This document is a partial export of the World Heritage Policy Compendium

Index


3    Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

Conservation of cultural and natural heritage is at the core of the Convention. Conservation includes effective and active measures that can be taken by States Parties to ensure the identification, protection, presentation and transmission of heritage.

There is no single definition of conservation in relation to both cultural and natural heritage. However, with regards to cultural heritage ‘all operations designed to understand a property, know its history and meaning, ensure its material safeguard, and, if required, its restoration and enhancement’ could be part of its conservation (Nara Document on Authenticity). Conservation of natural heritage refers to the protection, care, management and maintenance of ecosystems, habitats, wildlife species and populations, within or outside of their natural environments, in order to safeguard the natural conditions for their long-term permanence (IUCN).

The Conservation theme includes policies related to protection, management, monitoring, impact assessments, factors affecting the properties, tourism and sustainable development.


3.3    Impact assessments

Decision 44 COM 7.2
"30. [The World Heritage Committee] notes that the pressures on historic urban areas arising from inappropriate or inconsistent development controls, rapid, uncontrolled and planned development, including large development projects, additions that are incompatible in their volume, mass tourism, as well as the accumulated impact of incremental changes have continued within numerous World Heritage properties and in their buffer zones and settings, and considers that these present potential and actual major threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of properties, including their integrity and authenticity, as well as increasing their vulnerability to disasters, including those resulting from climate change;
(…)
34. [The World Heritage Committee] (s)tresses the importance of carrying out Heritage Impact Assessments to evaluate and thereby avoid or manage potential threats to the OUV of the property arising from new urban development projects."

3.5    Factors affecting properties

3.5.1    Buildings and development

The physical footprint in relatively localized areas including:

Housing (For example: Urban high rise/urban sprawl, Encroachment/changes to skyline, etc). Commercial development (For example: Skyscrapers, Large shopping malls, Encroachment/changes to skyline etc). Industrial areas (For example: Individual factories, Industrial areas/parks, Encroachment/changes to skyline etc). Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure (For example: Major accommodation and associated infrastructure (hotels, restaurants, golf courses, ski resorts, etc, Major/permanent high cost tourism facilities (pontoons, jetties, observatories, cable cars , chalets, fully serviced camping areas, etc). Interpretative and visitation facilities (For example: Visitor interpretive facilities (visitor centre, site museum, etc), Signage etc, Trail hardening (trail markers etc), Information booths etc, Minor picnic facilities, Minor camping areas, Moorings/marker buoys.

Decision 44 COM 7.2
"30. [The World Heritage Committee] notes that the pressures on historic urban areas arising from inappropriate or inconsistent development controls, rapid, uncontrolled and planned development, including large development projects, additions that are incompatible in their volume, mass tourism, as well as the accumulated impact of incremental changes have continued within numerous World Heritage properties and in their buffer zones and settings, and considers that these present potential and actual major threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of properties, including their integrity and authenticity, as well as increasing their vulnerability to disasters, including those resulting from climate change;
(…)
34. [The World Heritage Committee] (s)tresses the importance of carrying out Heritage Impact Assessments to evaluate and thereby avoid or manage potential threats to the OUV of the property arising from new urban development projects."

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 44 COM 7.2

21/03/2023