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The Operational Guidelines
for the Implementation of
the World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Committee,  the main body in charge of the implementation of the Convention, has developed precise criteria for the inscription of properties on the World Heritage List and for the provision of international assistance under the World Heritage Fund. These are all included in a document entitled "Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention". This document is regularly revised by the Committee to reflect new concepts, knowledge or experiences.

2021 Operational Guidelines

WHC.21/01
31 July 2021

The Operational Guidelines are periodically revised to reflect the decisions of the World Heritage Committee. Please verify that you are using the latest version of the Operational Guidelines by checking the date of the Operational Guidelines

 English English  French French

Historical Development

Date Title Paragraphs Committee/ Bureau Reference
2021

 English English  French French

290 paras.

44 COM 12

2019

 English English  French French
 Arabic  Chinese  Portuguese  Spanish

290 paras.

43 COM 11A

2017

 English English  French French
 Armenian  Korean  Portuguese Portuguese  Russian Russian

290 paras.

41 COM 11

2016

 English English  French French

290 paras.

40 COM 11

2015

 English English  French French
Chinese  German

290 paras.

39 COM 11

2013

English English French French Portuguese Portuguese Vietnamese

290 paras.

37 COM 12I
37 COM 12II

2012  English  English  French  French 290 paras. 36 COM 13I
36 COM 13II
2011 English English French French
Portuguese Portuguese Nepali
290 paras. 35 COM 13
34 COM 13
33 COM 13
January 2008 English French
Spanish Portuguese

290 paras.

32 COM 13
31 COM 18B
31 COM 13A
30 COM 8D.1
30 COM 8D.2

February 2005 Arabic English French Hebrew Japanese Spanish Portugese Russian 290 paras. 6 EXTCOM 5.1
July 2002

Provisional Revision : 
English French

139 paras.

CONF 202 18
CONF 202 28
CONF 202 26

March 1999

English French
Changes to the 1997 Guidelines:
English French

139 paras.

CONF 203 XIV.1-11

February 1997; reprinted 2/98

English French

139 paras.

CONF 201 XVII.1-9

February 1996

English

139 paras.

1995 Bur.
1995 Comm.

February 1995 Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention 140 paras. 1994 Bur.
1994 Comm.
February 1994

English French

132 paras.

1993 Comm.
27 March 1992

English French

117 paras.

1991 Bur.
1991 Comm.
December 1988

English English

112 paras.

1983 Bur.
1988 Comm.
January 1987

English French

113 paras.

1986 Comm.
January 1984

English French

99 paras.

1983 Bur.
1983 Comm.
November 1983 English

99 paras.

1982 Comm.

October 1980

English French

66 paras.

1980 Comm.
17 July 1980 Revised text of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention  
21 April 1980 Revised text of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention  
1978

English French
adopted by the Committee at its first session and amended at its second session

30 paras.

 
20 October 1977 English

27 paras.

 
30 June 1977 English  28 paras.  
Decisions (40)
Code: 44COM 12
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2021

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/12,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 12 adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019), which recognized the importance of the overarching objective of the reform of the nomination process as a key measure for restoring the balance and the credibility of the World Heritage List and which decided to endorse the principle of a two-phase nominations process, with the aim to help improve the quality of nominations and strengthen dialogue between States Parties and the Advisory Bodies,
  3. Expresses its appreciation to the Ad-hoc Working Group, the State Party of the People’s Republic of China for its commitment and able leadership, the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and the geographically and gender balanced small expert drafting group, for their work and recommendations;
  4. Notes that the proposed revisions to the Operational Guidelines have been prepared on the basis of the outcomes of the online survey of States Parties and other relevant stakeholders of the Convention on the Nomination Process and the recommendations of the reflection meeting of experts (Tunis, 2019) and have been reviewed, amended and endorsed by the 2021 Ad-hoc Working Group;
  5. Further notes that the transition period for introducing the Preliminary Assessment commences with the first deadline for submission of voluntary Preliminary Assessment requests by 15 September 2023;
  6. Also takes note that the transition period will end in 2027, and that the Preliminary Assessment will be mandatory, meaning that only nominations with a Preliminary Assessment will be examined by the World Heritage Committee from 2028 onwards;
  7. Decides on the basis of the aforementioned Preliminary Assessment and related transition period to adopt the proposed revision of the Operational Guidelines and further decides that Annex 5 will enter into force on 2 February 2022.

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Code: 43COM 11A
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2019

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/11A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 5D, 39 COM 11, 41 COM 9A, 41 COM 11, 42 COM 8, 42 COM 9A, 42 COM 12A and 42 COM 13 adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015), 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively,
  3. Adopts the proposed revision of the Operational Guidelines, as presented in the Annex to this Decision;
  4. Requests the World Heritage Centre to proceed with the corrections of language consistency between the English and French versions of the Operational Guidelines.

Annex to Decision 43 COM 11A (WHC/19/43.COM/18, p. 316)

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Code: 41COM 11
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2017

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/17/41.COM/11, WHC/17/41.COM/10A and WHC/17/41.COM/12A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 10B.5, 39 COM 11, 40 COM 10A and 40 COM 11 adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Taking into account the deliberations of the Consultative Body established at the beginning of the session under Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure,
  4. Decides to keep the current mechanism of registering Tentative Lists unchanged and to maintain the way Tentative Lists are presented to the Committee, together with their publication on the World Heritage Centre’s website;
  5. Further decides to introduce a disclaimer into the Operational Guidelines as an amendment of Paragraph 68, and to the Committee decisions concerning Tentative Lists:

    The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

    The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

  6. Emphasizes the need to further promote harmonization of Tentative Lists at the regional level and underlines its importance as a tool in enhancing dialogue between States Parties;
  7. Highlights the importance of the capacity-building activities and notes the need to connect the upstream processes with the preparation and harmonisation of Tentative Lists more effectively;
  8. Invites States Parties to engage in a dialogue with all stakeholders as part of the national process to include a site on the Tentative List;
  9. Encourages States Parties to refrain from including on their Tentative Lists sites that may potentially raise issues, before these are solved through a dialogue with concerned States Parties;
  10. Also encourages States Parties to address concerns of other States Parties, as much as feasible, through constructive dialogue, before the submission of relevant nominations to the World Heritage List;
  11. Adopts the proposed revision of Chapter V and Annex 7 of the Operational Guidelines as presented in the Annex to this Decision;
  12. Recalls Decision 39 COM 11 Paragraph 8 with regard to Annex 3 of the Operational Guidelines and decides to provide recommendations for its revision, at the Committee’s 43rd session in 2019.

Annex to Decision 41 COM 11 (WHC/17/41.COM/18, p. 270)

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Code: 40COM 11
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2016

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/16/40.COM/11 and WHC/16/40.COM/13A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 11, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Taking into account the recommendation of the ad-hoc Working Group regarding Paragraph 61 as presented in the Document WHC/16/40.COM/13A,
  4. Also taking into account the deliberations of the Consultative Body established at the beginning of the session under Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure,
  5. Acknowledges the heavy budget constraints of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, the need for an effective management of the increasing size of the World Heritage List and the call for a more balanced World Heritage List;
  6. Decides that the impact of the proposed amendments will be evaluated at the 46th session of the Committee in 2022;
  7. Further decides to include in the draft Agenda of the 44th session of the Committee in 2020 an item in view to prepare the criteria to be used to assess the impact of this decision;
  8. Adopts the proposed revision of Paragraph 61 of the Operational Guidelines, as presented in Annex of the Document WHC/16/40.COM/13A and as amended by the Consultative Body mentioned in Paragraph 4 above:

    Paragraph 61 of the Operational Guidelines

    61.  The Committee has decided to apply the following mechanism:
    1. examine up to two one complete nominations per State Party, provided that at least one of such nominations concerns a natural property or a cultural landscape and,
    2. set at 45 35 the annual limit on the number of nominations it will review, inclusive of nominations deferred and referred by previous sessions of the Committee, extensions (except minor modifications of limits of the property), transboundary and serial nominations,
    3. the following order of priorities will be applied in case the overall annual limit of 45 35 nominations is exceeded:
      1. nominations of properties submitted by States Parties with no properties inscribed on the List
      2. nominations of properties submitted by States Parties having up to 3 properties inscribed on the List,
      3. resubmitted referred nominations that were not transmitted to the relevant Advisory Bodies for evaluation further to the application of paragraph 61.b)[1],
      4. nominations of properties that have been previously excluded due to the annual limit of 45 35 nominations and the application of these priorities,
      5. nominations of properties for natural heritage,
      6. nominations of properties for mixed heritage,
      7. nominations of transboundary/transnational properties,
      8. nominations from States Parties in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean,
      9. nominations of properties submitted by States Parties having ratified the World Heritage Convention during the last ten twenty years,
      10.  nominations of properties submitted by States Parties that have not submitted nominations for ten five years or more,
      11. nominations of States Parties, former Members of the Committee, who accepted on a voluntary basis not to have a nomination reviewed by the Committee during their mandate. This priority will be applied for 4 years after the end of their mandate on the Committee,
      12. when applying this priority system, date of receipt of full and complete nominations by the World Heritage Centre shall be used as a secondary factor to determine the priority between those nominations that would not be designated by the previous points.
    4. the States Parties co-authors of a transboundary or transnational serial nomination can choose, amongst themselves and with a common understanding, the State Party which will be bearing this nomination; and this nomination can be registered exclusively within the ceiling of the bearing State Party.
This decision will be implemented on a trial basis for 4 years and takes effect on 2 February 2012 2018, in order to ensure a smooth transition period for all States Parties. The impact of this decision will be evaluated at the Committee's 39th 46th session (2015 2022).”
9.  Decides to include Paragraph 68 of the Operational Guidelines and its Annexes to the mandate of the ad-hoc Working Group and to include this item in the Agenda of the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in 2017.

[1] This provision also applies in case the resubmitted referred nomination is received in the third year following the referral decision.

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Code: 40COM 2
Title: Admission of Observers
Year: 2016

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Taking into consideration Rule 8 (Observers) of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee,
  2. Authorizes the participation in the 40th session as observers of those representatives of the international governmental organizations (IGOs), international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), non- governmental organizations (NGOs), permanent observer missions to UNESCO and non profit-making institutions having activities in the fields covered by the Convention, who have requested observer participation at the session and as listed in Section A of document WHC-16/40.COM/2,
  3. Further confirms the participation in the 40th session as observers of all those invited by the Director-General of UNESCO in accordance with Rule 8.4 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee and as listed in Section B of document WHC-16/40.COM/2.

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Code: 39COM 11
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2015

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/11, WHC-15/39.COM/10.B, WHC-15/39.COM/13A and WHC-15/39.COM/INF.13A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 12.II, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Decides to establish a Consultative Body under Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure during its 39th session;
  4. Adopts the proposed revisions of the Operational Guidelines, as presented in the marked-up version attached to this Decision[1], namely concerning paragraphs 28, 31, 38, 40, 44, 62, 66, 71, 80, 98, 99, 102, 111, 112, 115, 116, 122, 123, 128, 132, 140, 141, 143, 148, 149, 155, 159, 160, 164, 165, 166, 168, 169, 176, 180, 181, 184, 192, 232, 241, 252, 260, 262, 263, 265, 266, 275, 276, 278, Annex 2B, 5, 6, 13 and 14 as well as the Bibliography;
  5. Decides to extend the mandate of the ad hoc working group extended by one extra regional group representative who is not a member of the World Heritage Committee, established at the 38th session (Doha, 2014) to be convened by Turkey, to further discuss and make recommendations on Paragraph 61 as well as on the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund;
  6. Further decides to suggest that the 20th General Assembly of States Parties in November 2015 discuss the recommendations of the ad hoc working group in order for the latter to submit its final recommendations to the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2016 for a decision;
  7. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to produce, subject to extra-budgetary funding, a guidance document on urban heritage, including its definition, identification, conservation and management, based on the Historic Urban Landscape approach;
  8. Also decides that Annex 3 to the Operational Guidelines should be reviewed entirely so as to include definitions and relevant guidance for States Parties in the preparation of Tentative Lists, nominations, management and reporting systems and also requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to organise an Experts meeting, subject to extra-budgetary funding, to provide recommendations for the revision of Annex 3;
  9. Welcomes the reflections on the interaction between the World Heritage Convention and the 1954 Hague Convention and its Second Protocol (1999) and further requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in consultation with the Secretariat of the Hague Convention (1954), to consider options for further developing concrete synergies and coordinating reporting mechanisms between the World Heritage Convention and the Second Protocol (1999) of the Hague Convention (1954) for the next revision of the Operational Guidelines in 2017 and while revising the Periodic Reporting Format during the Reflection Period towards the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting;
  10. Also welcomes the inclusion of paragraphs which address issues related to indigenous peoples and World Heritage and reiterates its decision to re-examine the recommendations of the International Expert Workshop on the World Heritage Convention and Indigenous Peoples (Copenhagen, 2012) following the results of the discussions to be held by the Executive Board on the UNESCO policy on indigenous peoples;
  11. Also decides, on an exceptional basis, to re-examine Paragraphs 61 and 68 as well as Annex 2A at its 40th session in 2016;
  12. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to propose a revised version of Chapter V and Annex 7 of the Operational Guidelines to be examined by the Committee at its 41th session in 2017;
  13. Requests furthermore the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to undertake consultations on Paragraph 108 and subsequent paragraphs where references are made to management plans and management systems in order to address inconsistencies and ambiguities, and to provide further clarifications based on current thinking and the contents of the Resource Manuals, for consideration during the next revision of the Operational Guidelines in 2019;
  14. Requests furthermore the World Heritage Centre to proceed with the corrections of language inconsistencies between the English and French versions of the Operational Guidelines.

[1] The adopted version, dated 8 July 2015, is available in PDF format at the following web address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/39COM/decisions

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Code: 37COM 12.II
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2013

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/12,

2.  Recalling Decisions 36 COM 13.I and 36 COM 13.II adopted at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012) and 35 COM 12B adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Noting Decisions 7.COM 3 and 7.COM 6 adopted by the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict at its seventh meeting in December 2012, and welcoming the reflections on the interaction between the World Heritage Convention and the Second Protocol (1999) to the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict;

4.  Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to develop, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Hague Convention (1954), a revision of Annex 5 of the Operational Guidelines (Format for the Nomination of Properties for Inscription on the World Heritage List) in order to allow Parties to the Second Protocol (1999) to request, if they wish so, the inscription of the nominated property on the List of Cultural Property under Enhanced Protection;

5.  Takes note of the recommendations of the International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Earthen Architecture and further requests the World Heritage Centre to prepare, in the framework of the World Heritage Earthen Architecture Programme (WHEAP), a draft text and review the best place in which such a proposal could be reflected (e.g. Resource Manuals, web-pages or Operational Guidelines );

6.  Notes the results of the International Expert Meeting on Visual Integrity (India, 2013) following the International Expert Meeting on Integrity for Cultural Heritage (UAE, 2012) and considers that further examination of proposed revisions may be brought to the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee after the expert meeting on the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape and World Heritage (Brazil, September 2013), which should reflect upon the identification of urban heritage within the categories of the Convention and propose the appropriate revisions to the Operational Guidelines , together with the proposed revisions of the relevant section in Annex 3 to reflect the guidance required for the nomination, evaluation and management of urban heritage, for examination by the Committee when establishing the next cycle of revision of the Operational Guidelines ;

7.  Also notes the results of the International Expert Meeting on World Heritage Convention and Indigenous Peoples (Denmark, 2012) and decides to re-examine the recommendations of this meeting following the results of the discussions to be held by the Executive Board on the UNESCO Policy on indigenous peoples for further steps;

8.  Approves the revisions of the Operational Guidelines for these paragraphs: 127, 128, 132, 150, 161, 162 and 240 as follows:

Paragraph 150 of the Operational Guidelines

Letters from the concerned State ( s ) Part y( ies ) , submitted in the appropriate form in Annex 12, detailing the factual errors th at ey might have been identified in the evaluation of their nomination made by the Advisory Bodies, must be received by the Chairperson World Heritage Centre at least no later than 14 days before the opening of the session of the Committee with copies to the relevant Advisory Bod y( ies ) . Provided that the Chairperson, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Body, is satisfied that the letter deals only with factual errors and contains no advocacy, t T he letter s shall be distributed in the working languages to the members of the Committee and may be read out by the Chairperson  the presentation of the   evaluation made available as an annex to the documents for the relevant agenda item, and no later than the first day of the Committee session. If a letter contains both notification of factual errors and advocacy, only those parts of it dealing with factual errors shall be distributed. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies may add their comments to the letters, in the relevant section of the form, before they are made available.

Paragraph 161 of the Operational Guidelines

The normal timetable and definition of completeness for the submission and processing of nominations will not apply in the case of properties which in the opinion of the relevant Advisory Bodies, would unquestionably meet the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List and which would be in Danger, as a result of having have suffered damage or face facing serious and specific dangers from natural events or human activities , which would constitute an emergency situation for which an immediate decision by the Committee is necessary to ensure their safeguarding, and which , according to the report of the relevant Advisory Bodies, may unquestionably justify Outstanding Universal Value.

Such nominations will be processed on an emergency basis and their examination is included in the agenda of the next Committee session. may be These properties may be inscribed simultaneously on the World Heritage List . They shall, in that case, be simultaneously inscribed and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (see paragraphs 177-191).

Paragraph 162 of the Operational Guidelines

The procedure for nominations to be processed on an emergency basis is as follows:

a)  A State Party presents a nomination with the request for processing on an emergency basis. The State Party shall have already included, or immediately include, the property on its Tentative List.

b)  The nomination shall:

i)   describe the property and identify precisely its boundaries the property ;

ii)  justify its Outstanding Universal Value according to the criteria;

iii)  justify its integrity and/or authenticity;

iv) describe its protection and management system;

v)  describe the nature of the emergency, including and the nature and extent of the damage or specific danger and showing that immediate action by the Committee is necessary to ensure the safeguarding for the survival of the property.

c)  The Secretariat immediately transmits the nomination to the relevant Advisory Bodies, requesting an assessment of the qualities of the property which may justify its Outstanding Universal Value, and of the nature of the danger and the urgency of a decision by the Committee . emergency, damage and/or danger . A field visit may be necessary if the relevant Advisory Bodies consider it appropriate and if the time allows ;

d)   If the relevant Advisory Bodies determine that the property unquestionably meets the criteria for inscription, and that the requirements (see a) above) are satisfied, the examination of the nomination will be added to the agenda of the next session of the Committee.

d e )  When reviewing the nomination the Committee will also consider:

i)   inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

ii) i) allocation of International Assistance  to complete the nomination; and

iii) ii) follow-up missions as necessary by the Secretariat and the relevant Advisory Bodies as soon as possible after inscription to fulfil the Committee’s recommendations.

 

Paragraph 240 of the Operational Guidelines

A balance will be maintained in the allocation of resources between cultural and natural heritage and between Conservation and Management and Preparatory Assistance. This balance is reviewed and decided upon on a regular basis by the Committee and during the last 3 months during the second year of each biennium by the Chairperson of or the World Heritage Committee.

 

Paragraph 128 of the Operational Guidelines

Nominations may be submitted at any time during the year [original in bold], but only those nominations that are "complete" (see paragraph 132) and received by the Secretariat on or before 1 February 3 [original in bold] [ 3 If 1 February falls on a weekend, the nomination must be received by 17h00 GMT the preceding Friday.] will be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee during the following year. Only nominations of properties included in the State Party's Tentative List will be examined by the Committee (see paragraph s 63 and 65 ).

 

Paragraph 132 of the Operational Guidelines

For a nomination to be considered as "complete", the following requirements (see format in Annex 5) are to be met:

1. Identification of the Property

The boundaries of the property being proposed shall be clearly defined, unambiguously distinguishing between the nominated property and any buffer zone (when present) (see paragraphs 103-107). Maps shall be sufficiently detailed (see Explanatory Note of section 1.e in Annex 5) to determine precisely which area of land and/or water is nominated. Officially up-to-date published topographic maps of the State Party annotated to show the property boundaries and any buffer zone (when present) shall be provided if available in printed version. A nomination shall be considered "incomplete" if it does not include clearly defined boundaries.[…]

10. Number of printed copies required (including map annexed)

- Nominations of cultural properties (excluding cultural landscapes): 2 identical copies

- Nominations of natural properties and cultural landscapes: 3 identical copies

- Nominations of mixed properties: 4 identical copies

Explanatory Notes of Annex 5

1.e Maps and plans, showing the boundaries of the nominated property and buffer zone [original in bold]

Annex to the nomination, and list below with scales and dates:

(i) An o O riginal cop y ies of a topographic map s showing the property nominated, at the largest scale available which show s the entire property. The boundaries of the nominated property and buffer zone should be clearly marked . Either on this map, or on an accompanying one, there should also be a record of t The boundaries of zones of special legal protection from which the property benefits should be recorded on maps to be included under the protection and management section of the nomination text . Multiple maps may be necessary for serial nominations (see table in 1.d). The maps provided should be at the largest available and practical scale to allow the identification of topographic elements such as neighbouring settlements, buildings and routes in order to allow the clear assessment of the impact of any proposed development within, adjacent to, or on the boundary line. The choice of the adequate scale is essential to clearly show the boundaries of the proposed site and shall be in relation to the category of site that is proposed for inscription: cultural sites would require cadastral maps, while natural sites or cultural landscapes would require topographic maps (normally 1:25 000 to 1:50 000 scale).

Utmost care is needed with the width of boundary lines on maps, as thick boundary lines may make the actual boundary of the property ambiguous.

Maps may be obtained from the addresses shown at the following Web address https://whc.unesco.org/en/mapagencies.

If topographic maps are not available at the appropriate scale other maps may be substituted. All maps should be capable of being geo-referenced, with a minimum of three points on opposite sides of the maps with complete sets of coordinates. The maps, untrimmed, should show scale, orientation, projection, datum, property name and date. If possible, maps should be sent rolled and not folded.

Geographic Information in digital form is encouraged if possible, suitable for incorporation into a GIS (Geographic Information System), however this may not substitute the submission of printed maps. In this case the delineation of the boundaries (nominated property and buffer zone) should be presented in vector form, prepared at the largest scale possible.  The State Party is invited to contact the Secretariat for further information concerning this option. […]

Paragraph 127 of the Operational Guidelines

States Parties may submit draft nominations to the Secretariat for comment and review at any time during the year. However States Parties are strongly encouraged to transmit to the Secretariat by 30 September [original in bold] of each the preceding year (see paragraph 168) the draft nominations that they wish to submit by the 1 February deadline . This submission of a draft nomination is voluntary should include maps showing the boundaries for the proposed site. Draft nominations could be submitted either in electronic format or in printed version (only in 1 copy without annexes except for maps). In both cases they should be accompanied by a cover letter.

9.  Decides not to approve the changes proposed for paragraphs 61, 141 and 168;

10. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to proceed with the corrections of language inconsistencies between the English and French versions of the Operational Guidelines .

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Code: 37COM 12.I
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2013

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/12,

2.  Recalling Decisions 36 COM 13.I , 36 COM 13.II adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 35 COM 12B adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Decides to establish a Consultative Body under Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure during its 37thsession to examine proposed revisions to the Operational Guidelines .

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Code: 36COM 13.II
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2012

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/13,

2.   Recalling Decision 33 COM 7.1, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2006),

3.   Taking note of the adoption of the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape by the UNESCO General Conference at its 36th session in 2011,

4.   Acknowledging the need to mainstream the methodological approach related to the above-mentioned Recommendation in the Operational Guidelines,

5.   Invites the Director of the World Heritage Centre to convene an expert meeting, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, to reflect upon and propose appropriate revisions of the Operational Guidelines, in that regard, including its Annex III, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

6.   Taking into account the inscription of the propertyRio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea (Brazil) on the World Heritage List at the present session, welcomes the offer from the State Party of Brazil to host the aforementioned meeting in Rio de Janeiro, with the support of the UNESCO Category 2 Regional Heritage Management Training Centre “Lucio Costa”.

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Code: 36COM 13.I
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2012

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC-12/36.COM/13, WHC-12/36.COM/9A, WHC-12/36.COM/12A and WHC-12/36.COM/14,
  2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 13 adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011) to “establish an open-ended working group on the Operational Guidelines at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2012 to consider the proposals made by Jordan on paragraph 68 and reflect on other elements of the Operational Guidelines as may be proposed by other States Parties”,
  3. Recognizes the value of the proposal presented by Jordan aimed at replacing the text of paragraph 68 of the Operational Guidelines, however considers that no change to the text of paragraph 68 is necessary at this stage;
  4. Thanks the State Party of the United Arab Emirates for hosting the International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Integrity for Cultural Heritage (Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, 12-14 March 2012) in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, takes note of the recommendations of this meeting as a basis to continue working on this issue, recognizes the need for clearer guidance on the issue of integrity and requests that the World Heritage Centre, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies and States Parties, proposes a revision of paragraph 89 based on the findings of the experts meeting, to be presented for consideration at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee;
  5. Also thanks the Government of Poland for organizing the International World Heritage Expert Meeting on Criterion (vi) and Associated Values (Warsaw, Poland, 28-30 March 2012), notes the recommendations of that meeting and their contribution to the assessment of integrity of associative values which should be taken into consideration in the revision to paragraph 89, and also notes the need for thematic studies on certain types of sites with associative values, such as sacred sites and those associated with the heritage of science;
  6. Recommends that supplementary guidance to the Operational Guidelines on the subjects of the above-mentioned meetings, and particularly on defining the conditions of integrity and authenticity for cultural sites, should also be provided in appropriate volumes of the Resource Manuals and other publications or training materials;
  7. Takes note of the need to include in Chapter III.A (Preparation of Nominations) a reference to the desirability of preparatory work before beginning work on a nomination dossier, and adopts a revision of Paragraph 122 as indicated in Annex 1;
  8. Also takes note of the revisions proposed on International Assistance in working document WHC-12/36.COM/14 and approves the following revisions of the  Operational Guidelines for paragraphs 210, 235, 238, 240, 241, 252 and 254 as proposed in Annex 2;
  9. Also requests the World Heritage Centre to proceed with the corrections of language consistency between the English and French versions of the Operational Guidelines, notably in paragraph 162 (d) to correct the French to read “d) Si les Organisations consultatives compétentes déterminent que le bien répond incontestablement aux critères d’inscription et que les exigences (voir a) ci-dessus) sont satisfaites, l’examen de la proposition d’inscription sera ajouté à l’ordre du jour de la prochaine session du Comité” while the English remains unchanged; and to adapt the French title of Annex 2B to read “Formulaire pour la soumission d’une liste indicative pour les futures propositions d’inscription transfrontalières et transnationales en série”;

10. Further requests the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies to:

a)  Propose a revision to paragraph 115 of the Operational Guidelines to confirm the degree to which management systems and legal frameworks need to be in place before inscription,

b)  Review paragraph 150 to ensure that the World Heritage Committee and States Parties concerned are informed of the process and status of factual errors letters including their upload on the web-page of the World Heritage Centre,

c)  Elaborate further proposals on options concerning deferral and referral, as well as on the process and timelines for emergency nominations presented under paragraphs 161-162, and to submit the findings and recommendations for examination at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee,

d)  Make proposals on the methodology for revisions to the Operational Guidelines for the next cycle;

11. Finally requests, in order to ensure the most effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention, that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies continue their reflections on clarifying the links between the different documents and their scope that have been elaborated for the implementation of the Convention. 

Annex 1

New Paragraph 122

Before States Parties begin to prepare a nomination of a property for inscription on the World Heritage List, they should become familiar with the nomination cycle, described in Paragraph 168. It is desirable to carry out initial preparatory work to establish that a property has the potential to justify Outstanding Universal Value, including integrity or authenticity, before the development of a full nomination dossier which could be expensive and time-consuming.  Such preparatory work might include collection of available information on the property, thematic studies, scoping studies of the potential for demonstrating Outstanding Universal Value, including integrity or authenticity, or an initial comparative study of the property in its wider global or regional context, including an analysis in the context of the Gap Studies produced by the Advisory Bodies.  Such work will help to establish the feasibility of a possible nomination at an early stage and avoid use of resources on nominations that may be unlikely to succeed. States Parties are invited to contact the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre at the earliest opportunity in considering nominations to seek information and guidance.

Annex 2

New Paragraph 210

The Committee requested the Secretariat with the Advisory Bodies, in consultation with the relevant States Parties, to develop long-term follow-up Regional Programmes structured according to its Strategic Objectives and to submit them for its examination. These Programmes are adopted as follow up to Periodic Reports and regularly reviewed by the Committee based on the needs of States Parties identified in Periodic Reports. These They should accurately reflect the needs of World Heritage in the Region and facilitate the granting of International Assistance. The Committee also expressed its support to ensure direct links between the Strategic Objectives and the International Assistance.

New Paragraph 235

The World Heritage Committee co-ordinates and allocates types of International Assistance in response to State Party requests. These types of International Assistance, described in the summary table set out below, in order of priority are:

a) Emergency assistance

b) Conservation and Management assistance (incorporating assistance for training and research, technical co-operation and promotion and education)

c)  Preparatory assistance.

 New Paragraph 238

To support its Strategic Objectives, the Committee also allocates International Assistance in conformity with the priorities set out by in its decisions and in the Regional Programmes it adopts as a follow up to Periodic Reports (see para. 210). These Programmes are adopted as a follow up to Periodic Reportsand regularly reviewed by the Committee based on the needs of States Parties identified in Periodic Reports (see chapter V).

 New Paragraph 240

A balance will be maintained in the allocation of resources for between cultural and natural heritage and between Conservation & Management and Preparatory Assistance. This balance is reviewed and decided upon on a regular basis by the Committee and during the last 3 months of each biennium by the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee.

New Paragraph 241

[Preparatory] assistance may be requested to (in order of priority):

(i) prepare or update national Tentative Lists of properties suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List; a commitment will be required from the State Party to nominate in priority on these lists sites recognized in approved thematic advice, such as the thematic studies prepared by the Advisory Bodies, as corresponding to gaps on the List;

(ii) organize meetings for the harmonization of national Tentative Lists within the same geo-cultural area;

(iii) prepare nominations of properties for inscription on the World Heritage List (this may include, including preparatory work such as collection of basic information, scoping studies of the potential for demonstration of Outstanding Universal Value, including integrity or authenticity, comparative studies of the property in relation to other similar properties (see 3.c2 of Annex 5), including analysis in the context of the Gap Studies produced by the Advisory Bodies. Priority will be given to requests for sites recognized in approved thematic advice as corresponding to gaps on the List and/or for sites where preliminary investigations have shown that further inquiries would be justified, especially in the case of States Parties whose heritage is un-represented or under-represented on the World Heritage List.

(iv)  prepare requests for Conservation & Management assistance for consideration by the World Heritage Committee for training and research assistance and for technical co-operation for World Heritage properties.

 New Paragraph 252

All requests for International Assistance of more than US$ 5,000, except those of Emergency Assistance up to and including US$ 75,000, are evaluated by a panel composed of representatives of the World Heritage Centre Regional Desks and the Advisory Bodies, and if possible the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee or one vice-chairperson, meeting at least once or twice a year before action by the Chairperson and/or Committee. Requests for the approval of the Chairperson can be submitted at anytime to the Secretariat and approved by the Chairperson after appropriate evaluation. Requests for Emergency Assistance of up to and including US$ 75,000 can be submitted at anytime to the Secretariat and will be submitted for approval by to the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee or to the Committee at its next session for decision after comments by the Advisory Bodies and without examination by the panel.

New Paragraph 254

All requests for Preparatory Assistance or Conservation and Management Assistance of more than US$ 5,000 for the approval of the Committee should be received by the Secretariat on or before 1 February 31 October. These requests are submitted to the Committee at its next session. Incomplete forms which do not come back duly completed by 30 November will be sent back to the States Parties for submission to a next cycle. Complete requests are examined by a first panel held in January during the meeting between the Secretariat and the Advisory Bodies. Requests for which the panel issues a positive or a negative recommendation will be submitted to the Chairperson/Committee for decision. A second panel may be held at least eight weeks before the Committee session for requests which were revised since the first panel. Requests sent back for a substantial revision will be examined by the panel depending on their date of receipt. Requests requiring only minor revision and no further examination by the panel must come back within the year when they were examined first; otherwise they will be sent again to a next panel. The chart detailing the submission process is attached in Annex 8.

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Code: 35COM 13
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2011

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/13,

2. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 16, 32 COM 13, 33 COM 13, 34 COM 8B.31 and 34 COM 13 respectively adopted at its 31st (Christchurch, 2007), 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 33rd (Seville, 2009) and 34th (Brasilia, 2010) sessions,

3. Takes note of the results of the Working Group on the revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention established as a Consultative Body (Brasilia, July-August 2010) presented in Section I and the results of the Working Group (UNESCO, Paris, November 2010) presented in Section II of Document WHC-11/35.COM/13;

4. Adopts these revisions to the Operational Guidelines;

5. Welcomes the offer of the Government of Poland to host an expert meeting on criterion (vi) in the first quarter of 2012 and requests the World Heritage Centre to report on the results of this meeting to the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2012;

6. Reiterates its request to the World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies, to organize an expert meeting to reflect on the integrity of cultural properties and to seek extrabudgetary funding to support the organization of this meeting;

7. Requests the World Heritage Centre to integrate all changes in a revised version of the Operational Guidelines for electronic and hardcopy publication.

8. Decides to establish an open-ended working group on the Operational Guidelines at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2012 to consider the proposals made by Jordan on paragraph 68 and reflect on other elements of the Operational Guidelines as may be proposed by other States Parties.

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Code: 34COM 13
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2010

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-10/34.COM/13 and WHC-10/34.COM/13.Rev,

2. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 16, 32 COM 13 and 33 COM 13 adopted at its 31st (Christchurch, 2007), 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) and 33rd (Seville, 2009) sessions respectively;

3. Takes note of the proposals presented in Document WHC-10/34.COM/13.Rev of the Working Group on the Revision of the Operational Guidelines, created as a Consultative Body at its present session as per Rule 20 of the Rules of Procedure of the World Heritage Committee;

4. Requests the Working Group to continue its work to finalize the revision of the Operational Guidelines, and to present its report to the Committee at its 35th session in 2011, including reflections concerning the process for the revision of the Operational Guidelines and the recommendations of the international expert meetings presented in section II of Document WHC-10/34.COM/13.Rev;

5. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 8A.3 and 32 COM 8A concerning tentative lists, also requests the World Heritage Centre in consultation with the Advisory Bodies to propose a revision of Part II.C (Tentative Lists) of the Operational Guidelines in order to clarify the procedures of technical analysis by the World Heritage Centre and to ensure that properties proposed on the tentative lists are consistent with properties already inscribed on the World Heritage List.

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Code: 33COM 13
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2009

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/13 and WHC-09/33.COM/INF.13,

2. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 16 and 32 COM 13 respectively adopted at its 31st (Christchurch, 2007) and 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) sessions,

3. Takes note of the report of the Working group of the Committee on the World Heritage emblem presented in document WHC-09/33.COM/INF.13 and the work undertaken to propose corresponding revisions to the Operational Guidelines;

4. Requests the World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies, and relevant sectors of UNESCO, to continue the work initiated through the Working group on the World Heritage emblem and submit a comprehensive working document focusing on the harmonization of the Directives Concerning the Use of the Name, Acronym, Logo, and Internet Domain Names of UNESCO (Resolution 34 C/86 of the General Conference of UNESCO) to the Committee for examination at its 34th session in 2010;

5. Also requests the World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies in conformity with Section IIE of the Operational Guidelines, to organize an expert meeting to develop examples of the application of the conditions of integrity and authenticity to properties nominated under criteria (i) - (vi) for inclusion in Section IIE of the Operational Guidelines and to seek extra-budgetary funding to support the organization of this meeting.

6. Recalling the debate on changes in the Operational Guidelines during the 33rd session of the Committee (Seville, 2009), requests the World Heritage Centre to prepare an updated document of these changes for adoption at the 34th session in 2010 and circulate this for comments to States Parties before the 1 December 2009.

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Code: 32COM 13
Title: Revision of Operational Guidelines
Year: 2008

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/13,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 16 adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),
Decisions report of the 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008) WHC-08/32.COM/24, p. 236

3. Takes not of the amendments compiled in the Annex of the Document WHC-08/32.COM/13;

4. Requests the World Heritage Centre, in close cooperation with the Advisory Bodies, to draft the amendments to the Operational Guidelines proposed in Document WHC-08/32.COM/13 taking account of the debate at the 32nd session and the Committee's reflections, and in cooperation with the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, to develop a screening process for the Operational Guidelines to ensure consistent references between the different proposals for submission to the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

5. Establishes an informal working group to review and propose revisions to Chapter VIII of the Operational Guidelines, as well as clear procedures and tools to promote consistent and appropriate use of the World Heritage emblem, for the consideration of the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

6. Requests the World Heritage Centre, notwithstanding Decision 31 COM 16, to publish the updated English and French versions of the Basic Texts of the Convention following the 33rd session of the Committee in 2009.

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Code: 31COM 18B
Title: International Assistance
Year: 2007

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/18B,

2.  Recalling Decision 30 COM 14A, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.   Taking into account the recommendations contained in Document WHC-06/30.COM/14A,

4.  Considers that the preference for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Low Income Economies (LIEs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and post-conflict countries apply when the funds available are limited and a selection has to be made;

5.  Decides:

a) to adopt the new application form and its written guidelines presented in the above-mentioned Document, as Annexes I and II (as amended);

b) to adopt the selection criteria to be used in the evaluation of International Assistance requests by the Advisory Bodies presented in the above-mentioned Document as Annex III (as amended);

c) to dedicate 35% of the envelope foreseen for International Assistance in the World Heritage Fund budget (excluding Emergency Assistance) to natural heritage and 65% to cultural heritage;

d) to maintain a ceiling of USD 10,000 for International Assistance requests falling under items (vii) and (viii) of the Conservation & Management category in paragraph 241 of the Operational Guidelines

e) that there will be no more earmarking of funds against the different types of international assistance, except emergency assistance, beginning in the 2008-2009 biennium;

6.  Also decides that requests of less than USD 5,000 will be submitted for approval by the Director of the World Heritage Centre, within the limits set out in Paragraph 241 of the Operational Guidelines, without examination by the panel;

7.   Further decides that requests for Emergency Assistance of up to USD 75,000 will be submitted for approval by the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee after comments by the Advisory Bodies and without examination by the panel, provided they meet the definition established for Emergency Assistance;

8.   Further decides that for requests for international assistance for the preparation of nomination dossiers, every effort will be made to recommend the use of the technical assistance of experts and to monitor the effectiveness of the international assistance in the context of future inscriptions;

9.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to include in future reports on international assistance approved by the Director and the Chairperson details about the application of the selection criteria to each project;

10.  Approves the modifications in the Operational Guidelines, paragraphs 233 to 257, proposed in the above-mentioned Document.

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Code: 31COM 13A
Title: Evaluation of the results of the implementation of the Committee’s strategic objectives
Year: 2007

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/13A,

2. Recalls the Budapest Declaration, adopted during its 25th session (Budapest, 2002), and more particularly its Article 5;

3. Takes note of information provided by States Parties in their responses to the questionnaire submitted by the World Heritage Centre; Decisions report (Christchurch, 2007) WHC-07/31.COM/24, p. 193

4. Congratulates States Parties to the Convention for their commitment in the implementation of the four strategic objectives and warmly encourages them to pursue their efforts;

5. Decides to maintain credibility, conservation, capacity building and communication as strategic objectives in the implementation of the Convention whilst restating the different components and, recognizing the critical importance of involving indigenous, traditional and local communities in the implementation of the Convention, further decides to add “communities” as a fifth strategic objective;

6. Requests the World Heritage Centre to use the evaluation of the Periodic Report in the assessment of the strategic objectives for the implementation of the Convention;

7. Decides to consider, at its 32nd session in 2008, the establishment of a working group to study the implementation of the strategic objectives.

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Code: 30COM 8D.1
Title: Revision of Criteria of Properties Inscribed on the World Heritage List according to the Operational Guidelines (2005)
Year: 2006

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/8D,
  2. Noting the change to criteria numbering of properties inscribed for geological values by its 16th session (Santa Fe, 1992);
  3. Further noting the agreement of the concerned States Parties to the proposed changes as outlined in Tables 1, 2 and 3 of Annex I of Document WHC-06/30.COM/8D;
  4. Decides to approve the criteria numbering as presented in Tables 1, 2 and 3 of Annex I of Document WHC-06/30.COM/8D.

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Code: 30COM 8D.2
Title: Revision of Criteria of Properties Inscribed on the World Heritage List according to the Operational Guidelines (2005)
Year: 2006

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/8D,
  2. Recalling its decision to unify into one set of criteria the six cultural and four natural criteria in paragraph 77 of the Operational Guidelines (2005);
  3. Noting the changes already made to the numbering of geological criteria by its decision 30 COM 8D.1;
  4. Requests the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to include the revised criteria numbering in its publications.

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Code: 27COM 10
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2003

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Requests States Parties to the World Heritage Convention to provide final written comments on the revised Operational Guidelines presented in document WHC.03/27.COM/10 to the World Heritage Centre by 15 October 2003;

2. Further requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to review the written comments from States Parties, verifying that they comply with the decisions of the Committee, in particular Decision 6 EXT COM 5.1 and Technical Annex, and integrate them into the revised Operational Guidelines in English and French;

3. Requests the Chairperson of the 27th session of the World Heritage Committee to approve the final text of the revised Operational Guidelines on its behalf;

4. Decides that the revised Operational Guidelines will come into effect on 1 March 2004, at which time the World Heritage Centre will inform all States Parties and distribute the final text.

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Code: 06EXTCOM 5.1
Title: Revision Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
Year: 2003

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Thanking the Drafting Group and all other experts, representatives of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre for work accomplished to date on the revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention;

2. Taking note of the Report of the March 2002 Drafting Group on the Revision of the Operational Guidelines presented as document WHC-03/6 EXT.COM/INF.5A;

3. Considering that the 3rd Draft Revised Operational Guidelines presented in document WHC-03/6 EXT.COM/INF.5B represents a substantial effort, but that further work is required to reflect the recent decisions of the Committee (in particular Decisions 6 EXT.COM 3 and 6 EXT.COM 4 and 6 EXT.COM 7) and to make them more userfriendly;

4. Recalling the decision of the 25th session of the Committee to allocate US $ 50,000 from the World Heritage Fund in 2003 for the revision of the Operational Guidelines and the subsequent decision 26 COM 24.2 (paragraph 3) to reduce this amount to US $ 22,000;

5. Taking into account decision 6 EXT COM 5.2 relating to the preparation of a volume of the Basic Texts of the Convention;

6. Requests the World Heritage Centre, working in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies, to carry out the tasks itemized below in the Technical Annex in order to present revised user-friendly Operational Guidelines to the World Heritage Committee for adoption at its 27th session (Suzhou, China 29 June-5 July 2003);

7. Decides to include an item on the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines on the agenda of the 27th session of the Committee (Suzhou, China 29 June-5 July 2003).

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Code: 06EXTCOM 5.2
Title: World Heritage Basic Texts
Year: 2003

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Taking note of the proposal by the Belgian Delegation (presented in Figure 1 of document WHC-02/CONF.202/15) for the preparation of a compilation of World Heritage Basic Texts like the Basic Texts of UNESCO and of the positive comments on this proposal received from States Parties in responses to Circular Letter CL/WHC.12/02 concerning the revision of the Rules of Procedure;
  2. Requests the World Heritage Centre, to prepare an outline and publication plan (including budget) for a compilation of World Heritage Basic Texts in English and French (to include the World Heritage Convention, the Budapest Declaration, the Operational Guidelines, the Rules of Procedure of the World Heritage Committee, the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention and the Financial Regulations of the World Heritage Fund) for presentation to the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2004;
  3. Further requests the World Heritage Centre, working in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies, to present to the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2004 a budgeted proposal for the preparation of guidance documents for the protection of World Heritage properties that would supplement the Operational Guidelines. These could include detailed guidance on the nomination and management of certain types of World Heritage properties, case studies of best practices, or guidance on other particular related issues.

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Code: 26COM 18
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 2002

The World Heritage Committee,

Decides, in view of the time constraints to defer this item until its extraordinary session in March 2003 [7].

[7] See also decisions 26 COM 26 and 26 COM 28.

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Code: 25COM VI
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
Year: 2001

VI.1 The Secretariat presented a brief progress report on the revision of the Operational Guidelines making reference to working document WHC-01/CONF.208/6 (Revision of the Operational Guidelines) and WHC-01/CONF.208/INF.13 (Application of cultural criterion (vi)). The Committee noted that:

  • The current revisions to the Operational Guidelines are being prepared on the basis of recommendations of an Expert Meeting held in Canterbury (United Kingdom) in April 2000, that were adopted by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session in Cairns (2000).
  • The overall objective of the current process of revision of the Guidelines is to create a userfriendly document that is streamlined and simplified and includes a consolidated section on the protection and conservation of World Heritage properties.
  • The 1st Draft Annotated Revisions of the Operational Guidelines were sent to all States Parties under cover of a Circular Letter (CL/WHC.8/01) in July 2001. Seventeen submissions were received in response. The 1st Draft and comments received are included on the web site www.unesco.org/whc/opgu/ (English) and www.unesco.org/fr/orient/ (French).
  • From 8 to 12 October 2001, a Drafting Group met at UNESCO Headquarters to review the 1st Draft and the submissions and to elaborate a 2nd Draft. The Drafting Group included experts from the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee (Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Finland, Morocco and Zimbabwe). Due to other commitments, the expert from Thailand was unable to attend. An expert from the United Kingdom (Dr Christopher Young, English Heritage who had chaired the Canterbury meeting) and representatives of the three Advisory Bodies, the World Heritage Centre and the Culture Sector of UNESCO, attended the meeting. The report of the Drafting Group was made available to the Committee as WHC-01/CONF.208/6 and is also included on the web site.
  • The 2nd Draft Annotated Revisions of the Operational Guidelines was presented to the Committee as Annex IV of WHC-01/CONF.208/6.

  • It is proposed that the revised Operational Guidelines include five main sections: I. Introduction II. Establishment of the World Heritage List III. Protection and conservation of World Heritage Properties IV. International Assistance V. Mobilisation of national and international support in favour of the World Heritage Convention

  • The Drafting Group considered that three issues require policy and legal consideration by the Committee before drafting can be finalised for consideration by the Committee. These are:

    (i) The role of State Party consent in reactive monitoring;

    (ii) The role of State Party consent for inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger; and

    (iii) The capacity of the World Heritage Committee to decide and the role of the State Party to consent to deletion of properties from the World Heritage List.

 

The Committee:

1. congratulated the Drafting Group for the substantial progress made in revising the Operational Guidelines;

2. approved the organization of the next meeting of the Drafting Group at UNESCO Headquarters from 18 to 22 March 2002 to review the Annexes and sections of the Operational Guidelines still requiring finalization. The composition of the next Drafting Group will include an expert nominated by each State Party that is a Bureau member in 2002, an expert nominated by each State Party that were Bureau members in 2001 (Australia, Canada, Morocco, Ecuador and Zimbabwe) in order to use their experience to finalise the text, representatives from the Advisory Bodies, other experts as required (to be selected by the Director of the World Heritage Centre in consultation with the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee) and the World Heritage Centre.

3. invited States Parties to provide written comments on the 2nd Draft Annotated revisions of the Operational Guidelines to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2001 for consideration by the Drafting Group in March 2002;

4. recalled that the Director of the Centre had indicated that the UNESCO analysis of legal/policy issues identified in the report of the Drafting Group would be available in time for the March 2002 Operational Guidelines Drafting Group;

5. considered that the Drafting Group should only examine technical questions and should leave discussions on legal and policy issues to the Committee.

 

VI.2 The Delegate of Belgium noted that there was a need to further discuss the application of the criteria, and in particular cultural heritage criterion (vi). The Committee did not make a decision on this specific point. However, the Chairperson noted that criterion (vi) will be discussed by the Operational Guidelines Drafting Group.

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Code: 23COM XIIID.18-20
Title: Revision to Paragraph 113-116 of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1999

XIII.18 The Bureau at its twenty-third session had requested the Secretariat to propose specific revisions to paragraphs 113- 116 related to priorities in providing International Assistance to States Parties. The Secretariat, however, proposed to the Committee that these revisions be prepared on the basis of the outcome of the evaluation of International Assistance that was currently being undertaken.

XIII.19 The Delegate of Belgium stated that a revision was necessary, as the present Guidelines do not exactly reflect the priorities set out in the resolution adopted by the twelfth General Assembly of States Parties. The Observer of Japan made reference to the statement of the former Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee at the twelfth General Assembly that, in the absence of clear guidelines, he had to evaluate requests for international assistance on the basis of first come, first served. Instead, the international assistance should have a linkage with the Global Strategy and thus priority should be given to least developed countries as well as low income countries and especially those that are under-represented on the World Heritage List. In supporting the Observer of Japan, the Delegate of Benin recalled that the Bureau at its twenty-third session had encountered the situation whereby there were insufficient funds for international assistance requests and therefore precise priorities should be defined and adhered to when examining these requests. The Committee expressed its gratitude that the Government of Japan had made a voluntary contribution of US$ 300,000 in order to respond in a timely fashion to requests for preparatory assistance that were fully justified and responded to the objectives of the Global Strategy.

XIII.20 The Committee decided to refer this matter to the Strategic Task Force chaired by Canada for further consideration. It requested that this be done on the basis of the concerns expressed during the discussions by the Bureau at its twenty-third session, the deliberations at the twenty-third session of the Committee, the outcomes of the evaluation of International Assistance and in line with the resolution adopted by the twelfth General Assembly of States Parties.

 

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Code: 23COM XIIIC.16-17
Title: Revision to Paragraph 68 of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1999

XIII.16 The Committee recalled that the Bureau at its twenty-third session considered a proposal made by the Delegate of Australia that reactive state of conservation reports also be transmitted to the States Parties concerned prior to the Bureau and Committee sessions. The Bureau had subsequently transmitted to the Committee a proposed revision to paragraph 68 of the Operational Guidelines.

XIII.17 The Committee decided to defer the examination of the proposed revision. It requested that this matter be considered in the framework of the meeting on the Operational Guidelines that will take place in the United Kingdom in April 2000.

 

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Code: 23COM XIIIB.13-15
Title: Revision to Paragraph 65 of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1999

XIII.13 The Committee considered the revision to paragraph 65 of the Operational Guidelines as recommended by the Bureau at its twenty-third session. The Committee recalled that discussions took place at the twenty-second session of the Committee and the twenty-third session of the Bureau on the proposal made by the Delegate of Italy, and that a working group chaired by Professor Francionni had reviewed the implications of paragraph 65 during the twenty-third session of the World Heritage Bureau, and indicated that the evaluations of nominations, prepared by the advisory bodies, be transmitted to the States Parties concerned at the same time as they are transmitted to the members of the Committee.

XIII.14 The Observer of France stated that the proposed revision might seem to add transparency but as a matter of fact it would give the advisory bodies a role of a decision-maker which does not belong to them but to the World Heritage Bureau and Committee. He noted, as did many delegates, and also the advisory bodies, that the revision could create confusion about the nomination and evaluation procedures. It was also observed that the Operational Guidelines had been revised frequently over the past years and that it would be advisable that this revision be considered in the context of the overall revision of the Operational Guidelines. Two delegates reminded the Committee that the intention of the proposed revision was to enhance equity between the Committee members and those States Parties who are not members of the World Heritage Committee.

XIII.15 The Committee decided to defer the examination of the proposed revision. It requested that this matter be considered in the framework of the meeting on the Operational Guidelines that will take place in the United Kingdom in April 2000.

 

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Code: 23COM XIIIA.2-12
Title: Revision of Section I of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1999

XIII.2 The Secretariat recalled that the Operational Guidelines have been revised many times over the last twenty years and are generally considered as requiring substantial editing and reorganization. In 1998 a Global Strategy meeting for cultural and natural heritage experts was held in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The meeting discussed the application of the "test of authenticity" and the "conditions of integrity", the question of a unified set of criteria for cultural and natural heritage and the notion of "outstanding universal value". The report of the Amsterdam meeting was presented to the Committee at its twenty-second session in Kyoto, Japan.

XIII.3 The Secretariat recalled that the Amsterdam meeting made several recommendations including a proposal to develop a unified set of criteria to bring together the existing six cultural and four natural heritage criteria currently presented in Paragraphs 24 and 44 in the first section of the Operational Guidelines. The expert meeting concluded that a unified set of criteria would improve the logic of the Guidelines and emphasize and more clearly express the underlying principles of the Convention in relation to both cultural and natural, and mixed heritage, and cultural landscapes demonstrating outstanding interactions between people and the environment. The Amsterdam meeting also recommended that conditions of integrity be prepared for all ten criteria. For cultural properties this would include a test of authenticity.

XIII.4 The Secretariat informed the Committee that the Working Document concerning revisions to Section I of the Operational Guidelines examined by the twenty-third session of the Bureau in July, had been made available to the Committee as WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.12. The Secretariat recalled that the draft revisions had been prepared in full consultation with all three advisory bodies. The draft revisions, included a draft unified set of criteria with minimal change to the actual text of the criteria as a way of improving the presentation and clarity of Section I of the Guidelines and to better reflect what has been described as the nature/culture continuum expressed at many World Heritage properties around the world.

XIII.5 The Secretariat recalled that at its twenty-third session, the Bureau welcomed the generous invitation by the Observer of the United Kingdom to host an international expert meeting on the Operational Guidelines. The meeting will take place in Canterbury in the United Kingdom from 10-14 April 2000.

XIII.6 The Representative of ICOMOS noted the considerable importance of the discussions on the proposed unified set of criteria and on interpretations of the "test of authenticity". He noted that the meeting to be held in Zimbabwe in May 2000 would examine the application of the "test of authenticity" and "conditions of integrity" for Africa. He informed the Committee that the ICOMOS General Assembly held in Mexico in October 1999 had approved the Nara Document on Authenticity and that it therefore became part of the corpus of reference texts of ICOMOS. He emphasized the importance of the Nara Document in recognising, in differing regional contexts, the diversity of cultural heritage and human development. He referred to the constructive discussions that are linking culture and nature, and that had recognised cultural landscapes. Finally, he highlighted the need to recognise authenticity in the context of heritage of spiritual value.

XIII.7 The Observer of the United Kingdom informed the Committee of the aims, objectives and expected outcomes of the Expert Meeting on the Operational Guidelines to be held in Canterbury in 2000. He noted that representatives, including States Parties and site managers, from all regions would be invited. He indicated that the meeting would not re-write the Operational Guidelines but instead work on proposals to reorganise them to ensure a more user-friendly version. He thanked the Committee for having provided funds, additional to those contributed by the United Kingdom, for the meeting.

XIII.8 The Representative of ICCROM provided complementary comments to those of ICOMOS. He informed the Committee that ICCROM and ICOMOS had prepared a joint paper on the subject that they would provide to the Secretariat. He commented that it was important that a unified set of criteria did not blur the distinction between integrity and authenticity.

XIII.9 In recalling the resolution of the twelfth General Assembly of States Parties, the Observer of France commented that a unified set of criteria could contribute to ensuring a more representative World Heritage List. He expressed his concern that the Committee continued to delay the unification of the criteria and called for immediate action in this respect.

XIII.10 IUCN expressed their strong agreement with the Delegate of France stating that it was time for action by bringing the natural and cultural criteria into a continuum of criteria for World Heritage. IUCN stated that they had consulted widely within its constituency and that there is consistent support for the change to the criteria and that a decision is keenly awaited. IUCN urged that the Canterbury meeting be encouraged to work towards a draft which accommodates the integration of the criteria and endeavour to include both the conditions of integrity and the test of authenticity. The Observer of France underlined the confusion that the draft decision II.3 might encourage. With such a procedure, the Committee would confer a 'decisional' character to the evaluations of the advisory bodies that only the Bureau session in June disposes. The Delegate of Morocco noted that the revision of the Operational Guidelines is not in itself negative. What is of concern is more the rhythm of the revisions. He added that it would be advantageous to have a revised text that could be valid for the next twenty years. The importance of a concertation between the different working groups created by the Committee was emphasized.

XIII.11 The Delegate of Zimbabwe referred to the Amsterdam meeting as a milestone and expressed his agreement with the statements made by France and IUCN saying that it was time to act on the proposal to unifiy the criteria.

XIII.12 The Committee decided to refer the subject of a unified set of criteria to the Expert Meeting to be held in Canterbury, United Kingdom for review.

 

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Code: 22COM XIV.1-11
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
Year: 1998

Revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention

XIV.1 The Committee examined Working Documents WHC-98/CONF.203/16 and WHC-98/CONF.203/16Add. The Committee reviewed the following proposed revisions to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention:

Section I. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST:

XIV.2 The Committee recalled that it had already decided under item 9 of the agenda (see Chapter IX of this report) that the Centre should work with the advisory bodies to further develop Section I of the Operational Guidelines and submit them to the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau.

XIV.3 The Chairperson, while referring to the earlier decision to inscribe East Rennell (Solomon Islands), proposed to include a reference to traditional protection in paragraph 44 b(vi) of the Operational Guidelines. The Delegate of Thailand stated that, in principle, the proposed amendment of the provision of the Operational Guidelines could not be applied retroactively to the case of East Rennell and expressed his reservations to this proposal. The Committee decided to revise the first sentence of this paragraph as follows:

"A site described in paragraph 44(a) should have adequate long-term legislative, regulatory, institutional or traditional protection..."

XIV.4 The Committee noted the proposal made by the Delegate of Italy concerning paragraph 65 and the recommendation of the Bureau at its twenty-second extraordinary session, that evaluations of nominations prepared by the advisory bodies would be also sent by the Secretariat to the States Parties which had nominated sites for inscription. The Representative of IUCN said that he saw the proposal of Italy as advantageous as it would formalize a process by which the States Parties concerned would receive copies of evaluations of properties they had nominated. While recognizing that there are merits in this proposal, the Committee noted that a more in-depth reflection was required and decided to request the Bureau at its twenty-third session to examine this proposal in the context of the overall revision of Section I.

Section II. REACTIVE MONITORING AND PERIOD

REPORTING:

XIV.5 The Committee recalled that it had already amended and adopted the proposed revisions to this Section under item 6 of the agenda (see Chapter VI of this report).

XIV.6 During the discussions on the revision of the Operational Guidelines, the Committee considered a proposal by the Delegate of Hungary, an additional item h to Section II.1.: Appropriate Geographical Information, together with the following text to be included in the Explanatory Notes:

"If appropriate geographical information is not available or incomplete, it will be necessary, in the first periodic report for the State Party to provide such information. Such geographical information should be provided in an appropriate form to assist the Centre to create and maintain a user-friendly Geographical Information System of the World Heritage properties for easy reference by the States Parties and other interested partners."

The Committee decided that this proposal needs further reflection and discussion at the twenty-third session of the Bureau.

Section IV. INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

XIV.7 The Secretariat informed the Committee that it withdrew proposed revisions to paragraphs 92 to 106 as included in Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/16.

XIV.8 As to the budgetary ceiling for Preparatory Assistance, the Committee decided to raise the ceiling to US$ 30,000 with the understanding that the Chairperson would be authorized to approve requests up to an amount of US$ 20,000, whereas the Bureau's approval would be required for amounts between US$ 20,000 and US$30,000. The last sentence of paragraph 90 was amended as follows:

"This type of assistance known as "preparatory assistance", can take the form of consultant services, equipment or, in exceptional cases, financial grants. The budgetary ceiling for each preparatory assistance project is fixed at US$30,000. The Chairperson has the authorization to approve preparatory assistance requests up to an amount of US$ 20,000, whereas the Bureau can approve requests up to an amount of US$30,000."

XIV.9 The Committee decided to include in paragraph 107 a reference to education and information activities as follows:

"(v) Assistance for education, information and promotional activities

107. (a) at the regional and international levels: With reference to Article 27 of the Convention, the Committee has agreed to support programmes, activities and the holding of meetings that could:

- help to create interest in the Convention within the countries of a given region;

- create a greater awareness of the different issues related to the implementation of the Convention to promote more active involvement in its application;

- be a means of exchanging experiences;

- stimulate joint education, information and promotional programmes and activities, especially when they involve the participation of young people for the benefit of World Heritage conservation.

(b) at the national level:

The Committee felt that requests concerning national activities for promoting the Convention could be considered only when they concern:

meetings specifically organized to make the Convention better known, especially amongst young people, or for the creation of national World Heritage associations, in accordance with Article 17 of the Convention;

preparation of education and information material for the general promotion of the Convention and not for the promotion of a particular site, and especially for young people.

The World Heritage Fund shall provide only small contributions towards national education, information and promotional programmes and activities on a selective basis and for a maximum amount of $5,000. However, requests for sums above this amount could exceptionally be approved for projects that are of special interest: the Chairperson's agreement would be required and the maximum amount approved would be $10,000."

Section V. WORLD HERITAGE FUND

XIV.10 Following discussions under agenda item 9 on Fund- Raising Guidelines, the Committee decided to add the following paragraph to this Section of the Operational Guidelines:

"121. The Secretariat should refer to the "Internal Guidelines for Private Sector Fund-Raising in Favour of UNESCO" to govern external fund-raising in favour of the World Heritage Fund."

The paragraphs following 121 will be renumbered in consequence.

Section VII. OTHER MATTERS

XIV.11 The Committee recalled that it had discussed the issue on the use of the World Heritage Emblem under agenda item 9. It decided to delete paragraphs 124 to 128 from the Operational Guidelines and to amend paragraphs 122 and 123 as follows:

"A. Use of the World Heritage Emblem and the name, symbol or depiction of World Heritage sites

122. At its second session, the Committee adopted the World Heritage Emblem which had been designed by Mr. Michel Olyff. This Emblem symbolizes the interdependence of cultural and natural properties: the central square is a form created by man and the circle represents nature, the two being intimately linked. The Emblem is round, like the world, but at the same time it is a symbol of protection. The Committee decided that the Emblem proposed by the artist (see Annex 2) could be used, in any colour or size, depending on the use, the technical possibilities and considerations of an artistic nature. The Emblem should always carry the text "World Heritage. Patrimoine Mondial". The space occupied by "Patrimonio Mundial" can be used for its translation into the national language of the country where the Emblem is to be used.

123. In order to ensure the Emblem benefits from as much visibility as possible while preventing improper uses, the Committee at its twenty-second session adopted "Guidelines and Principles for the Use of the World Heritage Emblem" which shall be considered an integral part of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, and are attached as Annex 3."

The paragraphs following 123 will be renumbered in consequence.

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Code: 20COM XVII.1-9
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
Year: 1996

XVII.1 The Committee took note of the revisions to the Operational Guidelines which were proposed by the Expert Meeting on Evaluation of general principles and criteria for nominations of natural World Heritage sites (Pare national de la Vanoise, France, 22 to 24 March 1996) and of the full report contained in Information Document WHC-96/CONF.201/INF.8, as well as the responses by eleven States Parties to the Circular Letter requesting comments on this matter.

XVII.2 The Delegate of Canada proposed to keep the Vanoise recommendations as well as comments by States Parties on record and bring them up at the joint meeting of cultural and natural heritage experts proposed under agenda item 9 "Progress report on the Global Strategy, and Thematic and Comparative Studies". The Delegate of Lebanon emphasized that these recommendations should not be brought from one expert meeting to another, but to the twenty-first session of the World Heritage Committee.

XVII. 3 The Committee recalled that it had adopted the nomination form as amended under agenda item 7.1. The Committee revised Section I.G. of the Operational Guidelines on the format and content of nominations and replaced paragraph 64 of the Operational Guidelines by the following text:

"64. The same form approved by the Committee is used for the submission of nominations of cultural and natural properties. Al though it is recognized that all properties have specific characteristics, states Parties are encouraged to provide information and documentation on the following items:

1. Identification of the Property

a. Country (and State Party if different)
b. State, Province or Region
c. Name of Property
d. Exact location on map and indication of geographical coordinates to the nearest second
e. Maps and/or plans showing boundary of area proposed for inscription and of any buffer zone
f. Area of site proposed for inscription (ha.) and proposed buffer zone (ha.) if any

2. Justification for Inscription

a. Statement of significance
b. Possible comparative analysis (including state of conservation of similar sites)
c. Authenticity/Integrity
d. Criteria under which inscription is proposed (and justification for inscription under these criteria)

3. Description

a. Description of Property
b. History and Development
c. Form and date of most recent records of site
d. Present state of conservation
e. Policies and programmes related to the presentation and promotion of the property

4. Management

a. Ownership
b. Legal status
c. Protective measures and means of implementing them
d. Agency/agencies with management authority
e. Level at which management is exercised (e.g., on site, regiona11y) and name and address of responsible person for contact purposes
f. Agreed plans related to property (e.g., regional, local plan, conservation plan, tourism development plan)
g. Sources and levels of finance
h. Sources of expertise and training in conservation and management techniques
i. Visitor facilities and statistics
j. Site management plan and statement of objectives (copy to be annexed)
k. Staffing levels (professional, technical, maintenance)

5. Factors Affecting the Site

a. Development Pressures (e.g., encroachment, adaptation, agriculture, mining)
b. Environmental Pressures (e.g., pollution, climate change)
c. Natural disasters and preparedness (earthquakes, floods, fires, etc.)
d. Visitor/tourism pressures
e. Number of inhabitants within site, buffer zone
f. Other

6. Monitoring

a. Key indicators for measuring state of conservation
b. Administrative arrangements for monitoring property
c. Results of previous reporting exercises

7. Documentation

a. Photographs, slides and, where available, film/video
b. Copies of site management plans and extracts of other plans relevant to the site
c. Bibliography
d. Address where inventory, records and archives are held

8. Signature on behalf of the State Party

The Committee has adopted at its twentieth session substantive Explanatory Notes to the above nomination form. These notes relate to each of the above headings and will be made available as an annex to the nomination form to the States Parties in order to provide guidance to those nominating properties for inclusion on the World Heritage List."

XVII.4 The Committee also recalled that it had recommended under agenda item 12 to amend the dates for submission of international assistance requests and to revise paragraph 108 of the Operational Guidelines as follows:

"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 September 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."

XVII.5 The Committee recalled several discussions held on the application of cultural criterion (vi) and decided to amend paragraph 24 (a) (vi) as follows:

"be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance (the Committee considers that this criterion should justify inclusion in the List only in exceptional circumstances and in conjunction with other criteria cultural or natural);"

XVII.6 The Committee took note of the "Glossary of World Heritage Terms" contained in Information Document WHC-96/CONF.201/INF.21 and expressed the wish that the Glossary be prepared in other languages.

XVII.7 The Delegates of Germany and the United States of America made statements as to the legal significance of the Operational Guidelines and the fact that, in their views, the Operational Guidelines had not been applied properly during this session. Both Delegates requested that their statements be included in extenso in the report and are attached in Annex IX.

XVII.8 The Delegate of Italy agreed to the strict application of the Operational Guidelines, however, underlined that the Guidelines had been followed and that the Committee itself is the decision-making body of the World Heritage statutory organs. The Delegate of France agreed to this statement and said that it is common practice of the Committee not always to follow recommendations by the Bureau and by the advisory bodies. This was endorsed by the Delegate of Benin. The statement of the Delegate of Italy is included in Annex IX.

XVII.9 In concluding the debate which she found constructive, the Chairperson recalled that each one of the delegates of the Committee had made a serious analysis of the case and of the spirit of the Convention before taking a final decision, and that in respecting the statements of each of the speakers, even if she considered not acceptable those of the Delegates of Germany and the United States of America, the Committee had retained its credibility and competence. The statement of the Chairperson is also included in Annex IX.

 

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Code: 19COM XVIIA-D.1
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1995

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

(iii) (unchanged)

(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

(v) (unchanged)

(vi) (unchanged).

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:

24. (b)

(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').

 

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Code: 18COM XIV.1-9
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1994

XIV.1 Work Group 2 examined working document WHC­94/CONF.003/9Rev., particularly the proposed revisions of the Operational Guidelines regarding the 'criteria for the inclusion of cultural properties in the World Heritage List', 'monitoring and reporting' and the 'timetable for the processing of nominations'.

XIV.2 The Committee decided that the following proposals, that had not been examined by the Work Group, should be brought forward to the nineteenth session of the Bureau in July 1995: 'deadline for presentation of requests for technical assistance', 'establishment of the World Heritage List' (role of the advisory bodies) and 'international assistance' (rules for approval of requests for preparatory, technical and training assistance).

CRITERIA FOR THE INCLUSION OF CULTURAL PROPERTIES IN THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST

XIV.3 The Committee, having taken note of the recommendations made by the Work Group and discussed the proposal of the Delegate of Senegal, who, in order to encourage a less restrictive use of criterion (vi) proposed to replace, in this paragraph, "universal" by "regional", adopted the following text of the Operational Guidelines:

"Para. 24. A monument, group of buildings or site - as defined above -which is nominated for inclusion in the World Heritage List will be considered to be of outstanding universal value for the purpose of the Convention when the Committee finds that it meets one or more of the following criteria and the test of authenticity. Each property nominated should therefore:

(a)(i) represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; or

[replace in the French version de l'homme by humain and, in the English version, delete a unique artistic achievement so that it corresponds with the French, and delete the and insert human];

(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, .monumental arts or town-planning and landscape design; or

[replace have exerted great influence by exhibit an important interchange of human values so as to reflect better the interaction of. cultures, instead of the present formulation, which suggests that cultural influences occur in one direction only];

(iii) bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared; or

[reverse the order of a civilization and cultural tradition, add to a and which is living, to include living cultures]

(iv) be an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage (s) in human history; or

(v) be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement or land-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), especially when i t has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change; or

(vi) be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance (the Committee considers that this criterion should justify inclusion in the List only in exceptional circumstances or in conjunction with other criteria cultural or natural);

[add cultural or natural in order to encourage a more open interpretation of this criterion]

and

(b)(i) meet the test of authenticity in design, material, workmanship or setting and in the case of cultural landscapes their distinctive character and components (the Committee stressed that reconstruction is only acceptable if it is carried out on the basis of complete and detailed documentation on the original and to no extent on conjecture).

(ii) have adequate legal and/or traditional protection and management mechanisms to ensure the conservation of the nominated cultural property or cultural landscapes. The existence of protective legislation at the national, provincial or municipal level or well-established traditional protection and/or adequate management mechanisms is therefore essential and must be stated clearly on the nomination form. Assurances of the effective implementation of these laws and/or 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.

XIV.4 Following the proposal of the Delegate of Japan, the Committee requested the Secretariat to undertake a study on the modifications which should be made to criterion (b)(i) of paragraph 24 to take into account the conclusions of the Nara meeting on Authenticity.

XIV.5 Criterion (b)(ii) of paragraph 24 remains unchanged for the time being but coherence of its wording will be studied by the Secretariat and proposals for its revision will be presented, if deemed necessary, to the nineteenth session of the Bureau.


MONITORING AND REPORTING

XIV.6 The Committee, recalling the decisions it had taken already on the principles and framework for systematic monitoring (see Section IX) and having taken note of the recommendations of the Work Group, adopted the following text for inclusion in the Operational Guidelines as a new Chapter II:

II. MONITORING THE STATE OF CONSERVATION OF PROPERTIES INSCRIBED ON THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST

xx. One of the essential functions of the Committee is to monitor the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List and to take action thereupon. In the following, a distinction will be made between systematic and reactive monitoring.

a) Systematic monitoring and reporting

xx Systematic monitoring and reporting is the continuous process of observing the conditions of World Heritage sites with periodic reporting on its state of conservation.

The objectives of systematic monitoring and reporting are:

World Heritage site: Improved site management, advanced planning, reduction of emergency and ad-hoc interventions, and reduction of costs through preventive conservation.

State Party: Improved World Heritage policies, advanced planning, improved site management and preventive conservation. 

Region: Regional cooperation, regional World Heritage policies and activities better targeted to the specific needs of the region.

Committee/Secretariat: Better understanding of the conditions of the sites and of the needs on the site, national and regional levels. Improved policy and decision making.

xx It is the prime responsibility of the States Parties to put in place on-site monitoring arrangements as an integral component of day-to-day conservation and management of the sites. States Parties should do so in close collaboration with the site managers or the agency with management authority. It is necessary that every year the conditions of the site be recorded by the site manager or the agency with management authority.

xx The States Parties are invited to submit to the World Heritage Committee through the World Heritage Centre, every five years, a scientific report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage sites on their territories. To this end, the States Parties may request expert advice from the Secretariat or the advisory bodies. The Secretariat may also commission expert advice with the agreement of the States Parties.

xx To facilitate the work of the Committee and its Secretariat and to achieve greater regionalization and decentralization of World Heritage work, these reports will be examined separately by region as determined by the Committee. The World Heritage Centre will synthesize the national reports by regions. In doing so, full use will be made of the available expertise of the advisory bodies and other organizations.

xx The Committee will decide for which regions state of conservation reports should be presented to its forthcoming sessions. The States Parties concerned will be informed at least one year in advance so as to give them sufficient time to prepare the state of conservation reports.

xx The Secretariat will take the necessary measures for adequate World Heritage information collection and management, making full use, to the extent possible, of the information/documentation services of the advisory bodies and others.

b) Reactive monitoring

xx Reactive monitoring is the reporting by the World Heritage Centre, other sectors of UNESCO and the advisory bodies to the Bureau and the Committee on the state of conservation of specific World Heritage sites that are under threat. To this end, the States Parties shall submit to the Committee through the World Heritage Centre, specific reports and impact studies each time exceptional circumstances occur or work is undertaken which may have an effect on the state of conservation of the site. Reactive monitoring is foreseen in the procedures for the eventual deletion of properties from the World Heritage List as set out in paras. 50-58. It is also foreseen in reference to properties inscribed, or to be inscribed, on the List of World Heritage in Danger as set out in paras. 75-82.

XIV.7 The Committee also decided to revise paragraph 57 as follows:

57. In this connection, the Committee recommends that States Parties co-operate with the advisory bodies which have been asked by the Committee to carry out monitoring and reporting on its behalf on the progress of work undertaken for the preservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.


TIMETABLE FOR THE PROCESSING OF NOMINATIONS

XIV.8 The Committee took note of the positive recommendation made by Work Group 2 to revise paragraph 66 and approved the following timetable for processing of nominations:

1 July:

Deadline for receipt by the Secretariat of nominations to be considered by the Committee the following year.

15 September:

The Secretariat:

(1) registers each nomination and thoroughly verifies its contents and accompanying documentation. In the case of incomplete nominations, the Secretariat must immediately request the missing information from the States Parties.

(2) Transmit nominations, provided they are complete, to the appropriate international non-governmental organization (ICOMOS, IUCN or both), which:

immediately examines each nomination to ascertain those cases in which additional information is required and takes the necessary steps, in co-operation with the Secretariat, to obtain the complementary data, and

(...)

July-November

The report of the Bureau is transmitted by the Secretariat as soon as possible to all States Parties members of the Committee, as well as to all States Parties concerned. The Secretariat endeavours to obtain from the States Parties concerned the additional information requested on the properties under category (c) above and transmits this information to ICOMOS, IUCN and the States members of the Committee. If the requested information is not obtained by 1 October, the nomination will not be eligible for review by the Committee at its regular session in the same year.

XIV.9 The Committee decided that this revision of the timetable would only be effective as of 1 July 1996 and that ample diffusion should be given of its revision.

 

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Code: 17COM XVI.1-6
Title: Examination of the Application of the Revised Cultural Criteria of the Operational Guidelines for the Inclusion of Cultural Landscapes on the World Heritage List
Year: 1993

XVI.1 The Committee reviewed document WHC-93/CONF.002/9 and information document WHC-93/CONF.002/INF.4. The Committee recalled the decisions taken at its sixteenth session in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1992 to include cultural landscapes on the World Heritage List, in particular the revision of the cultural criteria of the Operational Guidelines. The Committee took note of the outcome of the expert meeting held in October 1993 in Templin, Germany, at the request of the Committee. The Committee appreciated the organization of the meeting by the World Heritage Centre, assisted by the German Delegation and funded by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, recognized the work carried out, and noted that the revised cultural criteria and the interpretative paragraphs concerning cultural landscapes in the Operational Guidelines were confirmed by the experts. It furthermore noted, that additional information, guidance and advice be provided to States Parties on the subject of cultural landscapes.

XVI.2 The Committee recalled that a specific recommendation by the experts concerning Paragraph 14 of the Operational Guidelines regarding the involvement of people in the nomination procedure was taken into account during the discussion on the revision of the operational Guidelines (see Chapter XIV of this Report).

XVI.3 Several delegates stressed the necessity of an increased involvement of regional experts. The Secretariat confirmed that the publication of the report of the expert meeting will also include contributions from regions that were not represented at the meeting, and that in the implementation of the Action Plan for the Future a regional approach will be applied. The Delegate of the Philippines announced that preparations are underway for a regional meeting on cultural landscapes to be held in the Philippines in autumn 1994. The Australian Observer underlined the importance of values of indigenous peoples to be recognized both under natural and cultural criteria.

XVI.4 Several delegates complemented the Centre and ICOMOS for the work carried out. The Committee adopted the "Action Plan for the Future", including an amendment proposed by the Delegate of Italy stressing the importance of management experiences on the local and community level (the amended Action Plan is attached as an Annex).

XVI.5 The Committee invited the Centre to undertake the following actions in 1994 and report back to the eighteenth session of the Committee:

  • initiate comparative regional thematic studies;
  • in line with the decisions taken by the Committee regarding tentative lists (see para XI.6), give priority to the revision of these lists to include cultural landscapes;
  • initiate the development of specific guidelines for the management of cultural landscapes along the lines of the already existing guidelines for cultural World Heritage.

XVI.6 The Committee commended the regional approach for future evaluations as outlined by the expert meeting, and requested that the World Heritage Centre implements the suggestions and recommendations made.

 

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Code: 17COM XIV.1-4
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1993

XIV.1 The former Rapporteur of the Committee introduced the working document WHC-93/CONF.002/11 consisting of a revised text of the Operational Guidelines concerninq the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. This text took into consideration the request of the Committee, expressed at its session in Santa Fe in 1992, that the Strategic Orientations be incorporated in the Guidelines, together with the proposals made by two States Parties, Italy and the United States of America. He explained that the Bureau, at its seventeenth session (Paris, June 1993) examined the proposed modifications which had been submitted and which concerned paragraphs: 3, 6, 39, 40, 41, 43, 53, 55, 58, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 78, 79, 83, 88, 89, 94, 103, 112, 113, 114, 117 and 118. The Bureau recommended adoption of this text by the Committee.

XIV.2 After discussion, the Committee adopted the Operational Guidelines as amended by the Bureau with the following additional changes:

Paragraph 14, the following sentence should be added at the end of the paragraph: "Participation of local people in the nomination process is essential to establish, as much as possible, the shared responsibilities between them and the State Party regarding site maintenance, but should not prejudice future decision-making by the Committee".

Paragraph 55: The timetable for the processing of nominations will remain the same in 1994 as in previous years and should be examined in detail at the next session of the Committee.

Paragraph 75: Requests for emergency assistance may be sent to the World Heritage Centre at any time using Form WHC/5. The World Heritage Centre should consult to the extent possible relevant advisory bodies and then submit these requests to the Chairperson who has the authorization to approve emergency requests up to an amount of US$50,000 whereas the Bureau can approve requests up to an amount of US$75,000.

Paragraph 83: The Delegate of Colombia proposed that point 5 of para. 83 of the revised Operational Guidelines should take into account the costs of monitoring for the States Parties particularly the developing countries. She suggested deleting the last sentence of this paragraph which reads: "This analysis will be taken into account for the evaluation of the request", pointing out that the provision of the state of conservation report should be optional rather than an obligatory requirement. This proposal was adopted by concensus.

Paragraph 89: The last paragraph should read as follows: "However no more than 20% of the total annual assistance budget including technical cooperation and training (but excluding emergency assistance and preparatory assistance, for which separate rules have been established) may be allocated by the Chairperson."

Paragraph 118: "The World Heritage Committee has recognized the collective interest that would be advanced by closer coordination of its work with other international conservation instruments. These include the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1954 The Haque Convention, the 1970 UNESCO Convention, the Ramsar Convention, and CITES, as well as other regional conventions and future conventions that will pursue conservation objectives, as appropriate. The Committee will invite representatives  of the intergovernmental bodies under related conventions to attend its meetings as observers. Similarly, the Secretariat will appoint a representative to observe meetings of the other inter-governmental bodies upon receipt of an invitation. The Secretariat will ensure through the World Heritage Centre appropriate coordination and information-sharing between the Committee and other conventions, programmes and international organizations related to the conservation of cultural and natural heritage."

XIV.3 The Committee decided that a section on monitoring should be included in the operational Guidelines and asked the World Heritage Centre to undertake in 1994 the necessary work in cooperation with the advisory bodies.

XIV.4 The text of the revised Operational Guidelines as adopted by the Committee should be prepared and distributed by the World Heritage Centre to all States Parties early in 1994 in English and French.

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Code: 16COM XIII.1-3
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1992

XIII.1 Natural Heritage Criteria

XIII.1.1 The Bureau examined document WHC-92/CONF.002/10 in the light of introductory remarks made by the Representative of IUCN and changes proposed by the Delegation of the United States of America. The Committee adopted the revised natural heritage criteria and the conditions of integrity amended in accordance with the proposals made by the United States Delegation. The Committee requested the Centre to revise the Operational Guidelines accordingly and submit them to the Bureau for verification and approval so that the revised criteria for integrity could come into effect by 1 October 1993.


XIII.2 Cultural Criteria

XIII.2.1 The Committee examined document WHC­-92/CONF.002/10Add. As requested by the Committee at its fifteenth session in Carthage, the Secretariat in collaboration with ICOMOS, IUCN and other competent partners, organized an expert meeting on Cultural Landscapes at La Petite Pierre in October 1992 at the invitation of the French Ministry of the Environment.

XIII.2.2 The Representative of ICOMOS reported on the proposed amendments to the six existing criteria for cultural properties and on the recommendations. for the new interpretative paragraphs relating to cultural landscapes which would replace the existing paragraph 34.

XIII.2.3 The Committee adopted the revised cultural criteria which now include outstanding cultural landscapes. Furthermore, the Committee made the following recommendations:

(a) the modified criteria will be applied in identifying and evaluating cultural landscapes for the World Heritage List;

(b) the German proposal for amendments to paragraph 24 (b) (ii) and the new paragraph 37 will be incorporated in the Operational Guidelines;

(c) in view of the relationship of many cultural landscapes to the maintenance of ecosystem processes and biological diversity, the importance of interdisciplinary review of .proposals for inscribing such sites needs to be kept in mind. In this regard, IUCN has offered to assist ICOMOS in landscape evaluations;

(d) it is essential to ensure that cultural landscapes nominated for the World Heritage List meet the highest standards of universal significance and integrity that characterize sites inscribed previously under natural and cultural criteria;

(e) the States Parties should be informed of the new criteria and be asked to submit Tentative Lists of cultural landscapes in accordance with paragraph 7 of the Operational Guidelines;

(f) the Centre is requested to convene a group of experts on the tentative lists and related issues (illustrations, examples and specific revisions requested by these criteria), and report back to the seventeenth session of the Bureau.


XIII.3 Framework Proposal for the Global Study

XIII.3.1 The Committee examined a proposed framework, presented by the Delegation of the United States of America, for the preparation of a global study for cultural properties.

XIII.3.2 After having recalled that the proposal was the outcome of discussions between the Delegations of the United States and Greece, the United States Representative particuarly insisted on the distinction to be made between the indicative lists (prepared and presented by the States Parties from a strictly national viewpoint) and the global study system (which must include the lists prepared by the experts, on a multidisciplinary basis and in line with given universal considerations). Furthermore, he emphasized that the need for a global study has been the object of a consensus for many years and it was now most important to start this study.

XIII.3.3 The Committee took note of the document as well as of the proposal of a study system founded on the basis of a matrix structuring cultural properties into three categories: time, culture and human achievement.

XIII.3.4 To this end, the Committee decided upon the constitution of a working group which, in consultation with ICOMOS and ICCROM and in liaison with the World Heritage Centre, will formulate a report to be presented to the Bureau during its seventeenth session in 1993. The working group will comprise, apart from ICOMOS and ICCROM, experts from Germany, the United States of America, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Poland and Tunisia and other interested States Parties.

 

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Code: 15COM XIV
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1991

56. The Committee examined Document SC-91/CONF.002/10 and recommended that the Secretariat in co-operation with the International Union for Geological Sciences (IUGS), IUCN, and other experts proceed with the revision of the natural heritage criteria to reflect separately geological, biological, ecological and aesthetic phenomena and modify the requested conditions of integrity accordingly. The Committee requested the Secretariat and IUCN to co-operate in the revision of the natural heritage criteria and the conditions of integrity in order to submit draft proposals for the consideration of the Bureau in mid-1992.

57. The Committee decided to include in the Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention the additional points proposed in Document SC-91/CONF.002/12.

58. As requested by the Committee, the Secretariat drew up a draft criterion for cultural landscapes and presented it to the fifteenth session of the Bureau. The Bureau found this draft criterion interesting and after having suggested a few amendments, asked ICOMOS and the Secretariat to draw up jointly an appropriate version taking into account these amendments. Two meetings permitted an exchange of ideas in this respect. A meeting of a working group on cultural landscapes, organized by United Kingdom's ICOMOS Committee, was held in York last November and another meeting between ICOMOS and the Secretariat was held at the beginning of December. These meetings have suggested that the elaboration of such a criterion seemed premature. As a consequence, the Secretariat entirely agreed with the observation contained in the document presented by ICOMOS submitted to the fifteenth session of the Committee.

59. The Committee asked the two non-governmental organizations to express their points of view on the elaboration of a criterion concerning cultural landscapes.

60. ICOMOS was not completely satisfied with the new version proposed by the UNESCO Secretariat. They considered that first of all a definition of this concept, as well as a philosophy of conservation specific to such a type of site, should be elaborated. ICOMOS intended to pursue its work on this issue in collaboration with the Secretariat.

61. The representative of IUCN recalled his views on the issue. The addition of such a criterion to those determining inscription of World Heritage cultural sites would affect in certain instances the natural sites and, in his view not all States Parties were in agreement with this addition. This would accentuate the already existing imbalance in favour of cultural sites which at present comprise three-fourths of inscribed sites. The disparity in geographical distribution of World Heritage sites would be further widened leading to a greater over-representation of sites listed in Europe. Nevertheless, he informed the Committee that this issue will be discussed during the next World Parks Congress in February 1992.

62. A member of the Committee pointed out that the elaboration of a definition requires a long-term effort as well as the creation of specific conservation instruments (charters, recommendations and legislations).

63. Referring to certain hesitations on the part of IUCN towards the elaboration of such a criterion, and to the reservations expressed by ICOMOS, a member of the Committee suggested that the Committee might appeal to another organization to solve this problem.

64. Another Committee member indicated that in establishing specific criteria to cultural landscapes, the spirit of the Convention must be faithfully respected (in particular Articles 1 and 2). Other members expressed their interest in the definition of the criterion and said that it must be elaborated as soon as possible, but after profound reflection (particularly with regard to relations between environment and heritage protection), and taking into account the criterion of universality that distinguishes the spirit of the Convention.

65. The Committee decided that, taking into account in particular the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, the Secretariat (Division of Ecological Sciences and Physical Heritage Division) should continue to work towards finalizing the definition of the criteria specific to cultural landscapes in collaboration with ICOMOS and IUCN and in association with other competent partners in the field, such as the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).

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Code: 12COM VIII.20-27
Title: Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Year: 1988

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.

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Code: 11COM XI.26-30
Title: Promotional Activities
Year: 1987

26. The Committee took note of document SC-87/CONF.005/8 presenting the promotional activities undertaken in 1987 and those foreseen for 1988. The Committee congratulated the Secretariat on its work and emphasised the need to expand this promotion programme.

27. It was recalled that States Parties have a responsibility in strengthening promotional activities. Several members of the Committee mentioned the activities undertaken in their respective countries, such as the production of stamps or pamphlets on world heritage sites in Yugoslavia and India, or the publication and sale at news-stands of a series of booklets on world heritage sites in Brazil, or the printing and the distribution of the folding poster on the World Heritage Convention in China. The bulletin produced in the United Kingdom "International Heritage" was also mentioned as a particularly successful type of promotional material which could serve as an example to other States Parties.

28. The Committee requested the Secretariat to ensure that there were close links with the promotion of the international campaigns to safeguard the cultural heritage. The Committee also suggested that better use could be made of technical cooperation activities to make the Convention better known, particularly by systematically marking equipment provided under technical cooperation with the World Heritage emblem. It requested the Secretariat to mention how useful this procedure could be in identifying work carried out thanks to the Convention.

29. The representative of Brazil indicated that there was an error in the siting of a Brazilian property in the World Heritage folding brochure and was assured that this would be corrected in the future.

30. Finally, as concerns the technical cooperation requests for promotional activities, the Committee accepted the Bureau's recommendation whereby the Bureau could consider as receivable only requests aimed at making the Convention better known in general and not for promoting a specific site, and to grant only amounts not exceeding US$5,000 for such requests. However, amounts up to US$10,000 could be granted in exceptional cases on condition that the Chairman of the Committee gave his approval.

The Secretariat was entrusted with modifying the Operational Guidelines to include these points.

In accordance with this decision, the Committee accepted two requests for technical cooperation submitted by Haiti for the production of an audio-visual presentation, and by the People's Republic of China for a contribution to a film on Wordl Heritage, respectively for $6,000 and $10,000.

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Code: 07COM VI.13
Title: Updated Operational Guidelines
Year: 1983

13. At its seventh session, the Bureau had expressed the wish that the Operational Guidelines (document WHC/2 Revised) be updated to incorporate the decisions taken by the Committee at its fifth and sixth sessions and the recom­mendations formulated by the Bureau at Its seventh session. The Secretariat presented the updated version of the Operational Guidelines (revised as of November 1983) and indicated to the Committee where changes and revisions had been made. The Committee took note of the updated version of the Guidelines and in addition accepted the ICOMOS recommendations concerning the documentation which should be submitted in support of all nominations of architectural ensembles or other cultural areas. The Committee asked the Secretariat to insert a description of this documentation into paragraph 41 of the revised Guidelines.

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Code: 04COM VI.18-20
Title: Consideration of item 7 of the agenda : The revised text of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
Year: 1980

18.  The Committee reiterated the importance of the Operational Guidelines and emphasized that every measure should be taken to ensure that the resulting guidelines are the best possible and that they reflect the thorough deliberations which precede each decision taken by the Committee. The insertion in the introduction of a brief paragraph to this effect was recommended by the Committee. 

19. The Committee then discussed in detail the Revised Operational Guidelines and made the following modifications:

a) Chapter I, section A, paragraph 5 (ii) should read :

Because of the educational and public information purposes of the World Heritage List, the criteria for the inclusion of properties in the List have been elaborated with a view to enabling the Committee to act with full independence in evaluating the intrinsic merit of a property without regard to any other consideration (including the need for technical co-operation support).

b) Chapter I, section A, paragraph (iii) should read :

The Committee considers it highly desirable for each State Party to submit a tentative list of cultural and natural properties situated in its territory and suitable for inclusion in the World Heritage List to enable it to evaluate within the widest possible context the outstanding universal value of each property nominated to the List.

c) In order to facilitate the implementation of the provision set out in Chapter I, section A, paragraph 5 (vi), ICOMOS and IUCN were invited to present in their future evaluations a brief description of the principal characteristics for which a specific property is recommended for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

d) Chapter I, section B, paragraph 6, second line, the word "provisional" is to be replaced by the word "tentative".

e) Chapter I, section B, paragraph 13 should read :

States Parties may propose in a single nomination a series of cultural properties in different geographical locations, provided that they are related because they belong :

(i) to the same historico-cultural group or

(ii) to the same type of property which is characteristic of the geographical zone and provided that it is the series as such and not its components taken individually, which is of outstanding universal value.

f) Chapter I, section C, paragraph 16 should be amended as follows

The criteria for the inclusion of cultural properties in, the World Heritage List should always be seen in relation to one another and should be considered in the context of the definitions set out in Article 1 of the Convention, the full text of which will be inserted at the beginning of this paragraph.

g) Chapter I, section C, paragraph 16 (a) (vi) : the following should be added :

The Committee considered that criterion (vi) should justify inclusion in the List only in exceptional circumstances or in conjunction with other criteria.

h) In Chapter I, section C, paragraph 16, a sentence will be inserted in order to stress that reconstruction is only acceptable if it is carried out on the basis of complete and detailed documentation on the original and to no extent on conjecture.

i) Chapter I, section C, paragraph 17 (a) should read :

The property, including its state of preservation should be evaluated relatively, that is, it should be compared with other properties of the same type dating from the same period both inside and outside the state party's borders.

j) In Chapter I, section D, paragraph 18, the full text of the definition set out in Article 2 of the Convention will be quoted at the beginning of this paragraph.

k) Chapter I, section D, paragraph 18 (i) should read :

be outstanding examples representing the major stages of the earth's evolutionary history.

l) Chapter I, section D, paragraph 18 (ii) should read :

be outstanding examples representing significant ongoing geological processes, biological evolution and man's interaction with his natural environment. As distinct from the periods of the earth's development, this focuses upon ongoing processes in the development of communities of plants and animals, landforms and marine and freshwater bodies.

m) Chapter I, section D, paragraph 18 (iii) should read :

contain superlative natural phenomena, formations or features or areas of exceptional natural beauty, such as superlative examples of the most important ecosystems, natural features, spectacles presented by great concentra- tions of animals, sweeping vistas covered by natural vegetation and exceptional combinations of natural and cultural elements, or

n) Chapter I, section D, paragraph 18 (iv) should read :

contain the most important and significant natural habitats where threatened species of animals or plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation still survive.

o) Chapter I, section B, paragraph 19, sub-section (a) (v) should read :

In the case of migratory species, seasonal sites necessary for their survival wherever they are located, should be adequately protected. The Committee must receive assurances that the necessary measures be taken to ensure that the species are adequately protected throughout their full life cycle. Agreements made in this connection, either through adherence to international conventions or in the form of other multilateral or bilateral arrangements would provide this assurance.

p) A new sub-section (b) should read :

The property should be evaluated relatively, that is, it should be compared with other properties of the same type both inside and outside the state party's borders, within a biogeographic province or migratory pattern.

q) Chapter I, section F, paragraph 29 (iv) should read : State of preservation/conservation - Diagnosis - Agent responsible for preservation/conservation - History of preservation/conservation - Measures for preservation/conservation (including management plans or proposals for such plans) - Development plans for the region.

r) Chapter I, section F, paragraph 30 should read :

Each nomination should be accompanied by a two-page summary which will be translated and reproduced by the Secretariat for distribution to members of the Bureau and the Committee.

s) Chapter I, section G, paragraph 31, 2) (b) should read :

undertakes a professional evaluation of each nomination in terms of the criteria adopted by the Committee and transmits their evaluation to members of the Bureau of the Committee, to the States Parties to the Convention which are concerned and to the Secretariat ;

t) Chapter I, section G, paragraph 31, (June-July), should read :

The summaries of nominations and the recommendations of the Bureau are transmitted to all States Parties to the Convention.

u) Chapter I, section G, paragraph 32 should read :

The normal deadlines for the submission and processing of nominations will not apply in the case of properties which, in the opinion of the Bureau after consultation with the competent non-governmental organization, would unquestionably meet the criteria for inclusion in the World Heritage List ] and which have suffered damage from disasters caused by natural events or by human activities. Such nominations will be processed on an emergency basis.

20. Working procedures for the evaluation and presentation of nominated properties were discussed throughout the session and a general agreement concerning the content of such procedures was reached. The following text setting out these procedures was proposed :

The following working procedures should apply to evaluations of proposed nominations and their presentation to and discussion by the Committee :

(i) representatives of a State Party, whether or not a member of the Committee, should not speak to advocate the inclusion in the list of a property situated within the territory of that State except to deal with a point of information in answer to a question ;

(ii) the manner of the professional evaluation carried out by ICOMOS and IUCN should he fully described in all instances ;

(iii) each property should be compared with properties of a similar type or dating from the same period inside and outside the State Party's boundaries, and a comparative justification should be given for its proposed inclusion in the List ;

(iv) it is desirable that wherever possible the professional presentation of the nominated property should include a slide presentation or other graphic presentation. (This is not only useful for making decisions, it also serves an important educational function for members of the Committee since they share responsibility for the propagation of information about properties included in the List).

The Committee asked that the Bureau should examine at its next session these proposals with a view to their incorporation into a forthcoming revision of the Operational Guidelines.

 

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Code: 02COM XI(d).63
Title: Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention
Year: 1978

The Committee authorized the Secretariat to amend the above-mentioned Operational Guidelines, adopted by the Committee at its first session, to bring them into line with the decisions taken at the second session.

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