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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.50
Venice and its Lagoon (Italy) (C 394)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 38 COM 7B.27, 40 COM 7B.52, 41 COM 7B.48 and 43 COM 7B.86 adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/Ramsar Advisory mission of 2020, which reviewed the progress in implementing previous Committee decisions, and to assess the state of conservation of the property, and the State Party’s efforts to start implementing the mission recommendations;
  4. Also notes that the State Party is working towards refining tourism management tools, improving public spaces and public housing and urges the State Party to work towards a sustainable tourism model for the property and to develop strategies and policies that will result in reducing the number of visitors to the property, in significantly enhancing the quality of life of residents and the requalification of urban areas to their former residential use, as well as in a more diverse resilient economic basis for future of the property and its inhabitants;
  5. Welcomes the updated information provided by the State Party with reference to the measures adopted to ban ships over 25.000 gross tons, from 1 August, from the San Marco Basin, San Marco and Giudecca channels, and acknowledges the measures approved for a temporary mooring of the large ships and for a long-term solution to the maritime traffic, prioritizing the option outside the Lagoon altogether and redirecting them to other, more suitable ports in the region as a final solution;
  6. Also acknowledges that the Management Plan of the property is being updated, and also urges the State Party to ensure that, in order to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, the updated Management Plan is based on a systematic value assessment, including the identification and mapping of attributes that convey the OUV of the property, and that it will serve as an integrated plan for the property and its planned buffer zone;
  7. Notes with concern the exceptional high tide events that affected the property at the end of 2019, and commends the joint efforts of the stakeholders, including the local communities, for managing the disaster in an efficient way and taking actions and measures for reparing and mitigating the damage;
  8. Further acknowledges the efforts of the State Party to work towards the completion and operationalization of the MoSE high tide defense barriers system, and further urges the State Party to monitor closely the impacts of the construction and the operation of the system, and to develop appropriate measures for mitigating any negative impacts it might have on the ecosystem of the Lagoon;
  9. Also requests the State Party to continue its efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of human interventions in the Lagoon ecosystem in a more strategic and coordinated way, and to develop further measures that will ensure the long-term protection and preservation of this unique and complex environmental area; and therefore, urges furthermore the State Part to progressively eliminate activities in the port of Marghera which have a damaging effect on the ecosystem of the property and implement a sustainable development approach to all future plans;
  10. Also notes with concern that currently, there are no adequate mechanisms in place to report planned changes/projects to the World Heritage Centre in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, or to assess their potential impacts to the OUV of the property in line with Paragraph 118bis, and therefore, urges moreover the State Party to:
    1. Further revise the governance of the property and develop appropriate mechanisms that allow complience with the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Develop an overall strategy and vision for the protection and preservation of the property, and ensure its implementation through targeted Action Plans and a revised Road Map,
    3. Develop an Integrated Master Plan for construction projects, including a skyline policy for the property, its future buffer zone and its setting, in order to protect the property from impacts on its integrity,
    4. Implement the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape approach in the regional and urban planning,
    5. Halt all newly proposed large-scale projects within the property and its setting until the above listed measures are put in place,
    6. Engage in dialogue with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies towards developing the proposed measures;
  11. Regrets the construction of the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility in Chioggia within the property that presents an important threat to its OUV, and while noting with satisfaction the new legal measures related to construction and operation of LPG storage facilities, further requests the State Party to dismantle the storage facility in Chioggia and move it to an alternative location outside the property’s boundaries;
  12. Expresses concerns that despite the progress assessed on several issues identified, some important issues remain to be addressed;
  13. Takes note of the key conclusions and recommendations of the 2020 Advisory mission and requests furthermore the State Party to report to the World Heritage Centre on their implementation;
  14. Requests moreover the State Party, to develop a proposal on a set of corrective measures with a timeframe for their implementation, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session;
  15. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th  session.
Decision Code
44 COM 7B.50
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2021 Venice and its Lagoon
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision