Decision of the World Heritage Committee 41 COM 9A
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/9A,
- Recalling Decisions 34 COM 13.III, 35 COM 12C, 36 COM 12C, 37 COM 9, 38 COM 9A, 39 COM 11 and 40 COM 9A, adopted at its 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
- Also recalling the integration of the Upstream Processes in Paragraphs 71 and 122 of the Operational Guidelines,
- Further recalls that, in order to be effective, the upstream support should ideally take place at an early stage, preferably at the moment of the preparation or revision of the States Parties’ Tentative Lists, and takes notes that this has also been reiterated by the outcomes of the online survey on the Upstream Process;
- Welcomes all the actions undertaken to improve the processes and practices prior to the consideration of nominations by the World Heritage Committee, and commends the States Parties, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for the pilot projects that registered progress;
- Also welcomes the launch of the online survey on the Upstream Process and the in-depth reflection undertaken by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies; and warmly thanks the States Parties which have participated in the online survey, for their valuable input and comments;
- Expresses its appreciation to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for presenting proposals to ensure the effective and equitable implementation of the Upstream Process for its consideration;
- In view of ensuring proper follow-up, greater efficiency, transparency and accountability as well as streamlining and improved coordination of the required actions following requests for upstream advice, approves with immediate effect the revised Upstream Process request format contained in Annex I to Document WHC/17/41.COM/9A and requests the Secretariat to include this item for examination and possible inclusion as a new annex to the Operational Guidelines during the next review of the Operational Guidelines at its 43rd session in 2019;
- In view of the outcome of the online survey, also takes note of the proposed amendments to footnote of Paragraph 122 of the Operational Guidelines contained in Document WHC/17/41.COM/9A, which aims to provide useful and clear guidance to States Parties on questions relating to the implementation of the Upstream Process, and also requests the Secretariat to include this item for examination and possible inclusion in the Operational Guidelines during the next review of the Operational Guidelines at its 43rd session in 2019;
- Recognizing the limited available capacity of the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, and on the basis of the experience acquired so far in providing Upstream advice, further takes note that it is not feasible to process more than ten new Upstream Process requests per year and decides that this limit will be applied on a trial basis for 2 years starting in 2018;
- Also decides that the Upstream Process requests will be reviewed and prioritized twice a year with deadlines for submission to the World Heritage Centre on 31 March and 31 October through giving priority for preparation or revision of Tentative Lists, to Least Developed Countries, Low-Income and Lower-Middle Income Countries and Small Island Developing States, followed by the mechanism of Paragraph 61.c) of the Operational Guidelines;
- In order to ensure a fairer and more equitable use of the resources available, whether in terms of funding or in terms of staff, further decides to apply the prioritization system established by the mechanism of Paragraph 61.c) of the Operational Guidelines in conjunction with the criteria of eligibility for receiving financial support for the provision of upstream advice;
- Requests that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to also give consideration to the thematic and regional imbalances highlighted by the gap analyses as well as innovative approaches to heritage in the prioritization of the upstream requests;
- Decides furthermore that the States Parties who may benefit from the “Advisory Missions” budget line within the World Heritage Fund, including for upstream support, will be limited to those falling within the categories of Least Developed Countries, Low-Income and Lower-Middle Income Countries and Small Islands Developing States and others on a case by case as well as cost-sharing basis;
- Decides moreover to establish a sub-account within the World Heritage Fund, to be used exclusively for funding requests for upstream support, and to be funded by voluntary contributions;
- Also decides to include in the mandate of the extended Ad-Hoc Working Group an item on the definition of the upstream process and the effectiveness of the Global Strategy for a balanced and representative World Heritage List;
- Encourages the World Heritage Centre to take the necessary and feasible measures in a way to better cope with upstream process;
- Recommends that other Category 2 Centres consider integrating in their capacity-building initiatives the Nomination Upstream programme following the example of the African World Heritage Fund programme in Africa in partnership with the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, which is considered a successful regional capacity-building model;
- Further requests the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies, to present a progress report on the ongoing pilot projects as well as on the implementation of Upstream Process requests received, for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
The World Heritage Policy Compendium was elaborated thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Australia.
The World Heritage Policy Compendium On-line tool was developed thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Korea.