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.

3.6    Tourism and visitor management

Case Law

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

At sites with a high tourism pressure, the World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to put in place all necessary strategic, planning and management frameworks as well as legal regulations for cruise ship tourism, including identification of the sustainable carrying capacity of the site and an analysis of the impact on the World Heritage property by cruise ships (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation). [1]

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

Decision 31 COM 7B.24

Decision 38 COM 7B.27

Decision 40 COM 7B.50

Decision 40 COM 7B.52





[1] See for example Decisions 31 COM 7B.24 , 38 COM 7B.27 , 40 COM 7B.50 , 40 COM 7B.52 .