CONF 008 VII.14-18
Analysis of Trends in Nominations
14. Introducing agenda item 6, the Secretariat recalled the Bureau's proposals as contained in the report of the ninth session. It was pointed out that, in addition to the question of the growing number of nominations, the real problem raised by development of the Convention was that of monitoring the status of conservation of properties included on the List.
15. In regard to the Bureau's proposed measures to reduce the number of nominations to be processed each year, the Committee was of the view that it was preferable not to lay down strict rules but rather to appeal to States that already had a large number of properties on the List to restrict their nominations voluntarily. At the same time, the Committee recalled that ICOMOS could evaluate nominations only from States Parties which had submitted tentative lists.
16. On the subject of monitoring the status of conservation of properties on the List, the Committee requested IUCN to report on its system of monitoring the status, not only of natural World Heritage properties, but also of endangered species and natural habitats. The IUCN system is based at the Conservation Monitoring Centre at Cambridge (United Kingdom) and has close links with the Global Environmental Monitoring System of the United Nations Environment Programme. IUCN is assisted by 4000 voluntary correspondents located in 126 countries who report regularly to the Conservation Monitoring Centre. Thus, IUCN is in a position to obtain reliable and up-to-date information on almost all natural World Heritage properties. This year IUCN would be reporting on 12 of the 56 natural World Heritage sites, a task which was assuming larger proportions than that of evaluating new proposals. In general, between 8 and 13 new nominations were examined each year, a number which IUCN considered reasonable. The representative of IUCN underlined the importance of regularly monitoring the quality of World Heritage properties and suggested that the Committee might follow-up the proposals for monitoring made to the Committee at its seventh session in Florence (Italy) in 1983.
17. The Committee acknowledged that a solution should be found to enable the Committee to be kept regularly informed of the status of conservation of cultural as well as natural properties. Such information should be collated at regular intervals, yet to be determined, and could be collected by expert missions, through questionnaires sent out to States, or with the help of ICOMOS national committees. This could only be done, however, if ICOMOS were provided with the necessary funds. In addition, the Secretariat informed the Committee of the forthcoming Unesco publication of a "Manual for the Management of World Cultural Heritage Sites" aimed at the persons responsible for the preservation of these sites.
18. The Committee considered that it was premature to adopt a monitoring system for cultural properties and that possible solutions and their financial implications should first be studied in depth. It recommended that ICOMOS and ICCROM should take the procedures adopted by IUCN for monitoring the status of natural properties as a guide, and make proposals to the Bureau at its tenth session.