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

3.5.3    Utilities or service infrastructure

Developments in relation to infrastructure for energy utilities (i.e. gas, electricity and water) and other service requirements.
Water infrastructure (For example: Dams, Locks, Water tanks, Pumping stations, Introduction of new systems/infrastructure). Renewable energy facilities (For example: Thermal, Wave, Solar, Wind). Non-renewable energy facilities (For example: Nuclear power plants, Coal power plants, Oil/gas facilities). Localised utilities (For example:  Incinerators, Cell phone towers, Sewerage works, Microwave/TV/radio towers). Major linear utilities (For example:  Power lines/easements, Pipelines etc). Channels.

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to strengthen the protection of the immediate and wider setting of properties for addressing the impact of wind turbines, and to identify a wind turbine exclusion zone, based on the potential visual impact on the components of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 32COM 7B.118 Heart of Neolithic Orkney (United Kingdom) (C 514)

Decision 34COM 7B.83 Saint-Michel and its Bay (France) (C 80bis)

Decision 36COM 7B.74 Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France) (C 80 bis)

Decision 41COM 8B.19 Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region (Japan)

Decision 41COM 7B.45 Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Germany) (C 1066)





[1] See for example Decisions 32COM 7B.118 , 34COM 7B.83 , 36COM 7B.74 , 41COM 8B.19 , 41COM 7B.45 .