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

3.5.11    Sudden ecological or geological events

Volcanic eruption. Earthquake. Tsunami/tidal wave. Avalanche/landslide. Erosion and siltation/deposition. Fire (For example: Altered fire regimes, High impact fire suppression activities, Lightning strikes, Accidental fires (i.e. dropped cigarettes) not ecological).

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages the assessment of the impacts and the damage caused after a sudden ecological or geological event, and the planning and implementation of the necessary remedial measures, including with a view to strengthening the overall resilience of the properties, to identify mechanisms for adaptive conservation and to improve risk preparedness, together with prevention and monitoring strategies and disaster response plans (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 31 COM 7B.8

Decision 31 COM 7B.45

Decision 32 COM 7B.44

Decision 34 COM 7A.16

Decision 34 COM 7B.11

Decision 34 COM 7B.42

Decision 35 COM 7B.32

Decision 36 COM 7C

Decision 37 COM 7B.3

Decision 37 COM 7B.20

Decision 37 COM 7B.37

Decision 40 COM 7B.11





[1] See for example Decisions 31 COM 7B.45 , 31 COM 7B.8 , 32 COM 7B.44 , 34 COM 7A.16 , 34 COM 7B.11 , 34 COM 7B.42 , 35 COM 7B.32 , 36 COM 7C , 37 COM 7B.20 , 37 COM 7B.3 , 37 COM 7B.37 , 40 COM 7B.11 .