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

3.5.6    Physical resource extraction

Mining. Quarrying For example: Rock, Sand, Aggregates. Oil and gas. Water.

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee reiterates that mining activities and oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 38COM 7B.80 Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast (United-Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (N 369)

Decision 38COM 7B.92 Lake Malawi National Park (Malawi) (N 289)

Decision 40COM 7B.71 Cerrado Protected areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks (Brazil) (N 1035)

Decision 40COM 7B.85 Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania) (N 506)





[1] See for example Decisions 38COM 7B.80 , 38COM 7B.92 , 40COM 7B.71 , 40COM 7B.85 .