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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

8. "Given the percentage of threats related to Development and infrastructure projects and to high-rise buildings (…) [the World Heritage Committee] stresses the need for structured heritage impact assessments of major projects to be carried out at the earliest opportunity in order to assess the impact of potential projects on Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties."
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
Decision:  34COM 7C
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

26. "(…) The increasing urban pressure in and around numerous World Heritage properties has become a major threat to their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)."
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
Decision:  41COM 7
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to develop a comprehensive urban land use plan, which includes provisions for protection mechanisms and regulatory measures to ensure the adequate protection and control of the property and its landscape setting (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
See for examples Decisions:  34COM 7A.27 36COM 7B.61 41COM 7B.41
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to put in place appropriate protection and planning measures and to develop an integrated urban conservation and development tool, in the urban settlement and its wider context, in order to address development pressures, to protect the urban landscape and prevent the construction of new buildings that could have a visual impact (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.72 32COM 7B.84 33COM 7B.67 36COM 7B.88 37COM 7B.71 40COM 7B.49 41COM 7 41COM 7B.40 41COM 7B.42 41COM 7B.53
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

25. "[The World Heritage Committee] notes with concern that the number of cases of ground transport infrastructure having potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties is continuing to grow, and calls upon States Parties to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) early in the process of transportation planning to allow for potential impacts of the OUV, including those resulting from foreseeable associated future developments, to be identified prior to the development of specific projects;

26. Encourages States Parties to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) on ground transport projects, once they are designed, with multiple options to ensure that transportation needs can be met with minimal impacts on the OUV of World Heritage properties."

Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
Decision:  40COM 7
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests Heritage Impact Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments of all significant development proposals in the property and of any major transportation infrastructure project, before approval for the schemes is granted and prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, including definitive location and plans for construction, in order to identify any adverse impacts on the property and ways to mitigate these impacts, and to submit the HIA and the EIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.122 36COM 7B.80 36COM 7B.100 37COM 7B.65 38COM 7B.62 39COM 7B.91 40COM 7B.55 41COM 7B.31 41COM 7B.59 41COM 7B.69
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests the State Party to submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details about any cable car project, including design, technical specifications and precise location of the route, in relation to the inscribed property, together with a HIA and an EIA, well before any irrevocable decisions are taken about the construction of the cable car (based on case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  37COM 7B.102 38COM 7B.45 38COM 7B.77 40COM 7B.91 42COM 7B.26
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

17. "[The World Heritage Committee, noting] with significant concern that an increasing number of properties are facing potential threats from major dam projects, considers that the construction of dams with large reservoirs within the boundaries of World Heritage properties is incompatible with their World Heritage status, and urges States Parties to ensure that the impacts from dams that could affect properties located upstream or downstream within the same river basin are rigorously assessed in order to avoid impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)."
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
Decision:  40COM 7
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

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).
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.118 34COM 7B.83 36COM 7B.74 41COM 8B.19 41COM 7B.45
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to conduct an adequate environmental impact study for the power transmission lines, before any decision is taken (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  37COM 7B.79 21BUR IVB.33 25BUR V.126-127 38COM 7B.59
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.4 - Pollution

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to enhance the regulation and monitoring of pollution, and to create management plans that consider options to address and to put in place adequate measures to mitigate the impact associated to the pollution, and its potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including the control of sources of pollution affecting the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.4 - Pollution
See for examples Decisions:  31COM 7B.4 31COM 7B.31 33COM 7B.28 35COM 7B.23 36COM 7B.22 41COM 7B.25
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Air pollution Ground water pollution Input of excess energy Pollution of marine waters Solid waste Surface water pollution

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification

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).
Theme:  3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification
See for examples Decisions:  37COM 7B.26 38COM 7A.45 41COM 7B.1 41COM 7A.19 41COM 7B.4
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Aquaculture Commercial hunting Commercial wild plant collection Crop production Fishing/collecting aquatic resources Forestry /wood production Land conversion Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals Subsistence hunting Subsistence wild plant collection

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to undertake research to determine the effects and negative impact of fishing activities on the OUV of the property and to work with communities to promote sustainable fishing practices (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.62 38COM 7B.84 40COM 7B.85 41COM 7B.15 41COM 7B.17
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Aquaculture Commercial hunting Commercial wild plant collection Crop production Fishing/collecting aquatic resources Forestry /wood production Land conversion Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals Subsistence hunting Subsistence wild plant collection

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

18. "[The World Heritage Committee] notes with significant concern that World Heritage properties are increasingly threatened by extractive industries (…), once again urges all States Parties to the Convention and leading industry stakeholders to respect the "No-go" commitment by not permitting extractive activities within World Heritage properties, and by making every effort to ensure that extractives companies located in their territory cause no damage to World Heritage properties, in line with Article 6 of the Convention."

Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
Decision:  37COM 7 40COM 7
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties not to explore or mine in World Heritage properties, in line with the Committee’s established position that mineral exploration and mining are incompatible with World Heritage status and the international policy statement of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) of not undertaking these activities in World Heritage properties (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
See for examples Decisions:  35COM 7B.22 37COM 7B.8 40COM 7B.104 41COM 7A.19
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee reiterates that mining activities and oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.80 38COM 7B.92 40COM 7B.71 40COM 7B.85
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

When mining or other type of exploitation is foreseen, the World Heritage Committee requests to get an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, meeting international standards, before any commencement of exploitation at the property and adjacent to the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
See for examples Decisions:  35COM 7B.22 36COM 7B.1 38COM 7B.92
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.7 - Local conditions affecting the fabric

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the conditions as well as an analysis of ways to address the underlying causes of local conditions affecting the fabric, and to elaborate a comprehensive strategy to address the impacts, including priority emergency measures, mitigation measures and an intervention programme (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.7 - Local conditions affecting the fabric
See for examples Decisions:  36COM 7A.34 37COM 7A.23 37COM 7B.74 38COM 7A.1 40COM 7A.9 40COM 7A.14 41COM 7A.27 41COM 7A.32
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Dust Micro-organisms Pests Radiation/light Relative humidity Temperature Water (rain/water table) Wind

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

46. "[The World Heritage Committee] requests States Parties to develop Visitor Management Plans that assess appropriate carrying capacity of properties for visitors and address the issue of unregulated tourism."

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Decision:  42COM 7
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

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:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.41 36COM 7B.25 40COM 7B.79 40COM 7B.88
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage
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