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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

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Paragraph 90

“For all properties nominated under criteria (vii) - (x), bio-physical processes and landform features should be relatively intact. However, it is recognized that no area is totally pristine and that all natural areas are in a dynamic state, and to some extent involve contact with people. Human activities, including those of traditional societies and local communities, often occur in natural areas. These activities may be consistent with the Outstanding Universal Value of the area where they are ecologically sustainable.”

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)
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

Paragraph 119

“World Heritage properties may support a variety of ongoing and proposed uses that are ecologically and culturally sustainable and which may contribute to the quality of life of communities concerned. The State Party and its partners must ensure that such sustainable use or any other change does not impact adversely on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. For some properties, human use would not be appropriate. Legislations, policies and strategies affecting World Heritage properties should ensure the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value, support the wider conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and promote and encourage the active participation of the communities and stakeholders concerned with the property as necessary conditions to its sustainable protection, conservation, management and presentation.”

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)
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

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

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 encourages States Parties to take into account the traditional uses of local communities and to support the livelihoods of local communities through initiatives related to environmentally and culturally compatible options in order to prevent any threats from human activity to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and to promote the sustainable exploitation of resources and sustainable livelihoods (based on case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.61 39COM 7B.52 39COM 7B.61 39COM 7B.66 40COM 7A.37 40COM 7B.64 40COM 7B.86 41COM 7A.19 41COM 7B.19 41COM 7B.29 41COM 7B.35 41COM 7B.79
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

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 recommends States Parties to consider measures in order to address ways to respect the cultural and spiritual values and practices, and sustain the spiritual associations at World Heritage properties (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.53 40COM 7B.89 41COM 7B.96
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

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 recommends States Parties to pay special attention to the living religious heritage at properties, and to adopt efficient regulatory and management instruments to allow for religious uses at concerned properties (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7A.1 38COM 7B.32 39COM 7A.24 41COM 7A.32
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

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

For the impact of tourism, the World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties, prior to any development of tourism facilities (resort development, ski facilities, golf resorts, etc.) that its potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) has been thoroughly assessed and to develop and implement a clear tourism strategy (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  31COM 7B.29 37COM 7B.28 40COM 7B.74 41COM 7B.32
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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