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


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.

3.5    Factors affecting properties

3.5.3    Utilities or service infrastructure

Developments in relation to infrastructure for energy utilities (i.e. gas, electricity and water) and other service requirements.
Water infrastructure (For example: Dams, Locks, Water tanks, Pumping stations, Introduction of new systems/infrastructure). Renewable energy facilities (For example: Thermal, Wave, Solar, Wind). Non-renewable energy facilities (For example: Nuclear power plants, Coal power plants, Oil/gas facilities). Localised utilities (For example:  Incinerators, Cell phone towers, Sewerage works, Microwave/TV/radio towers). Major linear utilities (For example:  Power lines/easements, Pipelines etc). Channels.

Decision of the World Heritage Committee 40 COM 7
17. "[The World Heritage Committee, noting] with significant concern that an increasing number of properties are facing potential threats from major dam projects, considers that the construction of dams with large reservoirs within the boundaries of World Heritage properties is incompatible with their World Heritage status, and urges States Parties to ensure that the impacts from dams that could affect properties located upstream or downstream within the same river basin are rigorously assessed in order to avoid impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)."

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 40 COM 7