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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

Paragraph 96

“Protection and management of World Heritage properties should ensure that their Outstanding Universal Value, including the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity at the time of inscription, are sustained or enhanced over time. A regular review of the general state of conservation of properties, and thus also their Outstanding Universal Value, shall be done within a framework of monitoring processes for World Heritage properties, as specified within the Operational Guidelines.”
Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

Paragraph 173

“The World Heritage Committee requests that reports of missions to review the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties include:

a) an indication of threats or significant improvement in the conservation of the property since the last report to the World Heritage Committee;

b) any follow-up to previous decisions of the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of the property;

c) information on any threat or damage to or loss of Outstanding Universal Value, integrity and/or authenticity for which the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List.”

Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

Paragraph 181

“In addition, the threats and/or their detrimental impacts on the integrity of the property must be those which are amenable to correction by human action. In the case of cultural properties, both natural factors and human-made factors may be threatening, while in the case of natural properties, most threats will be human-made and only very rarely a natural factor (such as an epidemic disease) will threaten the integrity of the property. In some cases, the threats and/or their detrimental impacts on the integrity of the property may be corrected by administrative or legislative action, such as the cancelling of a major public works project or the improvement of legal status.”
Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

C. 4) "Apply the Ecosystem Approach

(…)

18. c) Consider landscape/seascape level issues when monitoring the state of conservation of World Heritage sites (…)."

Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Source:  WHC-06/30.COM/INF.6A The World Heritage Centre's Natural Heritage Strategy

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

"States Parties and managers of individual World Heritage properties will consider undertaking site-level monitoring, mitigation and adaptation measures, where appropriate”.

Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Source:  Policy document on the impacts of climate change on World Heritage Properties (2008)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

5. "[The World Heritage Committee] (…) underlines that reinforced monitoring is a constant cooperative process with the State Party concerned, which will always be undertaken in full consultation and with its approval."
Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Decision:  31 COM 5.2

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

54. "[The World Heritage Committee] encourages States Parties to make full use of such Earth Observation technologies for the early detection of activities potentially harmful to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties, such as deforestation, mining, illegal fisheries, agricultural encroachment, etc. and to better understand trends and respond appropriately."
Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Decision:  42 COM 7

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

9. "[The World Heritage Committee] Invites the Advisory Bodies to engage in effective and constructive dialogue with States Parties in the preparation of Tentative Lists, in the nomination process, including before the publication of recommendations, and post inscription (including monitoring missions), with the aim of achieving more effective credibility, transparency and better implementation of the Convention and Sustainable Development Goals."
Theme:  3.2.1 - General
Decision:  43 COM 5E

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends establishing key monitoring indicators to relate more directly to the Outstanding Universal Value to allow for judgment of changes in state of conservation, and adding specific indicators, periodicity and institutional responsibilities (based on Case law on decisions on Nominations).
Theme:  3.2.1 - General
See for examples Decisions:  38 COM 8B.37 39 COM 8B.25 39 COM 8B.33 41 COM 8B.26 41 COM 8B.27 41 COM 8B.28 41 COM 8B.31 41 COM 8B.33 41 COM 8B.38

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.1 - General

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to monitor wildlife and populations, including key species, in order to assess the populations and trends (based on case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.2.1 - General
See for examples Decisions:  37 COM 7B.11 38 COM 7B.92 40 COM 7B.69 40 COM 7B.70 41 COM 7A.15

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.2 - Periodic Reporting

Paragraph 202

“Periodic Reporting is important for more effective long term conservation of the properties inscribed, as well as to strengthen the credibility of the implementation of the Convention. It is also an important tool for assessing the implementation by States Parties and World Heritage properties of policies adopted by the World Heritage Committee and the General Assembly.”

Theme:  3.2.2 - Periodic Reporting
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring

Paragraph 169

“Reactive Monitoring is the reporting by the Secretariat, other sectors of UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies to the Committee on the state of conservation of specific World Heritage properties that are under threat. To this end, the States Parties shall submit specific reports and impact studies each time exceptional circumstances occur or work is undertaken which may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property or its state of conservation. Reactive Monitoring is also foreseen in reference to properties inscribed, or to be inscribed, on the List of World Heritage in Danger (…). Reactive Monitoring is also foreseen in the procedures for the eventual deletion of properties from the World Heritage List (…)”.

Theme:  3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring

Paragraph 170

“When adopting the process of Reactive Monitoring, the Committee was particularly concerned that all possible measures should be taken to prevent the deletion of any property from the List and was ready to offer technical co-operation as far as possible to States Parties in this connection.”
Theme:  3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring

14. "[The World Heritage Committee] Recognizes that the selection of the state of conservation reports to be discussed by the Committee during its sessions should be based on clear and objective criteria, including the level of threat to the property, rather than being based on representativity."
Theme:  3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring
Decision:  43 COM 7.1

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger

Paragraph 9

“When a property inscribed on the World Heritage List is threatened by serious and specific dangers, the Committee considers placing it on the List of World Heritage in Danger. When the Outstanding Universal Value of the property which justified its inscription on the World Heritage List is destroyed, the Committee considers deleting the property from the World Heritage List.”
Theme:  3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger

Paragraph 182

“The Committee may wish to bear in mind the following supplementary factors when considering the inclusion of a cultural or natural property in the List of World Heritage in Danger:

a) Decisions which affect World Heritage properties are taken by Governments after balancing all factors. The advice of the World Heritage Committee can often be decisive if it can be given before the property becomes threatened.

b) Particularly in the case of ascertained danger, the physical or cultural deteriorations to which a property has been subjected should be judged according to the intensity of its effects and analyzed case by case.

c) Above all in the case of potential danger to a property, one should consider that:

i) the threat should be appraised according to the normal evolution of the social and economic framework in which the property is situated;

ii) it is often impossible to assess certain threats such as the threat of armed conflict as to their effect on cultural or natural properties;

iii) some threats are not imminent in nature, but can only be anticipated, such as demographic growth.

d) Finally, in its appraisal the Committee should take into account any cause of unknown or unexpected origin which endangers a cultural or natural property.”

Theme:  3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger

Paragraph 183

“When considering the inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Committee shall develop, and adopt, as far as possible, in consultation with the State Party concerned, a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and a programme for corrective measures.”[1]


[1]           In relation to the paragraph 183 of the Operational Guidelines, there are several decisions from different properties related to the desired state of conservation. See for example 31 COM 7A.16, 31 COM 7A.21, 36 COM 7A.34, 36 COM 7B.102, 38 COM 7A.23, 39 COM 7A.13, 39 COM 7A.18, 41 COM 7A.19, 41 COM 7A.23.

Theme:  3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.2 - Monitoring

3.2.5 - Deletion of a World Heritage property from the List

Paragraph 192

“The Committee adopted the following procedure for the deletion of properties from the World Heritage List in cases:

a) where the property has deteriorated to the extent that it has lost those characteristics which determined its inclusion in the World Heritage List; and

b) where the intrinsic qualities of a World Heritage site were already threatened at the time of its nomination by human action and where the necessary corrective measures as outlined by the State Party at the time, have not been taken within the time proposed (…)”.

Theme:  3.2.5 - Deletion of a World Heritage property from the List
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.3 - Impact assessments

Paragraph 110

“An effective management system depends on the type, characteristics and needs of the nominated property and its cultural and natural context. Management systems may vary according to different cultural perspectives, the resources available and other factors. They may incorporate traditional practices, existing urban or regional planning instruments, and other planning control mechanisms, both formal and informal. Impact assessments for proposed interventions are essential for all World Heritage properties.”

Theme:  3.3 - Impact assessments
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.3 - Impact assessments

Paragraph 172

“The World Heritage Committee invites the States Parties to the Convention to inform the Committee, through the Secretariat, of their intention to undertake or to authorize in an area protected under the Convention major restorations or new constructions which may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.  Notice should be given as soon as possible (…) and before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, so that the Committee may assist in seeking appropriate solutions to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is fully preserved.”

Theme:  3.3 - Impact assessments
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
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Extracts
31
Case laws
63
Decisions
7
Documents