Revision of the Operational Guidelines
20. The Secretary presented document SC-88/CONF.001/3 on the revision of the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. The Committee noted that the modifications proposed in this document resulted from three different actions, namely:
- changes introduced in accordance with the Committee's decisions concerning the monitoring of cultural properties, the procedure for nomination of extensions to World Heritage properties and assistance for promotional activities;
- modifications required to update the Operational Guidelines to make them conform with current practice in the implementation of the Convention (notably the need for a condition of integrity of natural sites relating to the protection and management regime, as well as to requests for training activities financed under the World Heritage Fund);
- changes resulting from the recommendations of the Working Group on the procedures for processing the nomination of cultural properties, for which the implications for the nominations of natural properties had been also taken into account, following the comments and suggestions of IUCN.
21. The Committee noted that the revised version of the Operational Guidelines had been studied in great depth both by the Bureau at its twelfth session in June 1988 and by subsequent meetings of the Working Group set up by the Committee.
22. Several members of the Committee made some suggestions for amendments and clarifications. The Committee requested that paragraph 53 for the July-November period for the timetable of processing nominations should clearly indicate that States Parties should send additional information as requested by the Bureau to the Secretariat no later than 9 weeks before the date of the Committee session to enable it to be sent in adequate time to ICOMOS and/or IUCN and the members of the Committee.
23. One member of the Committee drew attention to the contradiction existing between paragraphs 39 and 42 and the Committee requested the Secretariat to make the necessary modifications.
24. Another member of the Committee noted that paragraph 91(d) concerning the marking of equipment and all products arising from assistance provided under the Fund with the World Heritage emblem and name was missing. The Secretariat assured the Committee that this omission would be rectified in the final version.
25. Several members of the Committee drew attention to paragraph 7 and recalled the need for States Parties to comply with Article 11 of the Convention to provide tentative lists for both cultural and natural properties. Some States members felt that for natural properties a parallel should be made with cultural nominations which the Committee had decided not to consider unless a tentative list had been submitted to the Secretariat. The Committee noted that such a step could in fact have a negative effect and serve to slow down and even discourage the nomination of natural properties. The Committee nevertheless considered it necessary to draw the attention of States Parties to Article 11 of the Convention as concerns natural properties in order to raise awareness of the need to maintain an appropriate balance in the natural and cultural aspects of the work of the Convention, and requested the Secretariat to take the required measures to this end. The Committee requested that paragraph 7 be amended to indicate that priority would be given to the consideration of nominations of natural properties for those States Parties who had submitted a tentative list, unless the State Party concerned had given a specific explanation why such a list could not be provided.
26. Again concerning the nomination of natural properties, the representative of IUCN indicated that the advancement of the deadline for the submission of nominations to the Secretariat to 1 October was more than adequate for IUCN, and suggested that the deadline for natural nominations be fixed at 1 November. The Committee, however, noted that the fixing of two separate deadlines was confusing and was not workable for nominations which were proposed under both cultural and natural criteria.
27. The Committee requested the Secretariat to finalize the Operational Guidelines as indicated in the paragraphs above and decided that this version would be henceforth used by all States Parties.