Committee Decisions

28 COM 13.1

Global Strategy for a representative, balanced and credible World heritage List

The World Heritage Committee,


1. Recalling the conclusions on the "Evaluation of the Cairns Decision" by the 27th session (Decision 27 COM 14), the Decision adopted on the Representivity of the World Heritage List at its 24th session ("Cairns Decision", 2000), subsequently endorsed by the General Assembly of State Parties at its 13th session (2001); and the Resolution on ways and means to ensure a  representative World Heritage List adopted by the General Assembly at its 12th session (1999),

2. Further recalling that the World Heritage Convention establishes a system of international co-operation and assistance for the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,

3. Recognising the need to increase the technical and administrative capacity of the World Heritage systems, to encourage growth of under-represented categories and geographical coverage, and acknowledge the work constraints of the Committee, the Advisory Bodies, World Heritage Centre and States Parties to achieve this objective,

4. Noting with interest the results of the ICOMOS and IUCN analyses, as well as additional analyses undertaken by the World Heritage Centre as presented in document WHC-04/28.COM/13,

5. Concerned in particular with the conclusion that constraints and gaps in the World Heritage List primarily relate to lack of technical capacity to prepare adequate assessments and inventories of heritage properties, to promote and prepare nominations and relate to the lack of an appropriate legal and management framework;

6. Emphasizing that Tentative Lists are an effective and indispensable tool in the identification of potential World Heritage properties at national and (sub)regional level, and thereby contributing to the representativity of the World Heritage List,

7. Considering that these concerns are already essential elements of the "Cairns Decision" that have, however, not been fully implemented,

8. Further emphasizing that all issues addressed by the "Cairns Decision" need full and adequate implementation and that the World Heritage Centre and States Parties in the coming years should focus on those elements that have not been sufficiently addressed such as the development of balanced Tentative Lists and capacity building,

9. Recalls that the Committee had previously decided:

a) to make available to all stakeholders all appropriate statutory World Heritage documentation, including documentation on the pre-, during and post-inscription process of World Heritage properties,

b) to encourage the increased participation of local authorities, civil society organizations and populations in the identification of the cultural and natural heritage of States Parties,

c) to implement regional, and, as appropriate, sub-regional programmes based on results of Periodic Reporting to increase the State Parties' capacity for the identification, nomination, and conservation of World Heritage properties,

d) to encourage States Parties to initiate and complete national inventories for cultural and natural heritage,

e) to review the effectiveness and appropriateness of national legal and institutional frameworks and policies and to provide advice to States Parties, upon their request, on reform of national, legal and institutional frameworks and policies,

f) to identify national, regional and international existing institutions, facilities and networks that offer training in heritage conservation and management and that can participate in the implementation of capacity building strategies and programmes;

10. Considers that capacity-building should be strategic, comprehensive, and institutionalised, and that it should focus, in particular on the identification of potential properties, preparation of representative Tentative Lists, preparation of nominations, conservation action and management of properties;

11. Calls upon

a) States Parties, the World Heritage Centre and other partners to significantly increase their support to States Parties, in particular those less represented in the List, in the identification of cultural, natural and mixed properties of potential outstanding universal value, as well as in the preparation of nomination dossiers ;

b) the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS, ICCROM, IUCN) to increase their support to States Parties, in particular those less represented in the List, in the identification of cultural, natural and mixed properties of potential outstanding universal value;

12. Requests IUCN and ICOMOS to complete their analyses of the Tentative Lists, work on the gaps in the World Heritage List with due consideration to all States Parties and regions of the world and continue their thematic studies;

13. Further requests the World Heritage Centre, in co-operation with States Parties, ICOMOS, IUCN, ICCROM, appropriate scientific institutions, selected governmental and non-governmental experts, appropriate ntergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other relevant partners, to convene, as soon as possible and not later than March 2005, a special meeting of experts of all regions with the following aims:

a) make specific proposals to enable States Parties to better identify natural, cultural and mixed properties of potential outstanding universal value. Such proposals should include a reflection on the concept of Outstanding Universal Value as defined by the World Heritage Convention and in the context of regions, including cultural and biogeographical regions – and, as appropriate, sub regions -, with a view to compiling representative Tentative Lists, as well as the elaboration of a comparative analysis and evaluation of the Tentative Lists, and a compilation of best practices in the preparation of such lists. At a minimum, the proposals should generate the conditions to ensure that by 2007 all States Parties have submitted Tentative Lists, which are substantially in accordance with Article 11 of the World Heritage Convention and its Operational Guidelines, 

b) in the framework of Article 7 of the World Heritage Convention, make specific proposals to enable less-represented and non-represented States Parties to improve the quality of nominations and, consequently, the success rate of inscriptions on the World Heritage List of properties from such States Parties. At a minimum, by 2007 the proposals should lead to a decrease of at least 30% in the number of such less-represented and nonrepresented States Parties,

c) in the framework of Article 7 of the World Heritage Convention, make specific proposals to enable States Parties - in particular those lessrepresented and non-represented - to identify sufficient funding sources for the sustainable conservation of the properties thus inscribed. Such proposals could include the creation of inter-institutional and inter-sectoral site commissions and the networking of properties in order to ensure their adequate monitoring, management, including traditional management mechanisms, involvement of local populations and sustainable conservation. At a minimum, by 2007 the proposals should lead to the removal from the World Heritage List in Danger of at least 20% of the properties inscribed on that List,

d) on the basis of the refinement of the analysis referred to in paragraph 4 make specific proposals for the follow–up of such analysis. At a minimum, by 2007 such proposals should lead to the elaboration of regional – and, as appropriate, sub regional- programs, as well as to the adoption and harmonization of regional – and, as appropriate, sub regional- action plans fully consistent with the pertinent periodic reports;

14. Takes note of the offer by the Russian Federation to host the special meeting of experts of all regions referred to in paragraph 13 above;

15. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to report on the proposals and conclusions of the special meeting of experts of all regions referred to in paragraph 13, for consideration by the Committee at its 29th session (2005);

16. Decides to apply at its 29th session (2005) the mechanism set out in paragraphs 1 to 5 of Decision 27 COM 14, and requests the World Heritage Centre to distribute as soon as possible the full list of nominations admissible for examination by such session;

17. Also decides, on an experimental and transitory basis, to apply the following mechanism at its 30th session (2006):

a) examine up to two complete nominations per State Party, provided that at least one of such nominations concerns a natural property; and,

b) set at 45 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 nominations, serial nominations and nominations submitted on an emergency basis,

c) the order of priorities for the examination of new nominations shall remain as decided by the Committee at its 24th session (2000):

(i) nominations of properties submitted by States Parties with no properties inscribed on the List,
(ii) nominations of properties from any State Party that illustrate unrepresented or less represented categories of natural and cultural categories,
(iii) other nominations,
(iv) when applying this priority system, date of receipt of full and complete nominations by the World Heritage Centre shall be used as secondary determining factor within the category where the number of nomination fixed by the Committee has been reached;

18. Further decides to examine the transitory mechanism set out in paragraph 17 at its 31st session (2007), on the basis of:

a) the results of the process set out in paragraphs 13 and 15 above,

b) the extent to which the nominations presented at its 30th session (2006) contribute to the aim of a representative World Heritage List.