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Decision : CONF 203 VI.1-7
Methodology and Procedures for Periodic Reporting

VI.1 The Secretariat introduced Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/6. It pointed out that this document referred to the periodic reporting by the States Parties under Article 29 of the World Heritage Convention and did not include considerations on the reactive monitoring that is foreseen for reporting on World Heritage properties that are under threat. It informed the Committee that this document had been discussed by the Bureau at its twenty-second session. Reference was also made to Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/16 that included the corresponding revision of Section II of the Operational Guidelines.

VI.2 During the debate, numerous Committee members commended the Secretariat for the work accomplished and expressed general agreement with the proposals made.

VI.3 Committee members expressed strong support for the regional approach and the development of regional strategies for the periodic reporting process, as proposed in the Working Document, as a means to respond to the specific characteristics of the regions and to promote regional collaboration.

VI.4 As to the periodicity of the reporting, the Committee agreed to a six-year cycle. It decided that in the first reporting cycle those properties should be reported upon that were inscribed up to eight years before the examination of the reports by the Committee.

VI.5 The Committee, furthermore, stressed the important role the States Parties themselves, as well as the advisory bodies and other organizations should play in the periodic reporting process, in the development of the regional strategies and in the review of the reports submitted by the States Parties.

VI.6 Several delegates referred to the future workload for the Secretariat, the advisory bodies and the Committee and requested that this be carefully considered in the planning of the work of the Centre and the advisory bodies, as well as in the management of the agenda of the Committee.

VI.7 The Committee, having examined Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/6 and the corresponding Section of Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/16, adopted the following decision:

A. Following the request made by the 29th General Conference of UNESCO, the World Heritage Committee:

(a) Invites States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to submit, in accordance with Article 29 of the World Heritage Convention and the decisions of the Eleventh General Assembly of States Parties and the 29th General Conference of UNESCO, periodic reports on the legislative and administrative provisions and other actions which they have taken for the application of the World Heritage Convention, including the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties located on its territories;

(b) Invites States Parties to submit periodic reports every six years using the format for periodic reports as adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-second session;

(c) Expresses its wish to examine the States Parties' periodic reports region by region. This will include the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List according to the following table:


Examination of Properties inscribed up to and including

Year of examination by Committee

Arab States






Asia and the Pacific



Latin America and the Caribbean



Europe and North America



(d) Requests the Secretariat, jointly with the advisory bodies, and making use of States Parties, competent institutions and expertise available within the region, to develop regional strategies for the periodic reporting process as per the above-mentioned time table, and to present them with budgetary proposals for their implementation to the twenty-third session of the World Heritage Committee for consideration and adoption. These strategies should respond to specific characteristics of the regions and should promote coordination and synchronization between States Parties, particularly in the case of transboundary properties.

B. As to the format for the periodic reports, the Committee adopted the proposal made in Annex I of Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/6, with the following revisions:

Section II.1. to read as follows :

"II.1 Introduction

a. State Party

b. Name of World Heritage property

c. Geographical co-ordinates

d. Date of inscription on the World Heritage List

e. Organization(s) or entity(ies) responsible for the preparation of the report

f. Date of report

g. Signature on behalf of State Party"

Section II, item II.3. to read as follows :

"II.3. Statement of authenticity/integrity"

Section II, item II.7. to read as follows :

"II.7. Conclusions and recommended action

a. Main conclusions regarding the state of the World Heritage values of the property (see items II.2. and II.3. above)

b. Main conclusions regarding the management and factors affecting the property (see Items II.4 and II.5. above)

c. Proposed future actions

d. Responsible implementing agency/agencies

e. Timeframe for implementation

f. Needs for international assistance."

C. As to the explanatory notes that will be attached to the format for periodic reports, the Committee adopted the proposals made in Annex I of Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/6, with the following revisions:

II.2. Statement of Significance, paragraph four to be read as follows:

"If a statement of significance is not available or incomplete, it will be necessary, in the first periodic report, for the State Party to propose such a statement. The statement of significance should reflect the criterion (criteria) on the basis of which the Committee inscribed the property on the World Heritage List. It should also address questions such as: What does the property represent, what makes the property outstanding, what are the specific values that distinguish the property, what is the relationship of the site with its setting, etc. Such statement of significance will be examined by the advisory body(ies) concerned and transmitted to the World Heritage Committee for approval, if appropriate ."

II.4. Management, paragraphs one and two to be read as follows:

"Under this item, it is necessary to report on the implementation and effectiveness of protective legislation at the national, provincial or municipal level and/or contractual or traditional protection as well as of management and/or planning control for the property concerned, as well as on actions that are foreseen for the future, to preserve the values described in the statement of significance under item II.2.

The State Party should also report on significant changes in the ownership, legal status and/or contractual or traditional protective measures, management arrangements and management plans as compared to the situation at the time of inscription or the previous periodic report. In such case, the State Party is requested to attach to the periodic report all relevant documentation, in particular legal texts, management plans and/or (annual) work plans for the management and maintenance of the property. Full name and address of the agency or person directly responsible for the property should also be provided."

D. The Committee adopted the revision of Section II of the Operational Guidelines as submitted in Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/16, including the amendments made above.

VI.8 The format for periodic reports and explanatory notes as adopted by the World Heritage Committee is attached in Annex III.


Themes: Periodic Reporting
Year: 1998
Decision Code: CONF 203 VI.1-7