The proposed activities are presented in the framework of the ongoing development of a compendium of policy for the World Heritage Convention, a project that was approved by the World Heritage Committee with Decision 40 COM 12. The initial project received funding from the Australian government via a Funds in Trust mechanism at UNESCO.
The current proposal is for additional activities related to the development of a World Heritage Policy Compendium Online, which goes beyond the scope of the current project framework and has the specific aims of ensuring that the compendium is a user-friendly and easily accessible tool and reaches a broad target audience. This proposal has been developed further to large public consultations with States Parties and other key World Heritage stakeholders, which saw a large majority (97%) endorse the option of having the Policy Compendium as an online tool.
At its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011), the World Heritage Committee decided to “establish a four-year cycle for updating the Operational Guidelines and that the Operational Guidelines should be restricted to operational guidance, and a new document, ‘Policy Guidelines’, be developed as a means to capture the range of policies that the Committee and the General
Assembly adopt” (Decision 35 COM 12B).
Further to a request by the Committee for the preparation of a scoping document (Decision 37 COM 13), and the securing of funding from Australia in early 2015 through a Funds-in-Trust mechanism at UNESCO, the Scoping Study, including a proposed method and timeline, was approved by the World Heritage Committee with Decision 40 COM 12.
In line with the approach proposed in the Scoping Study, in 2017 the World Heritage Centre assembled existing policies and convened a geographically representative and gender-balanced Expert Group ‘The Policy Compendium Expert Working Group’ comprised of natural and cultural heritage professionals to review of these policies. The Expert Group carried out an extensive review and finalised a draft Policy Compendium, together with a Progress Report on the activities carried out, for presentation to the World Heritage Committee in 2018.
A key recommendation of the Expert Group with regard to the presentation of the Policy Compendium was that both an online tool and a document format would be the optimal solution.
This was reflected in the online consultations carried out by the World Heritage Centre (February – March 2018) in order to gather feedback and comments on the draft Policy Compendium from key World Heritage stakeholders. The results of the consultation demonstrated that 97% of respondents endorsed the proposal for the Policy Compendium to be developed as an online tool.
At its 42nd session in Manama, Bahrain, the Committee examined the draft Policy Compendium and, noting the recommendation for the development of the Policy Compendium as an online tool, requested that the World Heritage Centre continue to explore the feasibility of this option and called upon States Parties to provide extra-budgetary funds to finance this initiative.
The World Heritage Policy Compendium will contribute to:
The development of the Policy Compendium is based on the two-phased approach outlined in the Scoping Study. Phase 1 culminated in the examination of the draft Policy Compendium by the World Heritage Committee in 2018, and Phase 2 is foreseen to run until September 2019
Phase 2: May 2018 - September 2019
In the second phase, the draft Policy Compendium will be further elaborated by the Secretariat, checking for consistency between individual policies and also with the Operational Guidelines, and making suggestions for streamlining the texts of the policies. These proposals will be reviewed by the group of experts to ensure that the changes improve consistency and usability but do not introduce alterations to the substance.
An estimated overall Extra budgetary funding of 90,000 USD needed for the implementation of the project.