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

3.5.10    Climate change and severe weather events

Storms (For example: Tornadoes, Hurricanes/cyclones, Gales, Hail damage, Lightning strikes, River/stream overflows, Extreme tides). Flooding. Drought. Desertification. Changes to oceanic waters (For example: Changes to water flow and circulation patterns al local, regional or global scale, Changes to pH, Changes to temperature). Temperature change. Other climate change impacts.

Strategy to Assist States Parties to Implement Appropriate Management Responses (Endorsed by World Heritage Committee at its Decision 30 COM 7.1)

11. “The potential impacts of Climate Change range from physical, to social and cultural aspects. (…). Experience and lessons learned on addressing Climate Change impacts stress the need for using a number of management responses at national and local levels. The World Heritage Convention provides an opportunity to develop strategies to implement relevant actions in respect of cultural and natural heritage properties threatened by Climate Change. Given the complexity of this issue, States Parties may request guidance from the World Heritage Committee to implement appropriate management responses to face the threats posed by Climate Change on their natural and cultural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List”.

13. “Conservation is the management of change, and Climate Change is one of the most significant global challenges facing society and the environment today. The actions that need to be taken to safeguard heritage are threefold:

15. “It is noteworthy that there are strong links between natural and cultural heritage and the Climate Change issue could be used as an opportunity for the two parts of the Convention to be brought closer together”.

16. “(…) Climate Change is one risk among a number of challenges facing World Heritage sites. This threat should be considered in the broader context of the conservation of these sites”.

ANNEX I. List of documents and texts

A Strategy to Assist States Parties to Implement Appropriate Management Responses