each site
should be reviewed and updated. This is the heart of the
monitoring process. Every twenty years sites should undergo
a comprehensive re-evaluation to determine whether the
sites still meet, totally or partially, the criteria under
which they had been originally included.

3.2. Standards

The procedures recommended should respect and reinforce the
existing guidelines for site management with project
programming and short and medium term reporting at regular
intervals and a quinquenial review of maintenance and
management. Systematic monitoring is a part of the same

3.3. Outputs

Every fifth year, the monitoring process should produce a
written site-specific state of conservation report along
with supporting material, all of which should be stored
centrally, and distributed upon request to those who
require it.

We recommend that the Committee establish a format for this
reporting. The format of these reports should, however, be
flexible and be fully adaptable so as to relate closely to
the characteristics and requirements of the various sites.

Executive summaries including recommendations for follow-up
actions should be prepared for presentation to the

Emergency reporting may be necessary in response to
information received regarding heritage at risk or to
extreme situations. Periodic reporting on an annual basis
is required for sites under specific threat and for sites
inscribed on the World Heritage List in Danger. Continuous
monitoring will allow for advance planning, as well as the
organization and implementation of relief operations where

In cases where monitoring is undertaken on a national or
regional basis, a regional/national state of conservation


report should be prepared, drawing general conclusions and
identifying broad patterns of problems. This should also
lead to national/regional World Heritage policies, training
and promotional activities.

These reports should be useful:
-    in the process of day-to-day management,
-    in clarifying needs for protective legislation at the
     national and local levels,
-    in setting major goals and new policy directions,
-    in institutional development at national and local
-    in the decision-making process of the Committee, and
-    in assessing the States Parties response to its World
     Heritage Convention obligations.

3.4. Partners

We consider that it is essential that the site managers be
involved in the process of monitoring, and that there be
some participation by professionals or an agency
independent of the national organization with direct
management responsibility.

In order to optimize the impact and efficiency of
monitoring and the results thereof we recommend a national
or regional approach to monitoring. For each programme of
monitoring, appropriate partners should be identified for
involvement. Such programmes could be initiated with
workshops for the partners and other participants in the
monitoring activity with the objectives of establishing the
framework, defining needs for training in the methods, and
identifying professional resources in the region.

Although in principle the same procedures will apply to all
World Heritage sites, the specific characteristics of the
natural and the cultural heritage will have to be
acknowledged. In this context, the World Heritage Centre
will in particular draw upon the considerable experience of
the advisory bodies and other partners in monitoring and

Natural sites:

The World Heritage Centre will in particular be supported
by IUCN and the WCMC, in partnership with site managers and
other appropriate partners (e.g. universities, NGO's,
independent professionals) in the reporting on natural
sites. In this respect, we recommend the following:

-    IUCN and WCMC should work with States Parties to
     review and update basic information on inscribed
     natural sites on a five-year cycle, using standard-
     format information sheets (revised to include the
     reasons for listing more explicitly);


-    IUCN should expand the use of regional and national
     networks to assist in reporting on the status of World
     Heritage sites.

Cultural sites:

We recommend that the following be considered for
involvement in the monitoring and reporting process:

-    UNESCO offices and networks and other appropriate UN
-    advisory bodies (ICCROM, ICOMOS)
-    local and national authorities
-    site managers and staff
-    professional organizations
-    national and regional universities and conservation
-    non-governmental organizations
-    independent professionals in the appropriate fields.

Mixed sites:

In the case of mixed sites a combination of the above will
be required.


An assessment and reassessment of available resources and
needs should be made on a regular basis to define the goals
and -requirements for training, and strategies should be
developed to identify the appropriate target groups.This
should be undertaken by the World Heritage Centre in a
cooperative effort with ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN.

The World Heritage Centre should ensure that the topic of
monitoring is included in all regional training workshops.

The monitoring process should lead to improved cooperation
within and between countries and regions and promote
regional cooperation.

Monitoring should lead to improved quality of World
Heritage support. World Heritage assistance should
preferably be based upon monitoring reports and their
conclusions and recommendations for future action.
Monitoring should facilitate decision-making and priority
setting in relation to technical assistance, training and
other remedial actions.



In order to implement successfully a systematic
monitoring/reporting system it will be necessary to
undertake the following actions:

5.1. request the States Parties to put monitoring
     arrangements in place and report to the World Heritage
     Centre on the actions they have taken to do so;

5.2. establish the structures at different levels (notably
     at the national level and at the World Heritage
     Centre) that will enable the implementation of the
     monitoring and reporting system;

5.3. establish guidelines for baseline information and its
     collection and management;

5.4. revise the nomination and evaluation procedures and
     process to secure baseline information at the time of
     inscription of the site on the World Heritage List;

5.5. establish a format for reporting;

5.6. commission the World Heritage Centre jointly with
     ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN to determine the needs and
     format for training in methods required by this
     enhanced programme of monitoring and reporting.