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World Heritage Convention

Decision 41 COM 5C
World Heritage Convention and Sustainable Development

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/5C,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 5C, 38 COM 5D, and 39 COM 5D, and 40 COM 5C, adopted respectively at its 36th (Saint Petersburg, 2012), 38th (Doha, 2014) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions, as well as Resolution 20 GA 13, adopted by the General Assembly at its 20th session (UNESCO, 2015),
  3. Welcomes the follow-up activities and the progress made by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in disseminating the “Policy Document for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention” and mainstreaming it into statutory processes, international policies and operational activities and requests that this effort be pursued;
  4. Reiterates the need to achieve the right balance between environmental, social and economic sustainability, while fully respecting and protecting the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties;
  5. Underscores the important role and the contribution of the Convention towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal, Target 11.4: “Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage”;
  6. Takes note of the support provided by the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to Members States in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and of the further work anticipated on developing indicators in this regard;
  7. Also welcomes the work by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goal, Target 11.4. through an indicator that reflects the total amount per capita each country spends to protect their cultural and natural heritage, and invites UNESCO and all parties to identify and make visible the many ways in which the implementation of the World Heritage Convention contributes to achieving the SDGs, in particular SDG 11 for cultural sites and SDGs 14 and 15 for natural sites;
  8. Calls upon States Parties to ensure that sustainable development principles are mainstreamed into their national processes related to World Heritage, in full respect of the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties;
  9. Further calls on States Parties to support capacity-building programmes and activities aimed at providing methodologies and tools for integrating heritage conservation into sustainable development frameworks and mainstreaming the Sustainable Development approach in conservation and management activities;
  10. Recalling Resolution 20 GA 13 and Decision 40 COM 12, and in view of the ever increasing urgency to balance sustainable development and implementation of the Convention at the site level, urges the World Heritage Centre in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies to finalize a clear framework of the Policy Compendium for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
  11. Commends the efforts undertaken by the State Party of Germany in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies concerning the operationalization of the World Heritage – Sustainable Development policy and calls for wider collaboration in consolidating these efforts;
  12. Decides to inscribe an agenda item concerning World Heritage and Sustainable Development at its 43rd session in 2019 and also requests the World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies, to present a progress report in this regard.
Decision Code
41 COM 5C
World Heritage Convention
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision