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

3.5.5    Biological resource use/modification

The collecting/harvesting of wild plants and animals (forestry, fishing, hunting, gathering) and harvesting domesticated species (silviculture, agriculture, aquaculture).
Fishing/collecting aquatic resources (For example: Trawling, Netting, Line fishing, Game fishing, Collection/harvest fisheries, Spearfishing, By-catch/incidental take issues). Aquaculture (For example: Marine, Freshwater aquaculture). Land conversion (For example: Agriculture (crops and livestock), Rural, Forestry). Livestock farming/grazing of domesticated animals (For example: Grazing on farms or by pastoral groups). Crop production (For example: Deep ploughing, New crops, Intensification of planted agriculture, Traditional crops, Traditional systems, Gardening). Commercial wild plant collection (For example: Pharmaceutical trade, Medicinal plant, Fodder collection, Thatching, Mushrooms, Bulbs etc). Subsistence wild plant collection -Indigenous subsistence hunting, gathering and collecting, i.e. not for economic benefit, for example: Food plants, Medicinal plants, Fodder collection, Thatching, Mushrooms, Bulbs etc). Commercial hunting (For example:  Bushmeat trade, Guided game hunting, Subsistence hunting). Subsistence, i.e. not for economic benefit, hunting. Forestry /wood production (For example: Logging, Pulp production, All silvicultural operations, Restoration/regeneration, Sustainable wood harvesting).

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to ensure that no commercial logging can be permitted within the property/to ban all commercial logging (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 37COM 7B.26 Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Slovakia / Germany / Ukraine) (N 1133bis)

Decision 38COM 7A.45 Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)

Decision 41COM 7B.1 Bialowieza Forest (Belarus / Poland) (N 33ter)

Decision 41COM 7A.19 East Rennell (Solomon Islands) (N 854)

Decision 41COM 7B.4 Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine) (N 1133bis)





[1] See for example Decisions 37COM 7B.26 , 38COM 7A.45 , 41COM 7B.1 , 41COM 7A.19 , 41COM 7B.4 .