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Enhancing the credibility of the World Heritage List: Tentative List good practices

Tentative Lists are inventories of sites forming part of the cultural and natural heritage of a State Party, which have a strong potential to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. These national inventories are important planning tools for a number of key actors involved: the States Parties, the World Heritage Committee, the Secretariat, the Advisory Bodies.  States Parties are encouraged to prepare their Tentative Lists with the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders, including site managers, local and regional governments, local communities, NGOs and other interested parties and partners, and re-examine and re-submit their Tentative List at least every ten years. Harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels is strongly encouraged.

Budget Proposed
US$ 150,000

18 months

States Parties

Global Strategy

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This project is part of the Marketplace.

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According to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, Tentative Lists are important planning tools, however, most of the sites are added to Tentative Lists on an ad-hoc basis, without a real process of selection on national level and therefore do not serve their purpose. Moreover, number of States Parties are looking for a manual and/or good practice examples from other countries that have already put in place such a mechanism on national level. 

In order to assist States Parties, the World Heritage Centre will compile good practice examples from States Parties having a Tentative List selection process in place and will share them in a web platform/guide available to all stakeholders.


  1. Encourage States Parties to use Tentative List as valuable planning tools and assist them in this process by providing good practice examples of other States Parties who already have a Tentative List selection process in place.
  2. Encourage States Parties to harmonize their Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels. Encourage States Parties to involve local communities, indigenous peoples and youth, as well as include public consultations in the process. 

& Beneficiaries

  1. All the States Parties to the Convention as beneficiaries of the project.
  2. Better use of the Tentative Lists as planning tools, and therefore better selection of sites to be nominated to the World Heritage List contributing to enhance the credibility of the List.


As frequently highlighted from all actors of the Convention, the credibility of the World Heritage List and of the World Heritage system starts at the national level, with the selection of sites, which should have a strong potential for justifying OUV and their inclusion in the Tentative Lists. However, the use of Tentative Lists by States Parties in most of the cases is ineffective and not all lists contain sites that had strong potential to justify Outstanding Universal Values


  • Detailed project document, outline and budget;
  • Research, key actors, consultation survey, data gathering and analysis;
  • Preparation of the appropriate material;
  • Side-event and other visibility outreach to launch the materiel;
  • Communication and dissemination.


An estimated overall extrabudgetary funding of USD 150,000 is needed for the implementation of this activity. These funds will cover the development of guidance and good practices, main capacity-building activities across the regions and gathering and analysing of data in view of montoring the implementation of the Policy and SDGs, as well as implementation and coordination costs.

Donor's visibility

A communication & visibility plan will be developed in consultation with the donor(s) and will include (but not limited to) the options below:

Visibility Material




Target audience

Dedicated webpage on the WH website

Donor's logo

World Heritage Centre website

● Public

Statistics for 2018:
  • 14,340 000 visits
  • 9,835 000 unique visitors
  • 4, 1650 00 pages viewed

Promotional and communication campaign on social media

Donor's logo

UNESCO networks:

Facebook Instagram

● Public and subscribers to UNESCO social media

  • 1,300 000 social media subscribers 
  • 5.800.000 impressions per month
Statistics 2018 (+13%) :

 63,841 subscribers : 1,271 453 subscribers
Instagram:1,032 067 followers

News and event article(s) in focus on UNESCO and World Heritage Centre website

Donor's logo

World Heritage Centre's website Site:

● Public interested in world heritage issues  

Statistics for 2016:
  • 13,340 000 visits
  • 9,735 000 unique visitors
  • 4, 1650 00 pages viewed
  • 111, 343 members
Donor's logo

UNESCO website :

● Public interested in UNESCO mandate

Statistics for June 2016 to June 2017
  • 38, 379 764 visits
  • 26, 763 513 pages viewed

Side-events at the World Heritage Committee

Donor's logo

World Heritage Committee - Official Launch and promotion campaign

● Committee members
● State Parties
● Observers
Site Managers
World media present

  • Around 2,000 participants from 193 countries
  •  5963 media coverage recorded during the 41COM
  • More than 2000 live connections on YouTube

Article on the Site Managers network in paper review

Donor's Logo

The World Heritage Review and/or World Heritage Paper Series 

● Public

  • More than 20 000 subscribers


Alessandro Balsamo
Programme Specialist
Nomination Team
World Heritage Centre

For first email correspondence, please copy: wh-marketplace@unesco.org

Strategic objectives
Capacity Building
Duration: 18 months