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

3.5.1    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.

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to develop a comprehensive urban land use plan, which includes provisions for protection mechanisms and regulatory measures to ensure the adequate protection and control of the property and its landscape setting (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 34 COM 7A.27

Decision 36 COM 7B.61

Decision 41 COM 7B.41





[1] See for example Decisions 34 COM 7A.27 , 36 COM 7B.61 , 41 COM 7B.41 .