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.

3.3    Impact assessments

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests the States Parties to provide, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, detailed information on the planning and design of proposed and on-going projects, which may impact on the visual integrity of the World Heritage property or its immediate and wider setting, and undertake a visual impact study, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to approval and implementation and before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse (Based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 28COM 15B.71 Acropolis, Athens

Decision 28COM 15B.74 Historic Centre of Riga (Latvia)

Decision 27COM 7B.67 Acropolis, Athens (Greece)

Decision 32COM 7B.72 Meidan Emam, Esfahan (Islamic Republic of Iran) (C 115)

Decision 33COM 7B.113 City of Valletta (Malta) (C 131)

Decision 35COM 7B.96 Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (Italy) (C 829)

Decision 31COM 7B.89 Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

Decision 31COM 7B.90 Tower of London (United Kingdom)

Decision 31COM 7B.94 Historic Centre of Prague (Czech Republic)

Decision 37COM 7B.96 Colonial City of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) (C 526)

Decision 38COM 7B.42 Colonial City of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) (C 526)

Decision 41COM 7B.23 Socotra Archipelago (Yemen) (N 1263)

Decision 41COM 7B.43 Ancient City of Nessebar (Bulgaria) (C 217)





[1] See for example Decisions 28COM 15B.71 , 28COM 15B.74 , 27COM 7B.67 , 32COM 7B.72 , 33COM 7B.113 , 35COM 7B.96 , 31COM 7B.89 , 31COM 7B.90 , 31COM 7B.94 , 37COM 7B.96 , 38COM 7B.42 , 41COM 7B.23 , 41COM 7B.43 .