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Decision 37 COM 5A
Report of the World Heritage Centre on its activities and the implementation of the World Heritage Committee’s Decisions

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/5A,

2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 5A.1 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3. Takes note with appreciation of the results of the activities undertaken by the World Heritage Centre over the past year in pursuit of its five strategic objectives as presented in Document WHC-13/37.COM/5A;

4. Notes the consultations between the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies towards the elaboration of a thematic paper proposing to States Parties general guidance regarding the management of their cultural and natural heritage of religious interest, and the progress report on this activity;

5. Also takes note of the establishment of a steering group in charge of coordinating the elaboration of this thematic paper and invites States Parties to support this initiative;

6. Further takes note of the report of the International Expert Meeting on “World Heritage and Indigenous Peoples” (Copenhagen, 20-21 September 2012), following Decision 35 COM 12D , and the report of the Expert Meeting on Visual Integrity (Agra, 6-9 March 2013) and requests the Consultative Body on Operational Guidelines to consider any implications for future revisions of the Operational Guidelines;

7. Welcomes the establishment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and encourages the use the network of natural World Heritage sites as priority sites for assessing the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and the essential services they provide to society;

8. Also encourages the World Heritage Centre to continue its cooperation with the Biodiversity Liaison Group (BLG) to create further synergies between the Conventions, as well as the joint activities initiated with the Secretariats of the CITES, Ramsar Convention and the Council of Europe, and further requests State Parties to ensure their National Biodiversity Strategy and their Action Plans fully consider the importance of natural World Heritage sites to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets;

9. Finally takes note of progress achieved through the Culture Conventions Liaison Group (CCLG) created by the Assistant Director-General for Culture in 2012 and further encourages it to pursue this work towards enhanced synergies among the Culture Conventions, including on working methods, procedures and in addressing resource issues for statutory meetings.

Decisions Adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th Session (Phnom Penh, 2013)
Context of Decision