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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

RESULTS

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3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

Preamble

“The dynamic nature of living cities [must be recognized]. However, (…) rapid and frequently uncontrolled development is transforming urban areas and their settings, which may cause fragmentation and deterioration to urban heritage with deep impacts on community values, throughout the world”.


Preamble

“In order to support the protection of natural and cultural heritage, emphasis needs to be put on the integration of historic urban area conservation, management and planning strategies into local development processes and urban planning, such as, contemporary architecture and infrastructure development, for which the application of a landscape approach would help maintain urban identity”.



22. “Conservation of the urban heritage should be integrated into general policy planning and practices and those related to the broader urban context. Policies should provide mechanisms for balancing conservation and sustainability in the short and long terms. Special emphasis should be placed on the harmonious, integration of contemporary interventions into the historic urban fabric. In particular, the responsibilities of the different stakeholders are the following:

(a) Member States should integrate urban heritage conservation strategies into national development policies and agendas according to the historic urban landscape approach. Within this framework, local authorities should prepare urban development plans taking into account the area’s values, including the landscape and other heritage values, and features associated therewith;

(b) Public and private stakeholders should cooperate, inter alia, through partnerships to ensure the successful application of the historic urban landscape approach;

(c) International organizations dealing with sustainable development processes should integrate the historic urban landscape approach into their strategies, plans and operations;

(d) National and international non-governmental organizations should participate in developing and disseminating tools and best practices for the implementation of the historic urban landscape approach”.

Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
Source:  Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL)
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

8. "Given the percentage of threats related to Development and infrastructure projects and to high-rise buildings (…) [the World Heritage Committee] stresses the need for structured heritage impact assessments of major projects to be carried out at the earliest opportunity in order to assess the impact of potential projects on Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties."
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
Decision:  34COM 7C
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

26. "(…) The increasing urban pressure in and around numerous World Heritage properties has become a major threat to their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)."
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
Decision:  41COM 7
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to develop a comprehensive urban land use plan, which includes provisions for protection mechanisms and regulatory measures to ensure the adequate protection and control of the property and its landscape setting (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
See for examples Decisions:  34COM 7A.27 36COM 7B.61 41COM 7B.41
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.1 - Buildings and development

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to put in place appropriate protection and planning measures and to develop an integrated urban conservation and development tool, in the urban settlement and its wider context, in order to address development pressures, to protect the urban landscape and prevent the construction of new buildings that could have a visual impact (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.1 - Buildings and development
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.72 32COM 7B.84 33COM 7B.67 36COM 7B.88 37COM 7B.71 40COM 7B.49 41COM 7 41COM 7B.40 41COM 7B.42 41COM 7B.53
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Commercial development Housing Industrial areas Interpretative and visitation facilities Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure

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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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 negative impact of fishing activities on the OUV of the property and to work with communities to promote sustainable fishing 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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Paragraph 90

“For all properties nominated under criteria (vii) - (x), bio-physical processes and landform features should be relatively intact. However, it is recognized that no area is totally pristine and that all natural areas are in a dynamic state, and to some extent involve contact with people. Human activities, including those of traditional societies and local communities, often occur in natural areas. These activities may be consistent with the Outstanding Universal Value of the area where they are ecologically sustainable.”

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Paragraph 119

“World Heritage properties may support a variety of ongoing and proposed uses that are ecologically and culturally sustainable and which may contribute to the quality of life of communities concerned. The State Party and its partners must ensure that such sustainable use or any other change does not impact adversely on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. For some properties, human use would not be appropriate. Legislations, policies and strategies affecting World Heritage properties should ensure the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value, support the wider conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and promote and encourage the active participation of the communities and stakeholders concerned with the property as necessary conditions to its sustainable protection, conservation, management and presentation.”

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

46. "[The World Heritage Committee] requests States Parties to develop Visitor Management Plans that assess appropriate carrying capacity of properties for visitors and address the issue of unregulated tourism."

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Decision:  42COM 7
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

10. "[The World Heritage Committee] Acknowledging the contribution of sustainable tourism to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the positive impact it can have on local communities and the protection of World Heritage properties, nevertheless notes with concern that the number of properties negatively affected by overcrowding, congestion and tourism infrastructure development continues to increase;

11. Noting that the protection of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) must be a central objective for all World Heritage properties, requests States Parties to develop visitor management plans and strategies that address the seasonality of tourism (smoothing visitor numbers over time and spreading visitors across sites), encourage longer more in-depth experiences promoting tourism products and services that reflect natural and cultural values, and limit access and activities to improve visitor flows and experiences, while reducing pressures on the attributes which underpin OUV."
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Decision:  43COM 7.3

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to assess the impacts of grazing, hunting and other human traditional activities on the biodiversity in the traditional use zone and develop a policy for the sustainable use of the natural resources in the traditional use zones in the property in close cooperation with the indigenous communities using these areas (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.41 36COM 7B.25 40COM 7B.79 40COM 7B.88
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to take into account the traditional uses of local communities and to support the livelihoods of local communities through initiatives related to environmentally and culturally compatible options in order to prevent any threats from human activity to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and to promote the sustainable exploitation of resources and sustainable livelihoods (based on case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.61 39COM 7B.52 39COM 7B.61 39COM 7B.66 40COM 7A.37 40COM 7B.64 40COM 7B.86 41COM 7A.19 41COM 7B.19 41COM 7B.29 41COM 7B.35 41COM 7B.79
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends States Parties to consider measures in order to address ways to respect the cultural and spiritual values and practices, and sustain the spiritual associations at World Heritage properties (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7B.53 40COM 7B.89 41COM 7B.96
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends States Parties to pay special attention to the living religious heritage at properties, and to adopt efficient regulatory and management instruments to allow for religious uses at concerned properties (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  38COM 7A.1 38COM 7B.32 39COM 7A.24 41COM 7A.32
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

For the impact of tourism, the World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties, prior to any development of tourism facilities (resort development, ski facilities, golf resorts, etc.) that its potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) has been thoroughly assessed and to develop and implement a clear tourism strategy (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  31COM 7B.29 37COM 7B.28 40COM 7B.74 41COM 7B.32
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

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
Case law:  Yes
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
Case law:  Yes
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

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events

11. “The potential impacts of Climate Change range from physical, to social and cultural aspects. (…). Experience and lessons learned on addressing Climate Change impacts stress the need for using a number of management responses at national and local levels. The World Heritage Convention provides an opportunity to develop strategies to implement relevant actions in respect of cultural and natural heritage properties threatened by Climate Change. Given the complexity of this issue, States Parties may request guidance from the World Heritage Committee to implement appropriate management responses to face the threats posed by Climate Change on their natural and cultural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List”.

13. “Conservation is the management of change, and Climate Change is one of the most significant global challenges facing society and the environment today. The actions that need to be taken to safeguard heritage are threefold:

  • Preventive actions: monitoring, reporting and mitigation of Climate Change effects through environmentally sound choices and decisions at a range of levels: individual, community, institutional and corporate.

  • Corrective actions: adaptation to the reality of Climate Change through global and regional strategies and local management plans.

  • Sharing knowledge: including best practices, research, communication, public and political support, education and training, capacity building, networking, etc.”

15. “It is noteworthy that there are strong links between natural and cultural heritage and the Climate Change issue could be used as an opportunity for the two parts of the Convention to be brought closer together”.

16. “(…) Climate Change is one risk among a number of challenges facing World Heritage sites. This threat should be considered in the broader context of the conservation of these sites”.

Theme:  3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events
Source:  A Strategy to Assist States Parties to Implement Appropriate Management Responses
Threats:  Changes to oceanic waters Desertification Drought Flooding Other climate change impacts Storms Temperature change

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events

5. "[The World Heritage Committee] notes that the impacts of climate change are affecting many and are likely to affect many more World Heritage properties, both natural and cultural in the years to come;

6. Encourages all States Parties to seriously consider the potential impacts of climate change within their management planning, in particular with monitoring, and risk preparedness strategies, and to take early action in response to these potential impacts;

10. Strongly encourages States Parties and the Advisory Bodies to use the network of World Heritage properties to highlight the threats posed by climate change to natural and cultural heritage, start identifying the properties under most serious threats, and also use the network to demonstrate management actions that need to be taken to meet such threats, both within the properties and in their wider context;

11. Also encourages UNESCO to do its utmost to ensure that the results about climate change affecting World Heritage properties reach the public at large, in order to mobilize political support for activities against climate change and to safeguard in this way the livelihood of the poorest people of our planet."

Theme:  3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events
Decision:  29COM 7B.a
Threats:  Changes to oceanic waters Desertification Drought Flooding Other climate change impacts Storms Temperature change

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events

24. "[The World Heritage Committee] also recalls the need for all States Parties to continue, and where necessary to strengthen all efforts to build resilience of World Heritage properties to Climate Change, including by further reducing to the greatest extent possible all other pressures and threats, and by developing and implementing climate adaptation strategies for properties at risk of Climate Change impacts."
Theme:  3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events
Decision:  41COM 7
Threats:  Changes to oceanic waters Desertification Drought Flooding Other climate change impacts Storms Temperature change

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events

30. “[The World Heritage Committee] notes with concern increasing vandalism at World Heritage properties and encourages States Parties to improve monitoring and security measures as well as awareness raising on the detrimental effects of vandalism, and to consider introducing creative solutions to allow visitors to express themselves without leaving permanent marks or damage."
Theme:  3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events
Decision:  41COM 7
Threats:  Changes to oceanic waters Desertification Drought Flooding Other climate change impacts Storms Temperature change

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

At site-level, the World Heritage Committee recommends to monitor the impacts of global climate change and to develop adaptive management strategies and mitigation and adaptation measures to ensure the long-term protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the properties in response to climate and other environmental change (based on Case law further to decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather events
See for examples Decisions:  33COM 7B.7 33COM 7B.11 33COM 7B.23 34COM 7B.14 35COM 7B.22 36COM 7B.4 37COM 7B.14 38COM 7A.29
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Changes to oceanic waters Desertification Drought Flooding Other climate change impacts Storms Temperature change

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.11 - Sudden ecological or geological events

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages the assessment of the impacts and the damage caused after a sudden ecological or geological event, and the planning and implementation of the necessary remedial measures, including with a view to strengthening the overall resilience of the properties, to identify mechanisms for adaptive conservation and to improve risk preparedness, together with prevention and monitoring strategies and disaster response plans (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.11 - Sudden ecological or geological events
See for examples Decisions:  31COM 7B.8 31COM 7B.45 32COM 7B.44 34COM 7A.16 34COM 7B.11 34COM 7B.42 35COM 7B.32 36COM 7C 37COM 7B.3 37COM 7B.20 37COM 7B.37 40COM 7B.11
Case law:  Yes
Threats:  Avalanche/ landslide Earthquake Erosion and siltation/ deposition Fire (widlfires) Tsunami/tidal wave Volcanic eruption

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.12 - Invasive/alien species or hyper-abundant species

“[The World Heritage Committee] notes with concern the significant and continued threat posed by invasive alien species to natural World Heritage properties, [and] strongly encourages States Parties to develop adequately resourced strategies to eradicate invasive species that emphasize prevention and early warning and rapid response in World Heritage properties, and also calls on the international community to support invasive species eradication campaigns in affected properties.”

Theme:  3.5.12 - Invasive/alien species or hyper-abundant species
Decision:  39COM 7 41COM 7
Threats:  Hyper-abundant species Invasive / alien freshwater species Invasive / alien marine species Invasive/alien terrestrial species Modified genetic material Translocated species

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.13 - Management and institutional factors

3. "Noting with regret that issues related to Management Plan / System remain a serious cause for concern, [the World Heritage Committee] requests all States Parties to ensure that all World Heritage properties are managed in such a manner that their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is not put at risk and, whenever necessary, develop/update and fully implement Management Plans or Systems."
Theme:  3.5.13 - Management and institutional factors
Decision:  38COM 7
Threats:  Financial resources Governance High impact research / monitoring activities Human resources Legal framework Low impact research / monitoring activities Management activities Management systems/ management plan
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43
Extracts
22
Case laws
38
Decisions
2
Documents