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

3.5.7    Local conditions affecting the fabric

Environmental or biological factors that promote or contribute to deterioration processes of the fabric of heritage sites. Since decay effects cannot be attributed to a single factor, consider all elements.

Wind (For example: Erosion, Vibration). Relative humidity. Temperature. Radiation/light. Dust. Water. Pests. Micro-organisms.

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the conditions as well as an analysis of ways to address the underlying causes of local conditions affecting the fabric, and to elaborate a comprehensive strategy to address the impacts, including priority emergency measures, mitigation measures and an intervention programme (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 36 COM 7A.34

Decision 37 COM 7A.23

Decision 37 COM 7B.74

Decision 38 COM 7A.1

Decision 40 COM 7A.9

Decision 40 COM 7A.14

Decision 41 COM 7A.27

Decision 41 COM 7A.32





[1] See for example Decisions 36 COM 7A.34 , 37 COM 7A.23 , 37 COM 7B.74 , 38 COM 7A.1 , 40 COM 7A.14 , 40 COM 7A.9 , 41 COM 7A.27 , 41 COM 7A.32 .