Uplifting the perception of the List of World Heritage in Danger

Article 4 of the World Heritage Convention refers to the conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List and indicates that “Each State Party to this Convention recognizes that the duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage (…) situated on its territory, belongs primarily to that State. It will do all it can to this end, to the utmost of its own resources and, where appropriate, with any international assistance and co-operation (…).

In accordance with Article 11.4 of the World Heritage Convention, whenever circumstances shall so require, the World Heritage Committee may include on the List of World Heritage in Danger properties threatened by serious and specific danger. The danger can be proven and imminent or it can be a threat, which could have deleterious effects on the property’s inherent characteristics. Inscribing a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger allows the Committee to allocate priority assistance from the World Heritage Fund to the endangered property. It also alerts the international community to these situations in the hope that it can join efforts to protect these endangered sites. The listing of a property as World Heritage in Danger allows the conservation community to respond to specific preservation needs in an efficient manner.

Inscribing a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger allows the Committee to allocate priority assistance from the World Heritage Fund to the endangered property. It also alerts the international community to these situations in the hope that it can join efforts to protect these endangered sites. The listing of a property as World Heritage in Danger allows the conservation community to respond to specific preservation needs in an efficient manner.

Fund this project
Budget Proposed
US$ 75,000

Duration
11 months

Beneficiaries 
Africa
SIDS
Global


Category
Conservation 

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Context

Some actors involved in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention often do not fully understand the purpose and benefits of the inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. They consider it as a sanction, and not as a system established to respond to specific conservation needs in an efficient manner. Concerned by this state of affairs, the Committee decided at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) that it was time that this issue be formally addressed in order to reverse this negative perception and to highlight both the implications and the benefits of this fundamental component of the Reactive Monitoring framework. Decision 40 COM 7 was subsequently adopted by the Committee, as follows:

“27.Takes note of its discussions under agenda items 7A and 7B, and requests the World Heritage Centre, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies and States Parties, to promote better understanding of the implications and benefits of properties being inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and to develop appropriate information material in this regard with a view to overcome the negative perceptions of the List of World Heritage in Danger. The information material should highlight the importance of the protection of the OUV;” 

This incorrect perception often hinders the proper implementation of the World Heritage Convention and of the recommendations made on scientific assessment by the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre. This also has a negative impact on the state of conservation of the properties these decisions are deemed to protect. 

It is therefore proposed to launch a project to conduct an overall reflection and study on the image/perception of the List of World Heritage in Danger and develop a strategy to reverse this negative perception and highlight both the implications and the benefits of this fundamental component of the Reactive Monitoring framework.


Objectives

The objective of the project is to conduct an overall reflection and study on the image/perception of the List of World Heritage in Danger and develop a strategy to reverse this negative perception and highlight both the implications and the benefits of this fundamental component of the Reactive Monitoring framework.

Appropriate information material to uplift the profile of the List of World Heritage in Danger and contribute to present it as a more favorable tool shall be developed as part of the project. 




Outcomes
& Beneficiaries

The study will provide an improved understanding of the implications and benefits of properties being inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger and will contribute to present the List of World Heritage in Danger in a more favorable way.

Based on the outcomes, appropriate information material will be developed to overcome the negative perception of the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

One of the expected outputs of the study should be a set of recommendations, including a communication strategy, addressed at the various stakeholders of the World Heritage Convention (States Parties, Committee members, Advisory Bodies, World Heritage Centre, civil society, local communities, decision-makers, etc.) in order to help overcoming the current negative perception of the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

In addition, the results of this study will be presented to the World Heritage Committee members as part of working document WHC/20/44.COM/7 during the 44th session of the Committee (June/July 2020).

Implementation Steps

- September – October 2019:
Meeting of contractor with World Heritage Centre, data gathering, design of a questionnaire
- November – December 2019:
Conduct interviews/survey of key World Heritage actors
- By 15 February 2020:
Preparation a draft report and strategy
- Until mid-March 2020:
Review of the draft report and strategy by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies
- By mid-April 2020:
Finalization of the report and strategy
- June/July 2020:
Presentation of the final report and strategy to the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session


Relevance

The List of World Heritage in Danger is an instrumental tool in the preservation of the Outstanding Universal value of World Heritage properties. Since the adoption of the World Heritage Convention in 1972, 88 properties have been inscribed on this List at some point (some of them several times, such as Timbuktu, Djoudj National Park, Everglades National Park, ), and 34 have been removed from it due to the positive effects of such inscription. 

Addressing the negative perception of this List and presenting it as a more favorable tool will greatly contribute to an improved implementation of the World Heritage Convention and will strengthen its credibility

This project will respond to a number of key areas, which require support, focusing on the following priorities set by the World Heritage Committee and fully in line with UNESCO’s 39 C/5: 

  • Support the conservation of natural World Heritage properties in Africa,
  • Enhance support for properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger,
  • Contribute to revert the current negative perception of the Danger Listing through a methodological framework and awareness raising.


Budget

An estimated overall extrabudgetary funding of USD 75.000 is needed for the implementation of the project to cover contractor’s fees, communications and report production. The budget required will also cover for the coordination of the project by the World Heritage Centre, translation of the material produced, and design and printing of the appropriate information material.

Donor's visibility

A communication & visibility plan will be developed in consultation with the donor(s) and will include (but not limited to) the options below:

Visibility Material

 Collaterals

Placement  

Outreach

Target audience

Dedicated webpage on the WH website

World Heritage Centre website
whc.unesco.org

● Public

Statistics for 2018:
  • 14,340 000 visits
  • 9,835 000 unique visitors
  • 4, 1650 00 pages viewed

Promotional and communication campaign on social media

UNESCO networks:

Twitter
Facebook Instagram
Google+
YouTube

● Public and subscribers to UNESCO social media

  • 1,300 000 social media subscribers 
  • 5.800.000 impressions per month
Statistics 2018 (+13%) :
: 3,56M followers

:1,257941 followers
 63,841 subscribers : 1,271 453 subscribers
Insta:1,032 067 followers

News and event article(s) in focus on UNESCO and World Heritage Centre website

World Heritage Centre's website Site:
whc.unesco.org

● Public interested in world heritage issues  

Statistics for 2016:
  • 13,340 000 visits
  • 9,735 000 unique visitors
  • 4, 1650 00 pages viewed
  • 111, 343 members

UNESCO website :
www.unesco.org

● Public interested in UNESCO mandate

Statistics for June 2016 to June 2017
  • 38, 379 764 visits
  • 26, 763 513 pages viewed

Side-events at the World Heritage Committee

World Heritage Committee - Official Launch and promotion campaign

● Committee members
 State Parties
● Observers
NGOs
Site Managers
World media present

  • Around 2,000 participants from 193 countries
  •  5963 media coverage recorded during the 41COM
  • More than 2000 live connections on YouTube

Article on the Site Managers network in paper review

The World Heritage Review and/or World Heritage Paper Series 

● Public

  • More than 20 000 subscribers

Contact

Petya Totcharova
Head of Unit
Policy and Statutory Meetings
World Heritage Centre
p.totcharova@unesco.org

Richard Veillon
Project Officer 
Policy and Statutory Meetings Unit
World Heritage Centre
r.veillon@unesco.org

Strategic objectives
  • Conservation