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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.4 - Heritage policies at national level

8. "[The World Heritage Committee] calls upon States Parties to ensure that sustainable development principles are mainstreamed into their national processes related to World Heritage, in full respect of the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties."
Theme:  1.4 - Heritage policies at national level
Decision:  41COM 5C

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.5 - Relation between culture and nature

8. “In applying a sustainable development perspective within the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, States Parties should also recognize the close links and interdependence of biological diversity and local cultures within the socio-ecological systems of many World Heritage properties. These have often developed over time through mutual adaptation between humans and the environment, interacting with and affecting one another in complex ways, and are fundamental components of the resilience of communities. This suggests that any policy aiming to achieve sustainable development will necessarily have to take into consideration the interrelationship of biological diversity with the local cultural context”.

11. “(…) A focus on cultural and biological diversity as well as the linkages between the conservation of cultural and natural heritage and the various dimensions of sustainable development will enable all those concerned to better engage with World Heritage, protect its OUV and fully harness its potential benefits for communities”.

15. “States Parties should ensure that biological and cultural diversity, as well as ecosystem services and benefits for people that contribute to environmental sustainability, are protected and enhanced within World Heritage properties, their buffer zones and their wider settings. To this end, States Parties should:

i. Integrate consideration for biological and cultural diversity as well as ecosystem services and benefits within the conservation and management of all World Heritage properties, including mixed and cultural ones,

ii. Avoid, and if not possible mitigate, all negative impacts on the environment and cultural diversity when conserving and managing World Heritage properties and their wider settings. This can be achieved by promoting environmental, social and cultural impact assessment tools when undertaking planning in sectors such as urban development, transport, infrastructure, mining and waste management - as well as by applying sustainable consumption and production patterns and promoting the use of renewable energy sources”.

Theme:  1.5 - Relation between culture and nature
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.5 - Relation between culture and nature

4. “The Strategy (…) proposes a paradigm shift from treating natural and cultural heritage actors separately to the realization that capacity building actions can be strengthened by creating joint opportunities (…).”

Theme:  1.5 - Relation between culture and nature
Source:  WHC-11/35.COM/9B Presentation and adoption of the World Heritage strategy for capacity building

1 - General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

1.5 - Relation between culture and nature

XIII.4 "[There is] (...) a draft unified set of criteria (...) to better reflect what has been described as the nature/culture continuum expressed at many World Heritage properties around the world".
Theme:  1.5 - Relation between culture and nature
Decision:  23COM XIIIA.2-12

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List

Article 11

1. "Every State Party to this Convention shall, in so far as possible, submit to the World Heritage Committee an inventory of property forming part of the cultural and natural heritage, situated in its territory and suitable for inclusion in the list provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article.

2. On the basis of the inventories submitted by States in accordance with paragraph 1, the Committee shall establish, keep up to date and publish, under the title of "World Heritage List," a list of properties forming part of the cultural heritage and natural heritage, as defined in Articles 1 and 2 of this Convention, which it considers as having outstanding universal value in terms of such criteria as it shall have established. An updated list shall be distributed at least every two years.

3. The inclusion of a property in the World Heritage List requires the consent of the State concerned. The inclusion of a property situated in a territory, sovereignty or jurisdiction over which is claimed by more than one State shall in no way prejudice the rights of the parties to the dispute."

Theme:  2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List
Source:  Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List

3. "(...)

b) [The World Heritage Committee invites States Parties to the Convention to] identify and nominate cultural and natural heritage properties representing heritage in all its diversity, for inclusion on the World Heritage List."

Theme:  2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List
Source:  WHC-02/CONF.202/5 The Budapest Declaration on World Heritage

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List

Paragraph 48

“Nominations of immovable heritage which are likely to become movable will not be considered.”

Theme:  2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List

Paragraph 50

“States Parties are invited to submit nominations of properties of cultural and/or natural value considered to be of "Outstanding Universal Value" for inscription on the World Heritage List.”

Theme:  2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List

Paragraph 53

“Nominations presented to the Committee shall demonstrate the full commitment of the State Party to preserve the heritage concerned, within its means. Such commitment shall take the form of appropriate policy, legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures adopted and proposed to protect the property and its Outstanding Universal Value.”

Theme:  2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List

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. This first phase of work will help to establish the feasibility of a possible nomination and avoid the use of resources on preparing nominations that may be unlikely to succeed. States Parties are encouraged to seek upstream advice from the relevant Advisory Body(ies) for this first phase as well as to contact the World Heritage Centre at the earliest opportunity in considering nominations to seek information and guidance.”

Theme:  2.1 - Nominations to the World Heritage List
2.4 - Upstream Process
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes

Paragraph 49

“Outstanding Universal Value means cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity. As such, the permanent protection of this heritage is of the highest importance to the international community as a whole. The Committee defines the criteria for the inscription of properties on the World Heritage List.”

Theme:  2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes

Paragraph 78

“To be deemed of Outstanding Universal Value, a property must also meet the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity and must have an adequate protection and management system to ensure its safeguarding.”

Theme:  2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes

3. "[The World Heritage Committee], conscious that outstanding universal value is a concept that shall embrace all cultures, regions and peoples, and does not ignore differing cultural interpretations of outstanding universal value because they originate from minorities, indigenous groups and/or local peoples,

4. Recognises that the identification of outstanding universal value on the basis of the established criteria needs to be analysed also in their cultural and natural context, and that in some instances, the tangible and intangible interpretations cannot be separated."

Theme:  2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes
Decision:  30COM 9

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes

9. "[The World Heritage Committee] reinforces the rigorous, objective and consistent application of the three key tests to determine Outstanding Universal Value as set out in the Operational Guidelines:

a) the property must meet one or more of the 10 criteria (Paragraph 77);

b) the property must meet the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity (Paragraphs 79/95); and

c) the property must have an adequate protection and management system in place to ensure its safeguarding (Paragraph 78)."

Theme:  2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes
Decision:  32COM 9

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes

3. "[The World Heritage Committee considers that], in compliance with the Convention and the Operational Guidelines, Outstanding Universal Value is recognised at the time of inscription of a property on the World Heritage List and that no recognition of Outstanding Universal Value is foreseen prior to this stage (…)."

Theme:  2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes
Decision:  42COM 8

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes

5. "[The World Heritage Committee] Also recalling that the Operational Guidelines set out the conditions for inscription on the World Heritage List, strongly reiterates that only meeting criteria is not enough to warrant inscription, as to be deemed of Outstanding Universal Value a site must also meet the conditions of integrity (and authenticity) and must have an adequate protection and management system to ensure its safeguarding, as outlined in paragraph 78 of the Operational Guidelines;"
Theme:  2.2.1 - Outstanding Universal Value: definition and attributes
Decision:  43COM 8

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.2 - World Heritage criteria

2.2.2.1 - General

Article 11

5. "The Committee shall define the criteria on the basis of which a property belonging to the cultural or natural heritage may be included in either of the lists mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 4 of this article."

Theme:  2.2.2.1 - General
Source:  Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.2 - World Heritage criteria

2.2.2.1 - General

Paragraph 166

“Where a State Party wishes to have the property inscribed under additional, fewer or different criteria other than those used for the original inscription, it shall submit this request as if it were a new nomination (including the requirement to be previously included on the Tentative List – see paragraph 63 and 65). This re-nomination must be received by 1 February and will be evaluated in the full year and a half cycle of evaluation according to the procedures and timetable outlined in paragraph 168. Properties recommended will only be evaluated under the new criteria and will remain on the World Heritage List even if unsuccessful in having additional criteria recognized.”
Theme:  2.2.2.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.2 - World Heritage criteria

2.2.2.1 - General
(v) "Particular attention should be given to cases which fall under criterion (vi) so that the net result would not be a reduction in the value of the List, due to the large potential number of nominations as well as to political difficulties. Nominations concerning, in particular, historical events or famous people could be strongly influenced by nationalism or other particularisms in contradiction with the objectives of the World Heritage Convention."
Theme:  2.2.2.1 - General
Decision:  03COM XI.35

2 - Policies Regarding CREDIBILITY of the World Heritage List

2.2 - Outstanding Universal Value

2.2.2 - World Heritage criteria

2.2.2.1 - General

19. "(...)

(a) 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).

(f) 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."

Theme:  2.2.2.1 - General
Decision:  04COM VI.18-20
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1.5 - Relation between culture and nature
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2.7.4.1 - General
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3.5.1 - Buildings and development
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