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World Heritage Convention

Decision 34 COM 7C
Reflection on the trends of the state of conservation

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7C,

2. Recalling Decisions 32 COM 7B.129 and 33 COM 7C, adopted at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) and 33rd (Seville, 2009) sessions respectively,

3. Welcomes the analytical summary of the perceived trends, changes and threats to the state of conservation of World Heritage properties over the past five years (2005-2009), as the basis for further reflection and more extensive analysis of this information;

4. Considers that this work highlights the need for more systematic monitoring of threats and of how to identify and react to emerging trends;

5. Suggests that data on the emergence of trends and on the underlying reasons for the emergence of trends could be helpful to States Parties, to the World Heritage Centre and to the Advisory Bodies;

6. Notes that the availability and application of satellite imagery and other remote sensing techniques are continually improving, and also notes that such techniques can provide evidence over time to determine whether some impacts on World Heritage values continue to occur or are being addressed;

7. Requests that the Advisory Bodies, and in particular IUCN, work with the World Heritage Centre, the UNESCO Science Sector, and relevant remote sensing agencies, to examine the feasibility of using remote sensing to help assess the potential contribution that it could make to the monitoring of certain threats to the Outstanding Universal Value of properties;

8. Given the percentage of threats related to development and infrastructure projects and to high-rise buildings, stresses the need for structured heritage impact assessments of major projects to be carried out at the earliest opportunity in order to assess the impact of potential projects on the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties;

9. Recalls the provisions of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and that prompt information on potential development projects and their review for impact on Outstanding Universal Value is a key tool for ensuring the effective conservation of World Heritage properties and the credibility of the Convention;

10. Taking into account the information provided in the introduction of Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B and specifically the impact of natural disasters affecting World Heritage properties, notes the progress made in the implementation of the Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction at World Heritage properties as indicated in Document WHC-10/34.COM/7.3, as well as the newly published Resource Manual on this subject;

11. Also notes that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies have considered the approaches for the selection of properties for state of conservation reports and processes for preparing Desired State of Conservation Statements for the removal of properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger and further notes that these will be subject to a further review at the next World Heritage Centre/Advisory Bodies meeting in September 2010;

12. Acknowledges the inclusion of links to illustrative material in the state of conservation reports which provide information on potential visual impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of a property and encourages the States Parties to share their experiences concerning visual impact studies and simulations by providing to the Word Heritage Centre links to relevant information to be made available through the web-page;

13. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to report back on criteria, thresholds and processes relevant to the initiation of state of conservation reports, the feasibility of improved utilization of remote sensing, and the preparation and review of Desired State of Conservation Statements for the removal of properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Decision Code
34 COM 7C
Conservation, Credibility of the World Heritage List
Report of the Decisions Adopted By the world heritage committee At its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010)
Context of Decision