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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.1 - General

Preamble

"(…) It is essential (…) to adopt new provisions in the form of a convention establishing an effective system of collective protection of the cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value, (…)."

Article 7

"For the purpose of this Convention, international protection of the world cultural and natural heritage shall be understood to mean the establishment of a system of international co-operation and assistance designed to support States Parties to the Convention in their efforts to conserve and identify that heritage."

Theme:  1.1.1 - General
Source:  Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.1 - General

1. “(…) [The World Heritage Convention] is an integral part of UNESCO’s overarching mandate to foster equitable sustainable development and to promote peace and security (…)”.

3. “By identifying, protecting, conserving, presenting and transmitting to present and future generations irreplaceable cultural and natural heritage properties of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), the World Heritage Convention, in itself, contributes significantly to sustainable development and the wellbeing of people At the same time, strengthening the three dimensions of sustainable development that are environmental sustainability, inclusive social development, and inclusive economic development, as well as the fostering of peace and security may bring benefits to World Heritage properties and support their OUV, if carefully integrated within their conservation and management systems”.

8. “In applying a sustainable development perspective within the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, States Parties should also recognize the close links and interdependence of biological diversity and local cultures within the socio-ecological systems of many World Heritage properties. These have often developed over time through mutual adaptation between humans and the environment, interacting with and affecting one another in complex ways, and are fundamental components of the resilience of communities. This suggests that any policy aiming to achieve sustainable development will necessarily have to take into consideration the interrelationship of biological diversity with the local cultural context”.

9. “All dimensions of sustainable development should apply to natural, cultural and mixed properties in their diversity. These dimensions are interdependent and mutually reinforcing, with none having predominance over another and each being equally necessary. States Parties should therefore review and reinforce governance frameworks within management systems of World Heritage properties in order to achieve the appropriate balance, integration and harmonization between the protection of OUV and the pursuit of sustainable development objectives. This will include the full respect and participation of all stakeholders and rights holders, including indigenous peoples and local communities, the setting up of effective inter-institutional coordination mechanisms and provisions for the systematic assessment of environmental, social, and economic impacts of all proposed developments, as well as effective monitoring through continuity in data collection against agreed indicators”.

Theme:  1.1.1 - General
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.1 - General

Paragraph 4

“The cultural and natural heritage is among the priceless and irreplaceable assets, not only of each nation, but of humanity as a whole. The loss, through deterioration or disappearance, of any of these most prized assets constitutes an impoverishment of the heritage of all the peoples of the world. Parts of that heritage, because of their exceptional qualities, can be considered to be of “Outstanding Universal Value” and as such worthy of special protection against the dangers which increasingly threaten them.”

Theme:  1.1.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.1 - General

Paragraph 7

“The [World Heritage] Convention aims at the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of cultural and natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value.”
Theme:  1.1.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.1 - General

Paragraph 14

“States Parties are encouraged to bring together their cultural and natural heritage experts at regular intervals to discuss the implementation of the Convention. States Parties may wish to involve representatives of the Advisory Bodies and other experts as appropriate.”
Theme:  1.1.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.1 - General

Paragraph 25

“In order to facilitate the implementation of the Convention, the Committee develops Strategic Objectives, (…) to ensure that new threats placed on World Heritage are addressed effectively.”
Theme:  1.1.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.1 - General

Paragraph 26

"The current Strategic Objectives (also referred to as “the 5 Cs”) are the following:

1. Strengthen the Credibility of the World Heritage List:
2. Ensure the effective Conservation of World Heritage Properties;
3. Promote the development of effective Capacity-building in States Parties:
4. Increase public awareness, involvement and support for World Heritage through Communication;
5. Enhance the role of Communities in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention."
Theme:  1.1.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.2 - World Heritage Committee

Article 8

1. An Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Outstanding Universal Value, called "the World Heritage Committee", is hereby established within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It shall be composed of 15 States Parties to the Convention, elected by States Parties to the Convention meeting in general assembly during the ordinary session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The number of States members of the Committee shall be increased to 21 as from the date of the ordinary session of the General Conference following the entry into force of this Convention for at least 40 States.

2. Election of members of the Committee shall ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world.

3. A representative of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (Rome Centre), a representative of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and a representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), to whom may be added, at the request of States Parties to the Convention meeting in general assembly during the ordinary sessions of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, representatives of other intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, with similar objectives, may attend the meetings of the Committee in an advisory capacity.


Article 9

3. States members of the Committee shall choose as their representatives persons qualified in the field of the cultural or natural heritage.

Theme:  1.1.2 - World Heritage Committee
Source:  Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.1 - Fundamental World Heritage policies

1.1.3 - Funding

Article 13.6

The Committee shall decide on the use of the resources of the Fund established under Article 15 of this Convention. It shall seek ways of increasing these resources and shall take all useful steps to this end.

Article 15

1. A Fund for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of Outstanding Universal Value, called "the World Heritage Fund", is hereby established.

4. Contributions to the Fund and other forms of assistance made available to the Committee may be used only for such purposes as the Committee shall define. The Committee may accept contributions to be used only for a certain programme or project, provided that the Committee shall have decided on the implementation of such programme or project. No political conditions may be attached to contributions made to the Fund.

Article 16

1. Without prejudice to any supplementary voluntary contribution, the States Parties to this Convention undertake to pay regularly, every two years, to the World Heritage Fund, contributions, the amount of which, in the form of a uniform percentage applicable to all States, shall be determined by the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention, meeting during the sessions of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (…).

Theme:  1.1.3 - Funding
Source:  Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes

28. “Sustainable development and the conservation of the world’s cultural and natural heritage are undermined by war, civil conflict and all forms of violence. The World Heritage Convention is an integral part of UNESCO’s established mandate to build bridges towards peace and security. It is therefore incumbent upon States Parties, in conformity also with provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The 1954 Hague Convention) and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols, for the States that have ratified them, as well as in accordance with the UNESCO Declaration concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage (2003) and international customary law protecting cultural property in the event of armed conflict, to ensure that the implementation of the World Heritage Convention is used to promote the achievement and maintenance of peace and security between and within States Parties”.

29. “Recalling also the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001), States Parties should therefore acknowledge the reality of cultural diversity within and around many World Heritage properties, and promote a culturally pluralistic approach in strategies for their conservation and management. (…)”.

Theme:  1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes

Paragraph 41

“The World Heritage Committee recognizes the benefits of closer co-ordination of its work with other UNESCO programmes and their relevant Conventions (…)”.
Theme:  1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes

Paragraph 42

“The World Heritage Committee with the support of the Secretariat will ensure appropriate coordination and information-sharing between the World Heritage Convention and other Conventions, programmes and international organizations related to the conservation of cultural and natural heritage.”
Theme:  1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes

Paragraph 44

Selected global Conventions and programmes relating to the protection of cultural and natural heritage

UNESCO Conventions and Programmes
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954)
Protocol I (1954)
Protocol II (1999)
Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970)
Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)
Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001)
Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)
Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme
Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005)

Other Conventions

Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar) (1971)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (1973)
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) (1979)
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (1982)
Convention on Biological Diversity (1992)
UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 1995)
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (New York, 1992)
Theme:  1.2 - UNESCO standard-setting texts and synergies with other Conventions and Programmes
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.3 - Shared Responsibility and International Cooperation

1.3.1 - General

Article 6

"1. Whilst fully respecting the sovereignty of the States on whose territory the cultural and natural heritage mentioned in Articles 1 and 2 is situated, and without prejudice to property right provided by national legislation, the States Parties to this Convention recognize that such heritage constitutes a world heritage for whose protection it is the duty of the international community as a whole to co-operate.

2. The States Parties undertake, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, to give their help in the identification, protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage referred to in paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 11 if the States on whose territory it is situated so request.

3. Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to take any deliberate measures which might damage directly or indirectly the cultural and natural heritage referred to in Articles 1 and 2 situated on the territory of other States Parties to this Convention."

Theme:  1.3.1 - General
Source:  Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.3 - Shared Responsibility and International Cooperation

1.3.1 - General

Paragraph 215

“The Committee develops and coordinates international co-operation in the area of research needed for the effective implementation of the Convention. States Parties are also encouraged to make resources available to undertake research, since knowledge and understanding are fundamental to the identification, management, and monitoring of World Heritage properties.”

Theme:  1.3.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.3 - Shared Responsibility and International Cooperation

1.3.2 - International Assistance

Paragraph 189

“The Committee shall allocate a specific, significant portion of the World Heritage Fund to financing of possible assistance to World Heritage properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.”

Theme:  1.3.2 - International Assistance
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.3 - Shared Responsibility and International Cooperation

1.3.2 - International Assistance

Paragraph 233

“The Convention provides International Assistance to States Parties for the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage located on their territories and inscribed, or potentially suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List. International Assistance should be seen as supplementary to national efforts for the conservation and management of World Heritage and Tentative List properties when adequate resources cannot be secured at the national level.”

Theme:  1.3.2 - International Assistance
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.3 - Shared Responsibility and International Cooperation

1.3.2 - International Assistance

Paragraph 237

“States Parties in arrears of payment of their compulsory or voluntary contributions to the World Heritage Fund are not eligible for international assistance, it being understood that this provision does not apply to requests for emergency assistance.”

Theme:  1.3.2 - International Assistance
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.3 - Shared Responsibility and International Cooperation

1.3.2 - International Assistance

Paragraph 238

“To support its Strategic Objectives, the Committee also allocates International Assistance in conformity with the priorities set out in its decisions and in the Regional Programmes it adopts as a follow up to Periodic Reports.”
Theme:  1.3.2 - International Assistance
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.3 - Shared Responsibility and International Cooperation

1.3.2 - International Assistance

Paragraph 239

“(…) The following considerations govern the Committee’s decisions in granting International Assistance:

a) the likelihood that the assistance will have a catalytic and multiplier effect (“seed money”) and promote financial and technical contributions from other sources;

b) when funds available are limited and a selection has to be made, preference is given to:

. a Least Developed Country or Low Income Economy as defined by the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Committee for Development Policy, or
. a Lower Middle Income Country as defined by the World Bank, or
. a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), or
. a State Party in a post-conflict situation;

c) the urgency of the protective measures to be taken at World Heritage properties;

d) whether the legislative, administrative and, wherever possible, financial commitment of the recipient State Party is available to the activity;

e) the impact of the activity on furthering the Strategic Objectives decided by the Committee;

f) the degree to which the activity responds to needs identified through the reactive monitoring process and/or the analysis of regional Periodic Reports;

g) the exemplary value of the activity in respect to scientific research and the development of cost effective conservation techniques;

h) the cost of the activity and expected results; and

i) the educational value both for the training of experts and for the general public.”

Theme:  1.3.2 - International Assistance
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)
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1.1.1 - General
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1.3.1 - General
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1.3.3 - Regional cooperation
1.4 - Heritage policies at national level
1.5 - Relation between culture and nature
2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List
2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and ...
2.2.2.1 - General
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2.2.3 - Authenticity
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2.2.5.1 - General
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2.2.5.3 - Management systems
2.2.5.4 - Sustainable use
2.2.6.1 - Boundaries
2.2.6.2 - Buffer Zones
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2.6 - Comparative studies
2.7.1 - Cultural, Natural and Mixed Properties
2.7.2 - Transboundary and transnational properties
2.7.3 - Serial properties
2.7.4.1 - General
3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World ...
3.2.1 - General
3.2.2 - Periodic Reporting
3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring
3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
3.2.5 - Deletion of a World Heritage property from the ...
3.3 - Impact assessments
3.4 - Disaster risks management
3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events
3.6 - Tourism and visitor management
3.7 - Sustainable development
4.1 - General capacity-building policies
5.1 - Education and awareness-raising
5.2 - Interpretation
5.3 - World Heritage emblem
6.1 - Participation of local communities and other ...
6.2 - Human rights and rights-based approach
6.3 - Gender equality
6.4 - Indigenous peoples
6.5 - Youth
6.6 - Fostering of peace and security