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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

Article 5

"[The World Heritage Convention calls upon States Parties] to adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community (…)."

Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

17. “(…) Inclusive social development is at the heart of the implementation of the (…) Convention. States Parties should further recognise that full inclusion, respect and equity of all stakeholders, including local and concerned communities and indigenous peoples, together with a commitment to gender equality, are a fundamental premise for inclusive social development (…)”.

19. “World Heritage properties have the potential to enhance quality of life and wellbeing of all stakeholders, and in particular local communities (…)”.

Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

3. “In view of the increasing challenges to our shared heritage, we will:

c) (…) seek to ensure an appropriate and equitable balance between conservation, sustainability and development, so that World Heritage properties can be protected through appropriate activities contributing to the social and economic development and the quality of life of our communities;

f) (…) seek to ensure the active involvement of our local communities at all levels in the identification, protection and management of our World Heritage properties”.

Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  WHC-02/CONF.202/5 The Budapest Declaration on World Heritage

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

Paragraph 39

“A partnership approach to nomination, management and monitoring provides a significant contribution to the protection of World Heritage properties and the implementation of the Convention.

Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

Paragraph 40

“Partners in the protection and conservation of World Heritage can be those individuals and other stakeholders, especially local communities, indigenous peoples, governmental, non-governmental and private organizations and owners who have an interest and involvement in the conservation and management of a World Heritage property.”
Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

Paragraph 64

“States Parties are encouraged to prepare their Tentative Lists with the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders, including site managers, local and regional governments, local communities, NGOs and other interested parties and partners.”

Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

Paragraph 117

“States Parties are responsible for implementing effective management activities for a World Heritage property. State Parties should do so in close collaboration with property managers, the agency with management authority and other partners, and stakeholders in property management.”
Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

[The General Assembly adopted the Vision and Action Plan by Resolution 18 GA 11; the paragraph refers to the report]

8. “The World Heritage Convention is implemented through a wide and ever-expanding network of actors. Each has an important role to play in shaping policies, driving management practices, building capacity and expanding awareness of cultural and natural heritage. (…) It is also important to ensure that local, national and international communities feel a connection to, engage with and benefit from the world’s natural and cultural heritage."
Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Source:  WHC-11/18.GA/11 Future of the World Heritage Convention

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

5. "[The World Heritage Committee] decides to maintain credibility, conservation, capacity building and communication as strategic objectives in the implementation of the Convention whilst restating the different components and, recognizing the critical importance of involving indigenous, traditional and local communities in the implementation of the Convention, further decides to add ‘communities’ as a fifth strategic objective."

Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Decision:  31COM 13A

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

15. g) “[The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to] establish and promote horizontal cooperation and understanding among various institutions that have an impact on cultural and natural heritage, also including governmental institutions responsible for UNESCO programmes implementation on national level, economy, finance, regional development/ planning, tourism, social welfare as well as local authorities”.
Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Decision:  35COM 12E

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

40. "[The World Heritage Committee] takes note with appreciation of the Chairperson of the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee’s initiative on structured dialogue with civil society and encourages States Parties and civil society organizations to continue exploring possibilities how civil society can further contribute to enhanced conservation of heritage on the site and national level and provide relevant input to the heritage related debate at the global level."
Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Decision:  41COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

5. "[The World Heritage Committee] affirms the value of strengthening and improving dialogue between the Advisory Bodies and the States Parties."
Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Decision:  42COM 5B

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

13. "[The World Heritage Committee] welcomes the continued interest of civil society organizations in the Convention, acknowledging the important contribution that can be made to the promotion and conservation of heritage on the ground and to capacity-building."
Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
Decision:  42COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.2 - Human rights and rights-based approach

7. "(...)

i. Human Rights: The human rights embedded in the UN Charter and the range of broadly ratified human rights instruments reflect fundamental values that underpin the very possibility for dignity, peace and sustainable development. In implementing the World Heritage Convention, it is therefore essential to respect, protect and promote these environmental, social, economic, and cultural rights".

17. "The World Heritage Convention in Article 5 calls upon States Parties to “adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community”. States Parties should recognise that inclusive social development is at the heart of the implementation of this provision of the Convention. States Parties should further recognise that full inclusion, respect and equity of all stakeholders, including local and concerned communities and indigenous peoples, together with a commitment to gender equality, are a fundamental premise for inclusive social development. Enhancing quality of life and well-being in and around World Heritage properties is essential, taking into account communities who might not visit or reside in or near properties but are still stakeholders. Inclusive social development must be underpinned by inclusive governance".

18. "States Parties should ensure that the conservation and management of World Heritage properties is based on recognition of cultural diversity, inclusion and equity (…)".

20. "(…) To ensure policy coherence in conserving and managing World Heritage properties, States Parties should commit to uphold, respect and contribute to the implementation of the full range of international human rights standards as a pre-requisite for effectively achieving sustainable development. To this end, States Parties should:

i. Ensure that the full cycle of World Heritage processes from nomination to management is compatible with and supportive of human rights;

ii. Adopt a rights-based approach, which promotes World Heritage properties as exemplary places for the application of the highest standards for the respect and realization of human rights;

iii. Develop, through equitable participation of concerned people, relevant standards and safeguards, guidance tools and operational mechanisms for assessment, nomination, management, evaluation and reporting processes compatible with and effective rights-based approach for both existing and potential new properties;

iv. Promote technical cooperation and capacity-building to ensure effective rights-based approaches".

Theme:  6.2 - Human rights and rights-based approach
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.3 - Gender equality

23. "(...) States Parties should:

i. Ensure respect for gender equality throughout the full cycle of World Heritage processes, particularly in the preparation and content of nomination dossiers;

ii. Ensure social and economic opportunities for both women and men in and around World Heritage properties;

iii. Ensure equal and respectful consultation, full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership and representation of both women and men within activities for the conservation and management of World Heritage properties;

iv. When or where relevant, ensure that gender-rooted traditional practices within World Heritage properties, for example in relation to access or participation in management mechanisms, have received the full consent of all groups within the local communities through transparent consultation processes that fully respects gender equality."

Theme:  6.3 - Gender equality
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.3 - Gender equality

Paragraph 155

“In the framework of the Gender Equality Priority of UNESCO, the use of gender-neutral language in the preparation of Statements of Outstanding Universal Value is encouraged.”
Theme:  6.3 - Gender equality
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

21. “(…) The World Heritage Committee specifically encourages the effective and equitable involvement and participation of indigenous peoples and local communities in decision-making, monitoring and evaluation of World Heritage properties and the respect of indigenous peoples’ rights in nominating, managing and reporting on World Heritage properties in their own territories. Recognising rights and fully involving indigenous peoples and local communities, in line with international standards is at the heart of sustainable development”.

22. “(...) States parties should:

i. Develop relevant standards, guidance and operational mechanisms for indigenous peoples and local community involvement in World Heritage processes;

ii. Ensure adequate consultations, the free, prior and informed consent and equitable and effective participation of indigenous peoples where World Heritage nomination, management and policy measures affect their territories, lands, resources and ways of life;

iii. Actively promote indigenous and local initiatives to develop equitable governance arrangements, collaborative management systems and, when appropriate, redress mechanisms;

iv. Support appropriate activities contributing to the building of a sense of shared responsibility for heritage among indigenous people and local communities, by recognizing both universal and local values within management systems for World Heritage properties”.

Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders

Paragraph 123

“Participation in the nomination process of local communities, indigenous peoples, governmental, non-governmental and private organizations and other stakeholders is essential to enable them to have a shared responsibility with the State Party in the maintenance of the property. States Parties are encouraged to prepare nominations with the widest possible participation of stakeholders and to demonstrate, as appropriate, that the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples has been obtained, through, inter alia, making the nominations publicly available in appropriate languages and public consultations and hearings”.

Theme:  6.1 - Participation of local communities and other stakeholders
6.4 - Indigenous peoples
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

15. "(...)

e) [The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to] involve indigenous peoples and local communities in decision making, monitoring and evaluation of the state of conservation of the properties and their Outstanding Universal Value and link the direct community benefits to protection outcomes;

f) [The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to] respect the rights of indigenous peoples when nominating, managing and reporting on World Heritage sites in indigenous peoples' territories."

Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
Decision:  35COM 12E

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

41. "[The World Heritage Committee] notes, in conformity with Resolution 20 GA 13 of the General Assembly of the World Heritage Convention and the Decision 39 COM 11 (Bonn, 2015) of the World Heritage Committee, the establishment of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on World Heritage as an important reflection platform on the involvement of Indigenous Peoples in the identification, conservation and management of World Heritage properties, with a particular focus on the nomination process."
Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
Decision:  41COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to strengthen the cooperation with local communities, civil society and in particular the indigenous communities, including consideration of traditional knowledge for the management of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
See for examples Decisions:  36COM 7B.25
Case law:  Yes

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to assess the impacts of grazing, hunting and other human traditional activities on the biodiversity in the traditional use zone and develop a policy for the sustainable use of the natural resources in the traditional use zones in the property in close cooperation with the indigenous communities using these areas (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.41 36COM 7B.25 40COM 7B.79
Case law:  Yes

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to take into account the property uses by the indigenous populations, and encourages consultation and involvement in decision-making with resource-dependent communities in and around the property, to find mutually acceptable ways to resolve any potential use conflicts, while respecting any rights of use, and on the basis of an accurate assessment of impacts from resource use on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
See for examples Decisions:  34COM 7B.1 39COM 7A.19 40COM 7B.88
Case law:  Yes

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests that any development project to count with all elements of due process to achieve Free, Prior and Informed Consent by indigenous communities having territorial rights in the affected lands (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
See for examples Decisions:  37COM 7B.30 39COM 7B.28
Case law:  Yes

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.4 - Indigenous peoples

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to protect the indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation and in initial contact from external pressures (based on Case law of decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  6.4 - Indigenous peoples
See for examples Decisions:  35COM 7B.34
Case law:  Yes

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.5 - Youth

Paragraph 241

[International Assistance could be dedicated to] stimulate joint education, information and promotional programmes and activities, especially when they involve the participation of young people for the benefit of World Heritage conservation.

[International Assistance could be dedicated] at the national level for meetings specifically organized to make the Convention better known, especially amongst young people (…) [and for the] preparation and discussion of education and information material (…) for the general promotion of the Convention and the World Heritage List (…), and especially for young people”.

Theme:  6.5 - Youth
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

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. States Parties should also recognise that peace and security, including freedom from conflict, discrimination and all forms of violence, require respect for human rights, effective systems of justice, inclusive political processes and appropriate systems of conflict prevention, resolution and post-conflict recovery”.

30. “States Parties have a critically important role to play in ensuring that the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, including the establishment of the World Heritage List and management of inscribed properties, are used to prevent conflicts between and within States Parties and to promote respect for cultural diversity and around World Heritage properties (…)”.

31. “During armed conflict, States Parties must refrain from any use of World Heritage properties and their immediate surroundings for purposes which are likely to expose them to destruction or damage. They must also refrain from any act of hostility directed against such properties (…)”.

32. “The inherent potential of World Heritage properties and of their conservation to contribute favourably to conflict resolution and re-establishment of peace and security should be acknowledged and harnessed (…)”

33. “During a conflict and in the post-conflict transition phase, World Heritage properties and their wider settings can make a significant contribution to recovery and socio-economic reconstruction (…)”.

Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

21. "[The World Heritage Committee] appeals to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural objects and illegal wildlife trade, as well as cultural heritage protection in general, including through the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2199 (2015), 2253 (2015) and 2347 (2017) and of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import and Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property."
Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  42COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

2. "[The World Heritage Committee] expresses its utmost concern about the many conflicts which are affecting World Heritage properties and in particular the (…) cases where World Heritage properties are intentionally destroyed by parties involved in the conflict, and the people in charge of their protection targeted; (…) [and] seeks their support (…) for establishing property inventories and also requests the implementation of conservation measures for cultural properties threatened by armed conflict in other countries."
Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  37COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

4. "[The World Heritage Committee] urges all parties associated with conflicts to refrain from any action that would cause further damage to cultural heritage and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage, in particular the safeguarding of World Heritage properties and the sites included in the Tentative List;

5. Also urges the States Parties to adopt measures for the evacuation of World Heritage properties being used for military purposes."

Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  39COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

13. "[The World Heritage Committee] launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage objects (UNESCO 1970 Convention) and illegal wildlife trade, including through the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and to pursue the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding cultural heritage protection in conflict areas, especially Resolution 2199 and 2347."

Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  41COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee urges States Parties in conflict situations to safeguard damaged properties through minimal first aid interventions to prevent theft, further collapse and natural degradation, and to refrain from undertaking conservation and restoration work until the situation allows, for the development of comprehensive conservation strategies and actions that respond to international standards in full consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies (based on Case law further to Decisions concerning the State of Conservation).
Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
See for examples Decisions:  39COM 7A.36 40COM 7A.22 41COM 7A.46 41COM 7A.50
Case law:  Yes
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Case laws
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Decisions
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