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Decision 40 COM 9A
Progress Report on the reflection concerning the Upstream Processes

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/9A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 34 COM 13.III, 35 COM 12C, 36 COM 12C, 37 COM 9 and 39 COM 11, adopted at its 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the integration of the Upstream Processes in Paragraphs 71 and 122 of the Operational Guidelines,
  4. Welcomes all the actions undertaken to improve the processes and practices prior to the consideration of nominations by the World Heritage Committee, including the creation of a special unit at ICOMOS; commends the States Parties of Saudi Arabia and Uruguay for the successful termination of the pilot projects in 2015 and the inscription on the World Heritage List of the Rock Art in the Hail region and the Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape respectively; and also commends the States Parties, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for the pilot projects that registered progress;
  5. Recognizes the efforts undertaken by the States Parties involved, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre and decides to phase out the pilot project of Gadara (Modern Um Qeis or Qays), Jordan;
  6. Recalls that, in order to be effective, the upstream support should ideally take place at an early stage, preferably at the moment of the preparation or revision of the States Parties’ Tentative Lists;
  7. Notes the growing number of States Parties that request upstream advice and the lack of budgetary provisions for the appropriate implementation of the Upstream Processes, and also notes that due to the lack of such provision there is a risk of providing greater support only to those States Parties with the means to fund such advice, thus jeopardizing the universal application of the Convention;
  8. Recognizes therefore that adequate and equitable financing of the Upstream Processes is needed to provide technical and financial support to States Parties which are not able to identify and secure the resources necessary to request upstream support, and that such financing is needed prior to agreeing further steps to implement any policy on upstream advice, in order to avoid generating further imbalances in the List;
  9. Also recalls that upstream support can be requested by eligible States Parties under the preparatory assistance, in the framework of the International Assistance mechanism and under the new budget line approved for Advisory Missions under the World Heritage Fund, within the limits of available resources;
  10. In view of ensuring proper follow-up, greater efficiency, transparency and accountability as well as streamlining and improved coordination of the required actions following requests for upstream advice, takes note of the draft Upstream Process request format contained in Annex I to Document WHC/16/40.COM/9A and invites comments from the States Parties on this format and on the wider issues with the implementation of the Upstream Processes;
  11. Requests the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies and the States Parties, to further review the lessons learned in the implementation of the Upstream Processes, and to present harmonized proposals, including those addressing the needs of the African region, least developed countries and Small Island Developing States, to ensure the effective and equitable implementation of the Upstream Processes for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017, together with a report on the upstream activities currently being implemented by the Advisory Bodies and UNESCO.
Decision Code
40 COM 9A
Capacity Building, Reports, Tentative Lists
States Parties 3
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision