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Policy Compendium

Themes3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Propertiesclose3.1 - Protection, conservation and management of World Heritage propertiesclose3.2 - Monitoring close3.3 - Impact assessmentsclose3.4 - Disaster risks managementclose3.5 - Factors affecting propertiesclose3.6 - Tourism and visitor managementclose3.7 - Sustainable developmentclose3.2.1 - Generalclose3.2.2 - Periodic Reportingclose3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoringclose3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Dangerclose3.2.5 - Deletion of a World Heritage property from the Listclose3.5.1 - Buildings and development close3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructureclose3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructureclose3.5.4 - Pollution close3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification close3.5.6 - Physical resource extractionclose3.5.7 - Local conditions affecting the fabric close3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage close3.5.9 - Other human activities close3.5.10 - Climate change and severe weather eventsclose3.5.11 - Sudden ecological or geological events close3.5.12 - Invasive/alien species or hyper-abundant species close3.5.13 - Management and institutional factors close
Select source(s): 0
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

"States Parties and managers of individual World Heritage properties will consider undertaking site-level monitoring, mitigation and adaptation measures, where appropriate”.

Theme: 3.2.1 - General
Source: Policy document on the impacts of climate change on World Heritage Properties (2008)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring
5. "[The World Heritage Committee] (…) underlines that reinforced monitoring is a constant cooperative process with the State Party concerned, which will always be undertaken in full consultation and with its approval."
Theme: 3.2.1 - General
Decision: 31 COM 5.2
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring
54. "[The World Heritage Committee] encourages States Parties to make full use of such Earth Observation technologies for the early detection of activities potentially harmful to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties, such as deforestation, mining, illegal fisheries, agricultural encroachment, etc. and to better understand trends and respond appropriately."
Theme: 3.2.1 - General
Decision: 42 COM 7
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring
9. "[The World Heritage Committee] Invites the Advisory Bodies to engage in effective and constructive dialogue with States Parties in the preparation of Tentative Lists, in the nomination process, including before the publication of recommendations, and post inscription (including monitoring missions), with the aim of achieving more effective credibility, transparency and better implementation of the Convention and Sustainable Development Goals."
Theme: 3.2.1 - General
Decision: 43 COM 5E
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring
Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends establishing key monitoring indicators to relate more directly to the Outstanding Universal Value to allow for judgment of changes in state of conservation, and adding specific indicators, periodicity and institutional responsibilities (based on Case law on decisions on Nominations).
Theme: 3.2.1 - General
See for examples Decisions:  38 COM 8B.37 39 COM 8B.33 39 COM 8B.25 41 COM 8B.38 41 COM 8B.33 41 COM 8B.31 41 COM 8B.28 41 COM 8B.27 41 COM 8B.26
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring
Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to monitor wildlife and populations, including key species, in order to assess the populations and trends (based on case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme: 3.2.1 - General
See for examples Decisions:  37 COM 7B.11 38 COM 7B.92 40 COM 7B.70 40 COM 7B.69 41 COM 7A.15
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

Paragraph 202

“Periodic Reporting is important for more effective long term conservation of the properties inscribed, as well as to strengthen the credibility of the implementation of the Convention. It is also an important tool for assessing the implementation by States Parties and World Heritage properties of policies adopted by the World Heritage Committee and the General Assembly.”

Theme: 3.2.2 - Periodic Reporting
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

Paragraph 169

“Reactive Monitoring is the reporting by the Secretariat, other sectors of UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies to the Committee on the state of conservation of specific World Heritage properties that are under threat. To this end, the States Parties shall submit specific reports and impact studies each time exceptional circumstances occur or work is undertaken which may have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property or its state of conservation. Reactive Monitoring is also foreseen in reference to properties inscribed, or to be inscribed, on the List of World Heritage in Danger (…). Reactive Monitoring is also foreseen in the procedures for the eventual deletion of properties from the World Heritage List (…)”.

Theme: 3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

Paragraph 170

“When adopting the process of Reactive Monitoring, the Committee was particularly concerned that all possible measures should be taken to prevent the deletion of any property from the List and was ready to offer technical co-operation as far as possible to States Parties in this connection.”
Theme: 3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring
14. "[The World Heritage Committee] Recognizes that the selection of the state of conservation reports to be discussed by the Committee during its sessions should be based on clear and objective criteria, including the level of threat to the property, rather than being based on representativity."
Theme: 3.2.3 - Reactive Monitoring
Decision: 43 COM 7.1
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring
"7. [The World Heritage Committee considers] that the inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger aims to marshal international support to help the State Party effectively address the challenges faced by the property by engaging with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to develop a program of corrective measures to achieve the desired state of conservation for the property, as provided for under Paragraph 183 of the Operational Guidelines; and [notes] that inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger also alerts the State Party about the international community’s concern on the state of conservation of the property, provides a timely reminder of obligations that arise under the World Heritage Convention, highlights threats to the attributes of a property which contribute to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and, importantly, initiates a process and pathway to address those threats, including the availability of additional funding."

 

Theme: 3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
Decision: 44 COM 7.1
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

Paragraph 9

“When a property inscribed on the World Heritage List is threatened by serious and specific dangers, the Committee considers placing it on the List of World Heritage in Danger. When the Outstanding Universal Value of the property which justified its inscription on the World Heritage List is destroyed, the Committee considers deleting the property from the World Heritage List.”
Theme: 3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

Paragraph 182

“The Committee may wish to bear in mind the following supplementary factors when considering the inclusion of a cultural or natural property in the List of World Heritage in Danger:

a) Decisions which affect World Heritage properties are taken by Governments after balancing all factors. The advice of the World Heritage Committee can often be decisive if it can be given before the property becomes threatened.

b) Particularly in the case of ascertained danger, the physical or cultural deteriorations to which a property has been subjected should be judged according to the intensity of its effects and analyzed case by case.

c) Above all in the case of potential danger to a property, one should consider that:

i) the threat should be appraised according to the normal evolution of the social and economic framework in which the property is situated;

ii) it is often impossible to assess certain threats such as the threat of armed conflict as to their effect on cultural or natural properties;

iii) some threats are not imminent in nature, but can only be anticipated, such as demographic growth.

d) Finally, in its appraisal the Committee should take into account any cause of unknown or unexpected origin which endangers a cultural or natural property.”

Theme: 3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

Paragraph 183

“When considering the inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Committee shall develop, and adopt, as far as possible, in consultation with the State Party concerned, a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and a programme for corrective measures.”[1]


[1]           In relation to the paragraph 183 of the Operational Guidelines, there are several decisions from different properties related to the desired state of conservation. See for example 31 COM 7A.16, 31 COM 7A.21, 36 COM 7A.34, 36 COM 7B.102, 37 COM 7A.40, 38 COM 7A.23, 39 COM 7A.13, 39 COM 7A.18, 41 COM 7A.19, 41 COM 7A.23.

Theme: 3.2.4 - List of World Heritage in Danger
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.2 - Monitoring

Paragraph 192

“The Committee adopted the following procedure for the deletion of properties from the World Heritage List in cases:

a) where the property has deteriorated to the extent that it has lost those characteristics which determined its inclusion in the World Heritage List; and

b) where the intrinsic qualities of a World Heritage site were already threatened at the time of its nomination by human action and where the necessary corrective measures as outlined by the State Party at the time, have not been taken within the time proposed (…)”.

Theme: 3.2.5 - Deletion of a World Heritage property from the List
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
"21. [The World Heritage Committee] (u)rges States Parties, with the support of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to:
a) Incorporate well-designed buffer zones based on a holistic understanding of natural as well as human induced factors affecting the property, supported by reinforcing relevant legal, policy, awareness and incentive mechanisms, into new nominations and where appropriate into existing properties to ensure enhanced protection of World Heritage properties,
b) Place particular emphasis on strategic environmental assessment and impact assessments for potential projects within buffer zones to avoid, negative impacts on OUV from developments and activities in these zones,
c) Develop buffer zone protection and management regimes that optimize the capture and sharing of benefits to communities to support the aspirations of the 2015 Policy for the integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention,
d) Ensure buffer zones are supported by appropriate protection and management regimes in line with the property’s OUV, that build connectivity with the wider setting in cultural, environmental and landscape terms."
Theme: 3.3 - Impact assessments
Decision: 44 COM 7.2
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

9. "(…) appropriate balance, integration and harmonization between the protection of OUV and the pursuit of sustainable development objectives will include (…) provisions for the systematic assessment of environmental, social, and economic impacts of all proposed developments, as well as effective monitoring through continuity in data collection against agreed indicators."

Theme: 3.3 - Impact assessments
Source: Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

Paragraph 172

“The World Heritage Committee invites the States Parties to the Convention to inform the Committee, through the Secretariat, of their intention to undertake or to authorize in an area protected under the Convention major restorations or new constructions which may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.  Notice should be given as soon as possible (…) and before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, so that the Committee may assist in seeking appropriate solutions to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is fully preserved.”

Theme: 3.3 - Impact assessments
Source: OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

15.c) "[The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to] (…) be proactive in relation to development and conservation of World Heritage properties by conducting a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) at the time of nomination to anticipate the impact of any potential development on the Outstanding Universal Value."

Theme: 3.3 - Impact assessments
Decision: 35 COM 12E
3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
11. "[The World Heritage Committee] taking note of the benefits to States Parties of systematically utilizing Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in the review of development projects, encourages States Parties to integrate the EIA/HIA processes into legislation, planning mechanisms and management plans, and reiterates its recommendation to States Parties to use these tools in assessing projects, including assessment of cumulative impacts, as early as possible and before any final decision is taken, and, taking into account the need for capacity-building in this regard, requests the States Parties to contribute financially and technically towards the development of further guidance regarding EIA/HIA implementation, by the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, based on case studies and field experience."
Theme: 3.3 - Impact assessments
Decision: 39 COM 7

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.


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