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

Index


1    General Policies Regarding the World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Convention, adopted in 1972, is a legally binding instrument providing an intergovernmental framework for international cooperation for the identification and conservation of the world's most outstanding natural and cultural properties.

The Convention sets out the duties of States Parties in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them. By ratifying the Convention, each country enters in a system of international cooperation to protect the world cultural and natural heritage and pledges to conserve the World Heritage sites situated on its territory. The States Parties are encouraged to integrate the protection of cultural and natural heritage into regional planning programmes, set up staff and services at their sites, undertake scientific and technical conservation research and adopt measures that give this heritage a function in community day-to-day life.

The Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee are ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites) and IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The General Policies of the Convention theme includes policies related to the overarching framework of the Convention; the links with other standard-setting instruments, cooperation among States and implementation of the Convention at the national level.


1.4    Heritage policies at national level

World Heritage Convention

Article 4

“Each State Party to this Convention recognizes that the duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage referred to in Articles 1 and 2 and situated on its territory, belongs primarily to that State. It will do all it can to this end, to the utmost of its own resources and, where appropriate, with any international assistance and co-operation, in particular, financial, artistic, scientific and technical, which it may be able to obtain”.


Article 5

“To ensure that effective and active measures are taken for the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage situated on its territory, each State Party to this Convention shall endeavour, in so far as possible, and as appropriate for each country:

(a) to adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community and to integrate the protection of that heritage into comprehensive planning programmes;

(b) to set up within its territories, where such services do not exist, one or more services for the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage with an appropriate staff and possessing the means to discharge their functions;

(c) to develop scientific and technical studies and research and to work out such operating methods as will make the State capable of counteracting the dangers that threaten its cultural or natural heritage;

(d) to take the appropriate legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation of this heritage; and

(e) to foster the establishment or development of national or regional centres for training in the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage and to encourage scientific research in this field”.


Article 17

“The States Parties to this Convention shall consider or encourage the establishment of national public and private foundations or associations whose purpose is to invite donations for the protection of the cultural and natural heritage (...)”.


ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

29/05/2024