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World Heritage Convention

Decision 3 COM XVII.57
Other matters - Balance between natural and cultural properties

The working group on natural criteria also reported to the Committee on its concern at the relatively low number of natural properties so far included in the World Heritage List. It considered that, if the List gave an initial impression of being a list of cultural properties, it would deter further nominations of natural properties. The working group was also concerned that the delegations of States Members at the third session of the Committee did not include a sufficient number of specialists in the natural heritage field which reduced the Committee's ability to evaluate properly natural properties. In order to increase the awareness of the Committee and of States Parties of the need to redress this situation, the working group made two specific recommendations to the Committee:

(i) that in future a quorum for a meeting of the Committee should require, in addition to a majority of States Members at least five delegates among the delegations with expertise in natural heritage; and

(ii) that, in allocating funds for assistance to States, not more than 60% should be allocated to either cultural or natural properties.

Report of the rapporteur on the third session of the World Heritage Committee