Decision : CONF 203 XVII.A-D.1
Revision of the Operational Guidelines
XVII.1 The Secretariat introduced the Working Document and recalled that the Committee at its eighteenth session decided that the following specific revisions of the Operational Guidelines should be examined by the Bureau at its nineteenth session.
A. Chapter I, Section C of the operational Guidelines: CRITERIA FOR THE INCLUSION OF CULTURAL PROPERTIES IN THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST (DEFINITION OF AND CRITERIA FOR CULTURAL PROPERTIES)
Based upon the results of four regional and thematic expert meetings that were held in 1994 and 1995 on 'Heritage Canals' (Canada, 15-19 September 1994), 'Routes as a Part of our Cultural Heritage' (Spain, 24-25 November 1994), 'Asian Rice Culture and its Terraced Landscapes' (Philippines, 28 March to 4 April 1995) and 'Identifying and Assessing World Heritage Cultural Landscapes (Associative Landscapes)' (Australia, 26 to 28 April 1995), the Bureau recommended the Committee to introduce revisions on the following items:
A.1. The role of the local people in the nomination process (paragraph 14)
Following the recommendation of the Bureau, the Committee adopted the following revised text to replace the existing paragraph 14:
14. Participation of local people in the nomination process is essential to make them feel a shared responsibility with the State Party in the maintenance of the site.
A.2. criteria for the inclusion of cultural properties in the World Heritage List
The Committee endorsed the recommendations made by the Bureau and revised paragraph 24.(a) as follows:
24. (a) (i) (unchanged)
(ii) exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; or
(iv) be an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stagers) in human history; or
In view of the extreme importance of the criteria for inscription, several of the delegates requested the Secretariat to ensure the concordance of the above text in the French and the English, versions of the Operational Guidelines.
In addition, it was recalled that at the eighteenth session of the Committee the Delegate of Lebanon mentioned several problems of syntax in the formulation of criterion b (ii) of paragraph 24. The Delegate of France also proposed to add the notion of contractural protection and management. Consequently, the Committee decided to revise the text as follows:
(ii) have adequate legal and/or contractual and/or traditional protection and management mechanisms to ensure the conservation of the nominated cultural properties or' cultural landscapes. The existence of protective legislation at the national, provincial or municipal level and/or a well-established contractual or traditional protection as well as of adequate management and/or planning control mechanisms is therefore essential and, as is clearly indicated in the following paragraph, must be stated clearly on the nomination form. Assurances of the effective implementation of these laws and/or contractual and/or traditional protection as well as of these management mechanisms are also expected. Furthermore, in order to preserve the integrity of cultural sites, particularly those open to large numbers of visitors, the State Party concerned should be able to provide evidence of suitable administrative arrangements to cover the management of the property, its conservation and its accessibility to the public.
A.3. Explanatory notes on cultural landscapes
The expert meetings on canals and heritage routes had proposed definitions of these types of linear cultural properties. The Bureau recommended the Committee to make a reference to these two types of cultural properties in paragraph 40 of the operational Guidelines and that a glossary of terms be prepared as an annex to the Operational Guidelines. The following definitions would then be included in the glossary of terms:
'A canal is a human-engineered waterway. It may be of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history or technology, either intrinsically or as an exceptional example representative of this category of cultural property. The canal may be a monumental work, the defining feature of a linear cultural landscape, or an integral component of a complex cultural landscape'.
'A heritage route is composed of tangible elements of which the cultural significance comes from exchanges and a multi-dimensional dialogue across countries or regions, and that illustrate the interaction of movement, along the route, in space and time'.
During the Committee's debate on the nature and contents of a glossary of terms, the Delegate of Canada stressed that the Operational Guidelines should provide a framework to the States Parties on the different types of properties that can be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List. The Delegate of France underlined that such definitions evolve and that, in order to avoid continuous revisions of the Guidelines, a glossary should be kept apart from the Guidelines themselves. The Delegate of Italy pointed out that, in any case, the preparation of a glossary of terms could be very difficult and supported, therefore, the opinion expressed by the Delegate of France.
Concluding the debate, the Committee decided to request the Secretariat to initiate the preparation of a glossary of terms independently from the Operational Guidelines.
B. Chapter I, section F: GUIDELINES FOR THE EVALUATION AND EXAMINATION OF NOMINATIONS (ROLE OF THE ADVISORY BODIES IN THE EVALUATION OF NOMINATIONS)
In order to better describe the Advisory Bodies' evaluation process of cultural and natural properties, the Bureau recommeded that the Committee deletes paragraphs 45 and 46 of the Operational Guidelines, which only describe the process for natural properties, and to introduce a new paragraph before paragraph 59 so as to fully describe the evaluation process for both the natural and the cultural properties. Following an intervention by the Delegate of Cyprus, the Committee expressed its full confidence in the work of the advisory bodies and decided not to describe in detail the internal review procedures of the advisory bodies. The Committee decided to delete paragraphs 45 and 46 of the Operational Guidelines and to introduce the following before paragraph 59:
F. Guidelines for the evaluation and examination of nominations xx. The evaluation of whether or not individual sites nominated by States Parties satisfy the criteria and the conditions of authenticity/integrity will be carried out by the International Council on Monuments and sites (ICOMOS) for cultural properties and by the World Conservation union (IUCN) for natural properties. In the case of nominations of cultural properties in the category of 'cultural landscapes', as appropriate, the evaluation will be carried out in consultation with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). ICOMOS and IUCN present evaluation reports to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee.
ICOMOS and IUCN, taking into account the decisions of the Bureau and additional information that might have been received from the nominating State Party, present a final evaluation report to the World Heritage Committee.
The report of the World Heritage Committee's session will include its decision, the criteria under which the nominated site has been inscribed, the justification of their application as well as any recommendation the Committee may wish to make on that occasion.
C. Chapter IV, section A: DIFFERENT FORMS OF ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE UNDER THE WORLD HERITAGE FUND (DEADLINES FOR PRESENTATION OF REQUESTS FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE BUREAU AND THE COMMITTEE)
The Secretariat recalled that over the years, it had become practice that a great number of requests which were to be examined by the Bureau and the Committee, were submitted shortly before their sessions.
To facilitate the work of the Secretariat and to enable it to prepare the necessary documents well in advance of the sessions of the Bureau and the Committee, the committee decided to introduce strict deadlines for the submission of all requests for international assistance, with the exception of requests for emergency assistance, at 1 May and 1 October respectively for examination at the following session of the Bureau. The Committee decided to delete paragraph 104, which only sets a deadline for large-scale technical cooperation requests, and to introduce the above deadlines in a new paragraph after paragraph 109, as follows:
xx All requests for international assistance which are to be examined by the Bureau, with the exception of requests for emergency assistance, should be submitted before 1 May and 1 October respectively for consideration by the following session of the Bureau. Large-scale requests (that is those exceeding US$ 30,000) will be forwarded, with the Bureau's recommendation, to the following session of the World Heritage committee for decision-making.
D. Chapter I, section G: FORMAT AND CONTENTS OF
In view of the Committee's decision to defer the examination of the new nomination form to its twentieth session, the Committee equally decided to defer the revision of paragraph 65 of the Operational Guidelines ('Format and Content of Nominations').