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Committee Decisions

33 COM 7C

General Decision on the State of Conservation of World Heritage properties

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-09/33.COM/7B and WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.129, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Takes note of the process being followed to consult State Parties to ensure the accuracy of the state of conservation reports during their preparation, as presented in the introduction of Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B and requests the World Heritage Centre to make every effort to ensure that States Parties' input is included in these reports before they are distributed;

4. Recognizes the efforts on the inclusion of references in the Working Documents on State of Conservation to the image gallery of the web-pages of the World Heritage Centre and encourages States Parties to provide the World Heritage Centre, whenever possible, with verified electronic illustrative material;

5. Considers that its request, in Decision 32 COM 7B.129, to add a link to illustrative material also aimed at providing background information on cases indicating the potential of visual impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of a property and to make visual impact simulations provided by States Parties available to Members of the Word Heritage Committee;

6. Encourages States Parties to provide electronic illustrations of proposed projects in their State of Conservation Reports and to make these available to the Members of the World Heritage Committee;

7. Acknowledging the increasing number of State of Conservation reports and that reviewing these is a key tool for ensuring the effective conservation and credibility of World Heritage properties,

8. Noting the results of the analytical document on trends provided with Circular Letter CL/WHC-09/03 and the in-depth discussion that took place at the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee,

9. Also noting the increasing number of natural disasters affecting World Heritage properties, requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to prepare a report on the progress made in the implementation of the Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction at World Heritage properties and submit it for the examination by the Committee at its 34th session in 2010,

10. Also considers it desirable to receive from the World Heritage Centre a methodological framework for the processes of:

a) Initiating the consideration of a property in the State of Conservation reports,

b) Requesting a State Party progress or state of conservation report within a defined timeframe, and

c) Evaluating desired State of Conservation Statements submitted by State Parties;

11. Requests the World Heritage Centre to:

a) Prepare, in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies, information on criteria, thresholds and processes applied for the initiation of State of Conservation reports and review of Desired State of Conservation statements for discussion at the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2010;

b) Also prepare, in consultation with the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, a summary of the trends, changes and threats based on an analytical summary of the state of conservation of World Heritage properties over 5 years for discussion at the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2010, with a view to make recommendations for prioritizing management efforts in the context of the Global Strategy;

12. Further requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, when preparing state of conservation reports, to distinguish between issues that impact or have the potential to impact on a site's Outstanding Universal Value from issues that may impact values that are not recognized as being of Outstanding Universal Value;

13. Notes that all reactive monitoring missions proposed in the draft decisions on State of Conservation of properties on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger are currently suggested to be joint missions of the World Heritage Centre and at least one Advisory Body, and considers that this has the potential to increase the overall budgetary requirements for missions and human resources;

14. Requests the World Heritage Centre to introduce a section on proposed missions to the relevant State of Conservation reports which outlines the objectives of a proposed mission as well as the specific roles and tasks of all bodies involved;

15. Also notes the petition on the Role of Black Carbon in the endangering of World Heritage properties and encourages all States Parties to exchange information on existing national policies, regulations and opportunities for immediate voluntary action to control the generation of black carbon that can affect World Heritage properties;

16. Also requests the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to adopt a consistent approach to reporting on the impact of climate change on World Heritage properties and to ensure that future decisions in this respect are based on the Committee's Strategy to assist States Parties to implement appropriate management responses to climate change;

17. Further noting the profusion of terms used to describe the spatial and functional relationships among World Heritage properties, their buffer zones and the areas around these properties, requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to develop a glossary of terms in this respect, as well as proposed revisions to the Operational Guidelines regarding buffer zones, taking into account the results of the Expert Meeting on this issue for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

18. Also encourages all States Parties to fully implement paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines by informing the World Heritage Centre of restorations, constructions and other projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of a property in their territory.

Themes: Conservation
Session: 33COM