The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has observed that many activities such as tourism, infrastructure development, new buildings, urban renewal and changes to the land use being undertaken in and around World Heritage sites, may have negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

While reconizing the vital role of such activities for provinding benefits to the society, the Committee has stressed the need to undertake Impact Assessment studies, in order to asses the potential negative and positive impacts on heritage sites. As part of its mandate to build capacities of State Parties to the World Heritage Convention, WHITRAP together with ICCROM has organised four training courses in the past and pleased to announce its fifth version on Impact Assesments to be held in October 2018. This year, the course is also linked to the World Heritage Leadership programme in order to expand its focus on all forms of Impact Assessments (SEA, EIA, HIA) and also the promote the benefits of linking nature and culture in managing heritage. 

The World Heritage Leadership Programme is a capacity-building programme delivered by IUCN and ICCROM in collaboration with ICOMOS and WHC and other organizations and is implemented with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment and other partners. It focuses on promoting links between people-nature-culture in the management of heritage places and securing heritage a more dynamic role in wider sustainable development. One of the key modules of the Programme is impact assesment, which aims to build the capacity to efficiently use impact assessment tools to support heritage conservation actions. The Programme will work on adapting methodologies and standards for assessing impacts on World Heritage sites specifically and conduct diverse capacity building activities. The course will be held at Zhenze Historic Town (close to Shanghai) which is listed in the national Tentative List of China with other 13 waterfront towns.