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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

9. “All dimensions of sustainable development should apply to natural, cultural and mixed properties in their diversity. These dimensions are interdependent and mutually reinforcing, with none having predominance over another and each being equally necessary. States Parties should therefore review and reinforce governance frameworks within management systems of World Heritage properties in order to achieve the appropriate balance, integration and harmonization between the protection of OUV and the pursuit of sustainable development objectives. This will include the full respect and participation of all stakeholders and rights holders, including indigenous peoples and local communities, the setting up of effective inter-institutional coordination mechanisms and provisions for the systematic assessment of environmental, social, and economic impacts of all proposed developments, as well as effective monitoring through continuity in data collection against agreed indicators”.

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”.

25. “The management and conservation of World Heritage properties should contribute to fostering inclusive local economic development and enhancing livelihoods, compatibly with the protection of their OUV”.

Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

C. 4) "Apply the Ecosystem Approach

(…)

18. a) Promote integration of the ecosystem approach principles into all stages of planning and management of World Heritage sites."

Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Source:  WHC-06/30.COM/INF.6A The World Heritage Centre's Natural Heritage Strategy

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Paragraph 97

“All properties inscribed on the World Heritage List must have adequate long-term legislative, regulatory, institutional and/or traditional protection and management to ensure their safeguarding. This protection should include adequately delineated boundaries. Similarly States Parties should demonstrate adequate protection at the national, regional, municipal, and/or traditional level for the nominated property. They should append appropriate texts to the nomination with a clear explanation of the way this protection operates to protect the property.”
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Paragraph 98

“Legislative and regulatory measures at national and local levels should assure the protection of the property from social, economic and other pressures or changes that might negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value, including the integrity and/or authenticity of the property. States Parties should also assure the full and effective implementation of such measures.”
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Paragraph 108

“Each nominated property should have an appropriate management plan or other documented management system which must specify how the Outstanding Universal Value of a property should be preserved, preferably through participatory means.”

Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Paragraph 112

“Effective management involves a cycle of short, medium and long-term actions to protect, conserve and present the nominated property. An integrated approach to planning and management is essential to guide the evolution of properties over time and to ensure maintenance of all aspects of their Outstanding Universal Value. This approach goes beyond the property to include any buffer zone(s), as well as the broader setting. The broader setting, may relate to the property’s topography, natural and built environment, and other elements such as infrastructure, land use patterns, spatial organization, and visual relationships. It may also include related social and cultural practices, economic processes and other intangible dimensions of heritage such as perceptions and associations. Management of the broader setting is related to its role in supporting the Outstanding Universal Value.”

Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Paragraph 86

“In relation to authenticity, the reconstruction of archaeological remains or historic buildings or districts is justifiable only in exceptional circumstances. Reconstruction is acceptable only on the basis of complete and detailed documentation and to no extent on conjecture.”
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

8. "[The World Heritage Committee] takes note of the increasing number of State of Conservation reports due to inadequate management systems or plans and urges States Parties to ensure that management systems and plans are in place at the time of inscription."
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Decision:  39COM 7

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

3.5.13 - Management and institutional factors

"Integrated management, Decision making, Governance

23. [The World Heritage Committee,] noting with concern that the lack of an integrated management approach is reported to cause challenges to the coordination of management and decision making processes of properties where different authorities are involved, in particular in the cases of mixed, serial, and transboundary properties, urges States Parties to establish appropriate mechanisms in order to facilitate a coordinated approach to the management of all properties, in line with the requirements of the Operational Guidelines as laid out in Paragraphs 112, 114, and 135, and encourages States Parties with contiguous natural properties on either side of their international borders, which are not listed as transboundary properties, to establish appropriate mechanisms for cooperation between their respective management authorities and ministries;

24. Also encourages States Parties to promote recognition and awareness across all relevant national and regional agencies of the World Heritage status of the properties on their territory, and to develop mechanisms to ensure consideration of impacts on Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in the decision making processes of relevant ministries, before permits are issued for developments that could negatively impact the OUV."

Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
3.5.13 - Management and institutional factors
Decision:  40COM 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

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

15. "[The World Heritage Committee] encourages (…) the reflection on reconstruction within World Heritage properties as a complex multi-disciplinary process, towards developing new guidance to reflect the multi-faceted challenges that reconstruction brings, its social and economic context, the short- and long-term needs of properties, and the idea of reconstruction as a process that should be undertaken within the framework of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the properties."
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
Decision:  41COM 7

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

States Parties are responsible for elaborating a comprehensive and integrated site management plan and to secur[ing] the necessary resources for its full implementation (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
See for examples Decisions:  32COM 7B.70 33COM 7B.116 34COM 7A.27 35COM 7B.131 36COM 7B.74 40COM 7B.50 41COM 7A.42
Case law:  Yes

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests the States Parties to establish the Outstanding Universal Value of the property as a clearly defined and central element within the protection and management system for the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
See for examples Decisions:  34COM 7A.27 36COM 7B.8 36COM 7B.74 41COM 7B.47
Case law:  Yes

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends the States Parties to improve institutional coordination, including international coordination, between the different agents in charge of the management of transnational, transboundary and/or serial properties in order to avoid potential negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property (based on Case law on decisions on Nominations).
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
See for examples Decisions:  40COM 8B.9 41COM 8B.3 41COM 8B.7 41COM 8B.21
Case law:  Yes

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends the States Parties to develop a long-term strategy for the sustainable financing of the property, and to ensure adequate human, material and financial resources to support the effective management (based on Case law on decisions on Nominations).
Theme:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
See for examples Decisions:  40COM 8B.6 41COM 8B.3 41COM 8B.5 41COM 8B.9 41COM 8B.11 41COM 8B.31
Case law:  Yes

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

3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties

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:  3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage properties
3.2.1 - General
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

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.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

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.17/01 - 12 July 2017)

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:  31COM 5.2
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101
Extracts
32
Case laws
67
Decisions
8
Documents