This document is a partial export of the World Heritage Policy Compendium


3    Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

Conservation of cultural and natural heritage is at the core of the Convention. Conservation includes effective and active measures that can be taken by States Parties to ensure the identification, protection, presentation and transmission of heritage.

There is no single definition of conservation in relation to both cultural and natural heritage. However, with regards to cultural heritage ‘all operations designed to understand a property, know its history and meaning, ensure its material safeguard, and, if required, its restoration and enhancement’ could be part of its conservation (Nara Document on Authenticity). Conservation of natural heritage refers to the protection, care, management and maintenance of ecosystems, habitats, wildlife species and populations, within or outside of their natural environments, in order to safeguard the natural conditions for their long-term permanence (IUCN).

The Conservation theme includes policies related to protection, management, monitoring, impact assessments, factors affecting the properties, tourism and sustainable development.

3.5    Factors affecting properties

3.5.13    Management and institutional factors

Low impact research/monitoring activities (For example: Visitor surveys, Water sampling, Non-extractive surveys, In-situ surveys). High-impact research/monitoring activities (For example: Sampling using destructive techniques, Research involving removal of features or species (i.e. extraction). Management activities.

Decision of the World Heritage Committee 38 COM 7
3. "Noting with regret that issues related to Management Plan / System remain a serious cause for concern, [the World Heritage Committee] requests all States Parties to ensure that all World Heritage properties are managed in such a manner that their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is not put at risk and, whenever necessary, develop/update and fully implement Management Plans or Systems."

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 38COM 7 State of conservation of World Heritage properties