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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.189
Venice and its Lagoon (Italy) (C 394)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 38 COM 7B.27, 40 COM 7B.52, 41 COM 7B.48, 43 COM 7B.86, 43 COM 8B.46 and 44 COM 7B.50 adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017), 43rd (Baku, 2019), and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s efforts to implement previous Committee decisions and several of the 2020 mission recommendations, including:
    1. Continuing enhancing tourism management tools, public spaces, and public housing possibilities,
    2. Improving coordination between the different stakeholders to enhance the protection of the ecosystem of the Lagoon and reduce the polluting emissions from the industrial area of Marghera,
    3. Creating and reinforcing tide barriers, and the reconstruction and consolidation of beaches and coastal dunes, as well as the development of advanced tidal forecasting technology,
    4. Reconfirmation of the ban on large ships from the San Marco Basin - Giudecca Canal and the continuing efforts to find new options for docking large ships outside the Lagoon,
    5. Still ongoing update of the Management Plan, as well as the development of World Heritage-focused Heritage Impact Assessments for a set of projects,
    6. Adopting an experimental system for managing tourist flows, based on an entry fee and a compulsory booking method;
  4. Considers nevertheless that further progress still needs to be made by the State Party in addressing individual threats and their cumulative impact, and therefore requests the State Party, as a matter of priority, to:
    1. Continue research on the evaluation of existing phenomena, prediction and modelling of future phenomena related to climate change and its current and potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and develop related action plans,
    2. Fully complete and operationalise the MoSE system and ensure its long-term management and maintenance including through establishing with urgency the proposed management authority,
    3. Ensure close joint monitoring by all relevant stakeholders of the impacts of the MoSE system (construction and operation), and continue developing appropriate measures to mitigate any negative impacts it might have on the ecosystem of the Lagoon,
    4. Submit the results of related studies on the environmental impact of large ships passing through the Malamocco-Marghera canal and the competition for docking points outside the Lagoon for large passenger ships and container ships to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before irreversible decisions are made, furthermore, to continue to prioritise the option of redirecting large ships to other more suitable ports in the region as a final solution,
    5. Continue submitting action plans and documents related to the morphological conditions of the Lagoon and sustainable energy use to the World Heritage Centre for review and comments by the Advisory Bodies
    6. Continue working towards a sustainable tourism model for the property and developing efficient strategies and measures that will reduce the exceptionally high number of visitors to the property, significantly improve the quality of life of the residents and the requalification of urban areas to their former residential use, as well as creating a more diverse resilient economic basis for future of the property and its inhabitants;
  5. Also notes the information provided on the construction of temporary barriers to protect the San Marco Basilica and the surrounding area from the high-water phenomena not managed by the MoSE, and furthermore requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as possible, detailed documentation on the works planned to elevate the entire San Marco insula, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to any irreversible decision being taken and implemented;
  6. Also considers that a strategic long-term vision for the long-term preservation of the property has to be further developed, and that integrated coordinated management at all stakeholder-levels needs to be further strengthened, and therefore urges the State Party to:
    1. Finalise the updating of the Management Plan with adequate measures for the future buffer zone as well, and develop in parallel an Integrated Master Plan and a skyline policy for the property,
    2. Integrate measures in line with Paragraph 118bis of the Operational Guidelines that ensure the protection and preservation of the OUV of the property in the planning, Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment processes, and ensure that specific World Heritage-focused impact assessments are carried out if no other impact assessment procedures are in place to consider the impacts of planned or proposed projects within the property and its wider setting,
    3. Establish processes in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines for submitting planned/proposed changes and projects to the World Heritage Centre in a timely manner for review by the Advisory Bodies and ensure that impact assessment processes and the Management Plan support the relevant decision-making,
    4. Resubmit a revised minor boundary modification request for the establishment of a buffer zone, responding to the requests made in previous Committee decisions;
  7. Further considers that reported large scale development projects that are currently being investigated for implementation in the property hold potential, individually and cumulatively, to have an adverse impact on the OUV of the property, and therefore expresses concern that these projects, when implemented, will add to the possible deterioration effects of human intervention, climate change impacts and mass tourism, which could threaten to result in irreversible change, and substantial loss of historical authenticity and cultural significance, which are an integral part of the OUV of the property, if appropriate measures are not implemented;
  8. Expresses concern that, despite the progress assessed in the implementation of previous Committee decisions and mission recommendations some important issues remain to be addressed, related in particular to mass tourism, development projects and climate change;
  9. Further considers that the corrective measures proposed by the State Party need to be further developed, and therefore also urges the State Party to continue, in the implementation of previous Committee decisions and recommendations of the 2020 Advisory mission, a structured consultation process with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  10. Encourages the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission to the property to assess the overall state of conservation of the property and to engage with the State Party in its efforts to address the issues which could have a potential impact on the preservation of the property;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 47th session.
Decision Code
45 COM 7B.189
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2023 Venice and its Lagoon