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.

3.4    Disaster risks management

Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disasters at World Heritage Properties
7. “(…)

a) Cultural and natural heritage, with their related technologies, practices, skills, knowledge systems and ecosystem’s goods and services can play an important positive role in reducing risks from disasters at all phases of the process (readiness, response and recovery), and hence in contributing to sustainable development in general”.

b) The key to an effective reduction of risks from disasters is advance planning and the building of a culture of prevention”.

c) In developing plans for reducing risks at World Heritage properties it is essential to give adequate consideration to cultural diversity, age, vulnerable groups and gender perspective”.

d) Property occupants and users, and concerned communities in general, should be always involved in planning for disaster risk reduction”.

e) The protection of the Outstanding Universal Value and the integrity and authenticity of World Heritage properties from disasters implies consideration for the associated intangible aspects and movable items that contribute directly to its heritage significance.

9. The five objectives [of the Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disaster at World Heritage Properties] are the following:

a) Strengthen support within relevant global, regional, national and local institutions for reducing risks at World Heritage properties;

b) Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of disaster prevention at World Heritage properties;

c) Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks at World Heritage properties;

d) Reduce underlying risk factors at World Heritage properties;

e) Strengthen disaster risk preparedness at World Heritage properties for effective response at all levels".

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

WHC-07/31.COM/7.2 Issues related to the state of conservation of World Heritage properties: Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disasters at World Heritage properties