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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

25. "[The World Heritage Committee] notes with concern that the number of cases of ground transport infrastructure having potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties is continuing to grow, and calls upon States Parties to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) early in the process of transportation planning to allow for potential impacts of the OUV, including those resulting from foreseeable associated future developments, to be identified prior to the development of specific projects;

26. Encourages States Parties to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) on ground transport projects, once they are designed, with multiple options to ensure that transportation needs can be met with minimal impacts on the OUV of World Heritage properties."

Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
Decision:  40COM 7
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests Heritage Impact Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments of all significant development proposals in the property and of any major transportation infrastructure project, before approval for the schemes is granted and prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, including definitive location and plans for construction, in order to identify any adverse impacts on the property and ways to mitigate these impacts, and to submit the HIA and the EIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.122 36COM 7B.80 36COM 7B.100 37COM 7B.65 38COM 7B.62 39COM 7B.91 40COM 7B.55 41COM 7B.31 41COM 7B.59 41COM 7B.69
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests the State Party to submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details about any cable car project, including design, technical specifications and precise location of the route, in relation to the inscribed property, together with a HIA and an EIA, well before any irrevocable decisions are taken about the construction of the cable car (based on case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  37COM 7B.102 38COM 7B.45 38COM 7B.77 40COM 7B.91 42COM 7B.26
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

17. "[The World Heritage Committee, noting] with significant concern that an increasing number of properties are facing potential threats from major dam projects, considers that the construction of dams with large reservoirs within the boundaries of World Heritage properties is incompatible with their World Heritage status, and urges States Parties to ensure that the impacts from dams that could affect properties located upstream or downstream within the same river basin are rigorously assessed in order to avoid impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)."
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
Decision:  40COM 7
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to strengthen the protection of the immediate and wider setting of properties for addressing the impact of wind turbines, and to identify a wind turbine exclusion zone, based on the potential visual impact on the components of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.118 34COM 7B.83 36COM 7B.74 41COM 8B.19 41COM 7B.45
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to conduct an adequate environmental impact study for the power transmission lines, before any decision is taken (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  37COM 7B.79 21BUR IVB.33 25BUR V.126-127 38COM 7B.59
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.4 - Pollution

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to enhance the regulation and monitoring of pollution, and to create management plans that consider options to address and to put in place adequate measures to mitigate the impact associated to the pollution, and its potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including the control of sources of pollution affecting the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.4 - Pollution
See for examples Decisions:  31COM 7B.4 31COM 7B.31 33COM 7B.28 35COM 7B.23 36COM 7B.22 41COM 7B.25
Threats:  Air pollution Ground water pollution Input of excess energy Pollution of marine waters Solid waste Surface water pollution

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to ensure that no commercial logging can be permitted within the property/to ban all commercial logging (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification
See for examples Decisions:  37COM 7B.26 38COM 7A.45 41COM 7B.1 41COM 7A.19 41COM 7B.4
Threats:  Aquaculture Commercial hunting Commercial wild plant collection Crop production Fishing/collecting aquatic resources Forestry /wood production Land conversion Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals Subsistence hunting Subsistence wild plant collection

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to undertake research to determine the effects and impact from existing resource use, including fishing activities, grazing and collection of medicinal plants on the OUV of the property and to work with communities and to fully involve local resource users to promote sustainable resource uses and practices (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.62 38COM 7B.84 40COM 7B.85 41COM 7B.15 41COM 7B.17 43COM 7B.8
Threats:  Aquaculture Commercial hunting Commercial wild plant collection Crop production Fishing/collecting aquatic resources Forestry /wood production Land conversion Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals Subsistence hunting Subsistence wild plant collection

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

18. "[The World Heritage Committee] notes with significant concern that World Heritage properties are increasingly threatened by extractive industries (…), once again urges all States Parties to the Convention and leading industry stakeholders to respect the "No-go" commitment by not permitting extractive activities within World Heritage properties, and by making every effort to ensure that extractives companies located in their territory cause no damage to World Heritage properties, in line with Article 6 of the Convention."

Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
Decision:  37COM 7 40COM 7
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties not to explore or mine in World Heritage properties, in line with the Committee’s established position that mineral exploration and mining are incompatible with World Heritage status and the international policy statement of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) of not undertaking these activities in World Heritage properties (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
See for examples Decisions:  35COM 7B.22 37COM 7B.8 40COM 7B.104 41COM 7A.19
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee reiterates that mining activities and oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.80 38COM 7B.92 40COM 7B.71 40COM 7B.85
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

When mining or other type of exploitation is foreseen, the World Heritage Committee requests to get an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, meeting international standards, before any commencement of exploitation at the property and adjacent to the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.6 - Physical resource extraction
See for examples Decisions:  35COM 7B.22 36COM 7B.1 38COM 7B.92
Threats:  Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.7 - Local conditions affecting the fabric

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the conditions as well as an analysis of ways to address the underlying causes of local conditions affecting the fabric, and to elaborate a comprehensive strategy to address the impacts, including priority emergency measures, mitigation measures and an intervention programme (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.7 - Local conditions affecting the fabric
See for examples Decisions:  36COM 7A.34 37COM 7A.23 37COM 7B.74 38COM 7A.1 40COM 7A.9 40COM 7A.14 41COM 7A.27 41COM 7A.32
Threats:  Dust Micro-organisms Pests Radiation/light Relative humidity Temperature Water (rain/water table) Wind

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.9 - Other human activities

6. "Reiterating its utmost concern about the continued impacts on World Heritage properties due to the rising pressure from poaching, particularly of elephant, rhinoceros, and valuable timber species, linked to a growing illicit trade, and the increasing involvement of organized crime in this lucrative business, [the World Heritage Committee] reiterates its request to the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to strengthen their cooperation with the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to assist States Parties to implement the measures taken by the 16th Conference of the Parties of the CITES (…), and urges States Parties to ensure strong international collaboration and coordination to control the illicit trade in flora and fauna and their products."
Theme:  3.5.9 - Other human activities
Decision:  38COM 7
Threats:  Civil unrest Deliberate destruction of heritage Illegal activities Military training Terrorism War

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.9 - Other human activities

20. "[The World Heritage Committee] expresses its utmost concern about the impacts of conflicts causing an escalation of the already severe poaching crisis in central Africa, as armed groups are financing their activities through illegal wildlife trade, which is having a severe impact on wildlife populations, thereby degrading the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of natural World Heritage properties;"

Theme:  3.5.9 - Other human activities
Decision:  42COM 7
Threats:  Civil unrest Deliberate destruction of heritage Illegal activities Military training Terrorism War

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.9 - Other human activities

9. "[The World Heritage Committee] Reiterates its utmost concern about the continuing threats of wildlife poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife products linked to impacts of conflict and organized crime, which is eroding the biodiversity and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of many World Heritage sites across the world, and urges States Parties to take the necessary measures to curb this problem, including through the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);"
Theme:  3.5.9 - Other human activities
Decision:  43COM 7.2

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.9 - Other human activities

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to take all measures possible to halt poaching in the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.9 - Other human activities
See for examples Decisions:  33COM 7B.11 38COM 7A.45 40COM 7A.37
Threats:  Civil unrest Deliberate destruction of heritage Illegal activities Military training Terrorism War

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.9 - Other human activities

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to promote traditional land management practices [and] reiterates its appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trade in wildlife and its products, including through the implementation of the CITES, and with the full engagement of transit and destination countries (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.9 - Other human activities
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.41 35COM 7B.9 38COM 7B.14 40COM 7B.86
Threats:  Civil unrest Deliberate destruction of heritage Illegal activities Military training Terrorism War

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events

Conclusions. “The following are [the] key principles:

i. in addressing the impacts of climate change on the outstanding universal value, integrity and authenticity of World Heritage properties, the World Heritage community will work in cooperation with other partners that also have responsibility, resources and expertise related to this challenge.

ii. The World Heritage Committee will be an advocate for relevant climate change research, and work to influence and support partners that are mandated and resourced to carry out such research.

iii. World Heritage properties will be used wherever appropriate and possible as a means to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change upon World Heritage to act as a catalyst in the international debate and obtain support for policies to mitigate climate change, and to communicate best practices in vulnerability assessments, adaptation strategies, mitigation opportunities, and pilot projects.

iv. Climate change will be considered in all aspects of nominating, managing, monitoring and reporting on the status of these properties.

v. In considering the threat posed by climate change to the OUV, authenticity and/or integrity of a World Heritage property, the World Heritage Committee will use the existing tools and processes”.

Theme:  3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events
Source:  WHC-07/16.GA/10 Policy document on the impact of Climate Change on World Heritage properties
Threats:  Changes to oceanic waters Desertification Drought Flooding Other climate change impacts Storms Temperature change
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