Committee Decisions

31 COM 7.3

Outcomes of the benchmarks meeting (Paris, 2-3 april 2007)

  The World Heritage Committee,

  1.  Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7.3,
  2.  Recalling Decisions 29 COM 7C and 30 COM 9 adopted at its 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions respectively,
  3.  Thanking the Government of the Netherlands for having hosted the meeting of experts, which took place from 2 to 3 April 2007 in Paris, as well as all the experts who contributed to it,
  4.  Noting the results and recommendations of the expert meeting,
  5.   Decides to formally adopt a monitoring framework for World Heritage properties;
  6.   Decides to integrate the monitoring framework into the next revision of the Operational Guidelines and to ensure cross referencing for all World Heritage processes;
  7.  Specifically requests for the revision of the Operational Guidelines to ensure the link between outstanding universal value and the format for nominations (Annex 5: 4a on present state of conservation and 4b on factors affecting the property);
  8.   Further requests the States Parties, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre to establish desired state of conservation in all state of conservation reports to facilitate sound decisions, specifically for inclusion in / removal of properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  9.   Urges the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre to provide technical guidance on how to draft statements of significance / outstanding universal value  and requests ICCROM to use the funds, already allocated, for a focussed guidance manual, in consultation with IUCN and ICOMOS, to be published by the end of 2007;
  10.  Noting the prioritised implementation strategy with focus on the application of the monitoring framework to properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger, requests States Parties with properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger to prepare a draft Statement of outstanding universal value for these properties,
  11.  Further requests all States Parties, with the Advisory Bodies, to prepare a draft Statement of outstanding universal value for their properties prior to the arrival of a reactive monitoring mission, and to ensure that the draft statements of outstanding universal value be prepared in advance for the next cycle of Periodic Reporting;
  12.  Requests that stakeholders be involved in preparing all reports required under the World Heritage Convention (nomination documents, state of conservation reports, periodic reports) in order to ensure full participation in the definition of the values and desired state of conservation of a property;
  13.  Recalls the requirement that at the time of inscription the Committee decision should entail a clear Statement of outstanding universal value with authenticity and/or integrity and decides to add the requirements to describe the desired state of conservation;
  14. Notes confusion around the term "benchmarks" and requests instead the use of the terms "desired state of conservation" and "corrective measures" in all state of conservation documents relating to the List of World Heritage in Danger, and adopts in principle the format for state of conservation reports in Annex II.
Themes: Credibility of the World Heritage List
Session: 31COM