Periodic Reporting

Every six years, the States Parties are invited to submit to the World Heritage Committee a periodic report on the application of the World Heritage Convention, including the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties located on its territories.

Why Periodic Reporting?

The Periodic Reporting on the application of the World Heritage Convention is intended to serve four main purposes :

  • to provide an assessment of the application of the World Heritage Convention by the State Party;
  • to provide an assessment as to whether the World Heritage values of the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List are being maintained over time;
  • to provide up-dated information about the World Heritage properties to record the changing circumstances and state of conservation of the properties;
  • to provide a mechanism for regional co-operation and exchange of information and experiences between States Parties concerning the implementation of the Convention and World Heritage conservation.

How it works?

The World Heritage Committee has a regional approach to Periodic Reporting as a means to promote regional collaboration and to be able to respond to the specific characteristics of each region.

For each of them, regional periodic reporting strategies are developed to ensure full participation of States Parties, competent institutions and regional expertise. The final result of each regional strategy is a Regional State of the World Heritage Report.

The Committee examines these regional reports according to a pre-established schedule, which is based on a six-year cycle.

Six-year Periodic Reporting Cycle II (2008-2015)

Year of examination by Committee of Regional State of the World Heritage ReportRegion
2008 Arab States
2009 Africa
2011 Asia and Pacific
2012 Latin America and the Caribbean
2014 Europe and North America
2015

Six-year Periodic Reporting Cycle I (2000-2006)

Year of examination by Committee of Regional State of the World Heritage ReportRegionNumber of States Parties
(as per December 1998)
Reporting on World Heritage properties inscribed up to and including
  Year
2000 Arab States 16 1992 46
2001 Africa 31 1993 40
2003 Asia and Pacific 39 1994 88
2004 Latin America and the Caribbean 29 1995 62
2005 Europe and North America 50 1998 297
2006

Who is responsible for what?

While the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention and the World Heritage Committee have a standard-setting role, the management and monitoring of World Heritage properties remain the responsibility of the States Parties. The States Parties themselves are also responsible for the preparation of the Periodic Reports.

The World Heritage Committee and its Secretariat (the UNESCO World Heritage Centre) support the States Parties in these tasks and facilitate the implementation of the regional Periodic Reporting strategies. States Parties may request expert advice from the Secretariat and/or the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS, ICCROM and IUCN). The Secretariat may also commission expert advice with the agreement of the States Parties.

The World Heritage Committee examines and responds to the States Parties' periodic reports. It then includes its findings in its report to the General Conference of UNESCO.

Periodic Reporting Process

World Heritage Committee establishes a 6 year periodic reporting cycle

Implementation of regional strategies to provide for:

  • Participatory process
  • Involvement of States Parties, competent institutions and regional expertise
  • Assistance to States Parties in preparing reports
  • Exchange of experiences among States Parties
  • Analysis of reports in regional context
  • Preparation of Regional State of the World Heritage Report

Submission of Regional State of the World Heritage Report

Regional State of the World Heritage Report examined by the World Heritage Committee

World Heritage Comittee responds to the Regional State of the World Heritage Report (formulates recommendations to States Parties, draws conclusions for its own policy and decision making)

World Heritage Committee response included in its report to the General Conference of UNESCO

What are the expected outcomes?

The information provided during the Periodic Reporting exercise will contribute to:

  • assessing the state of conservation of World Heritage properties;
  • determining whether the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of all World Heritage properties has been maintained over time;
  • helping to solve outstanding problems and issues through an informed decision-making process;
  • sharing experiences, good practices, knowledge and lessons learnt between States Parties, Site Managers and other World Heritage practitioners;
  • encouraging cooperation and establishment of networks between partners;
  • providing a decision-making tool for States Parties, national institutions, the World Heritage Committee and the World Heritage Centre;
  • raising awareness about the World Heritage Convention: in particular the importance of OUV and the concepts of authenticity/integrity.

From the information collected through the Periodic Reporting exercise, a final report will be prepared in consultation with National Focal Points, for presentation to the World Heritage Committee. The final report will form the baseline for the development of targeted Action Plans at national and regional levels which will respond to the needs, challenges, threats, strengths and opportunities identified and presented as a result of the Periodic Reporting exercise.