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


6    Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

One of the central objectives of the World Heritage Convention is to enhance the role of communities in the implementation of the Convention and to encourage the participation of the local population and different stakeholders in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage. In addition, the Convention asks each State Party ‘to adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community ’.

The theme of Communities includes policies related to the participation of local communities and other stakeholders, human rights and a rights-based approach, gender, indigenous peoples, youth, and fostering of peace and security.

6.2    Human rights and rights-based approach

Policy for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective Into the Processes of the World Heritage Convention

7. "(...)

i. Human Rights: The human rights embedded in the UN Charter and the range of broadly ratified human rights instruments reflect fundamental values that underpin the very possibility for dignity, peace and sustainable development. In implementing the World Heritage Convention, it is therefore essential to respect, protect and promote these environmental, social, economic, and cultural rights".

17. "The World Heritage Convention in Article 5 calls upon States Parties to “adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community”. States Parties should recognise that inclusive social development is at the heart of the implementation of this provision of the Convention. States Parties should further recognise that full inclusion, respect and equity of all stakeholders, including local and concerned communities and indigenous peoples, together with a commitment to gender equality, are a fundamental premise for inclusive social development. Enhancing quality of life and well-being in and around World Heritage properties is essential, taking into account communities who might not visit or reside in or near properties but are still stakeholders. Inclusive social development must be underpinned by inclusive governance".

18. "States Parties should ensure that the conservation and management of World Heritage properties is based on recognition of cultural diversity, inclusion and equity (…)".

20. "(…) To ensure policy coherence in conserving and managing World Heritage properties, States Parties should commit to uphold, respect and contribute to the implementation of the full range of international human rights standards as a pre-requisite for effectively achieving sustainable development. To this end, States Parties should:

i. Ensure that the full cycle of World Heritage processes from nomination to management is compatible with and supportive of human rights;

ii. Adopt a rights-based approach, which promotes World Heritage properties as exemplary places for the application of the highest standards for the respect and realization of human rights;

iii. Develop, through equitable participation of concerned people, relevant standards and safeguards, guidance tools and operational mechanisms for assessment, nomination, management, evaluation and reporting processes compatible with and effective rights-based approach for both existing and potential new properties;

iv. Promote technical cooperation and capacity-building to ensure effective rights-based approaches".

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)