Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

3. Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.5. Factors affecting properties
3.5.3. Utilities or service infrastructure

Case Law


Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to conduct an adequate environmental impact study for the power transmission lines, before any decision is taken (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Date year: 2014 2013 2001 1997
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure
See for examples Decisions (4)
Code: 38 COM 7B.59

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.33, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Commends the State Party for its efforts to monitor the property and perform regular patrols in spite of limited human resources, and urges the State Party to take measures to significantly increase the number of surveillance staff for the property, including staff trained in cultural heritage;
  4. Expresses its concern that the proposed upgrading of the Alembé-Mikouyi Road could impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in particular on its archaeological sites, and could also exacerbate the threat of poaching;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as possible, full details of the various possible alignments of the road in relation to the specific cultural attributes of the property; as well as the revised environmental, social and heritage impact studies taking into account the impact on the overall cultural landscape of the River Ogooué Valley and not just on individual sites, for examination by the Advisory Bodies, before any decision is taken on the approved route;
  6. Takes note of the Environmental Impact Assessment which was submitted for the optical fibre project and requests the State Party to implement the proposed mitigation measures to avoid impacts during the construction phase on wildlife populations and on archaeology;
  7. Welcomes the efforts of the State Party to develop management capacity for the cultural attributes of the property, and recommends that it further strengthens management structure, to ensure that it can engage fully with the impact assessments of the road project and with specific potential threats to the archaeological sites in the property;
  8. Also takes note of the 2007 Law on National Parks and also requests the State Party to submit a copy to the World Heritage Centre, and to ensure its enforcement in order to enhance the effective long-term conservation and management of the property;
  9. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property to evaluate its overall state of conservation and capacity to manage cultural attributes, and also to assess the Alembe-Mikouyi Road Development Project and its potential impact on the OUV of the property as well as concerns over poaching;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above-mentioned points for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

Read more about the decision
Code: 37 COM 7B.79

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.81 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Takes note of the conclusions and recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, and thanks the Director-General of UNESCO for endorsing the recommendations of the mission;

4.  Notes with satisfaction the comprehensive documentation provided by the State Party in response to the mission’s recommendations;

5.  Requests the State Party to continue to implement the recommendations of the joint reactive monitoring mission regarding the Foz Tua Hydro-Electric Dam project and in particular to:

a)  Provide the Environmental Impact Assessment for the high voltage transmission lines by 1 September 2013 to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any decision on their trajectory is taken,

b)  Suspend further excavation of the navigation channel until hydraulic studies have been finalized and demonstrate that its lay-out is satisfactory in respect to its impact on the flow of the River Douro;

6.  Also requests the State Party to submit the revised World Heritage Management Plan of the Alto Douro Wine Region by 1 February 2014 for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

7.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.

Read more about the decision
Code: 25 BUR V.126-127

V.126     The Bureau noted that IUCN has been alerted to the planned construction of a road through the centre of Royal Chitwan National Park. A bridge is apparently already under construction at Kasara, over the Rapti River, and is high enough to provide access across the River during the monsoon season. The road is being constructed to provide access to the area south of the Park, especially the Madi Village area. Given the large scale of the bridge, it is expected that the road will also be a substantial one. The road will effectively cut the Park in half and may eventually link with India. This would lead to a heavy flow of traffic and better access to the Park, thus leading to illegal use of its resources and the disruption of the ecological integrity of this site. It has also been reported that there is a proposal to put a power-line through the Park to Madi Village along the line of the road. IUCN understands that an EIA was prepared for the electricity line but not for the road and bridge. There is clearly the potential for these developments to threaten the integrity of the World Heritage site.

V.127     The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report to the Centre, before 15 September 2001, on the status of the development of the road and the power-line construction projects, including information on all environmental impact assessments undertaken, to enable the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau to review the potential threats to the integrity of the Park.

Read more about the decision
Code: 21 BUR IVB.33

The Bureau noted with concern that this site faced considerable threats from a proposal of the national electricity company (EDELCA) to erect a series of power transmission lines, expected to extend 160 km across the Park, to supply power from the Guri dam to Brazil and to a mining site north of the Park. The traditional Pemon community who inhabit a portion of the Park are concerned that the power generation project will lead to increased mining and logging and hence are opposing the scheme. During recent years large scale mining operations have been started in areas outside of the Park and is resulting in significant loss of forests and pollution of rivers. INPARQUES, the national agency responsible for Canaima National Park have limited resources and have not yet intervened against the project proposed by EDELCA. An adequate environmental impact study had not been carried out and construction is expected to begin soon. It is not known whether funds for the completion of the power lines project have been guaranteed by either the Venezuelan Government or international donors.

The Bureau noted that the Committee, at the time of inscription of this World Heritage Site in 1994, had made several recommendations, including the finalization of the boundaries of the World Heritage area, which have not yet been implemented. Hence, the Bureau suggested the Centre to transmit its concerns regarding the integrity of Canaima National Park to the Venezuelan authorities and discuss with them the feasibility of fielding a high level mission to Venezuela in order to gather information and discuss and resolve problems facing the conservation of Canaima National Park.

Read more about the decision

Download Extract

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.

With the Support of