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.

3.4    Disaster risks management

Policy for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective Into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention
16. “In the face of increasing disaster risks and the impact of climate change, States Parties should recognise that World Heritage represents both an asset to be protected and a resource to strengthen the ability of communities and their properties to resist, absorb, and recover from the effects of a hazard. In line with disaster risks and climate change multilateral agreements, States Parties should:

i. Recognise and promote – within conservation and management strategies – the inherent potential of World Heritage properties for reducing disaster risks and adapting to climate change, through associated ecosystem services, traditional knowledge and practices and strengthened social cohesion.

ii. Reduce the vulnerability of World Heritage properties and their settings as well as promote the social and economic resilience of local and associated communities to disaster and climate change through structural and non-structural measures, including public awareness-raising, training and education. Structural measures, in particular, should not adversely affect the OUV of World Heritage properties;

iii. Enhance preparedness for effective response and ‘building-back-better’ in post-disaster recovery strategies within management systems and conservation practice for World Heritage properties”.

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)