Towards a World Heritage Policy Compendium – First Meeting of Experts takes place at UNESCO Headquarters
The first meeting of the World Heritage Policy Compendium Working Group took place at UNESCO Headquarters from 6 to 7 December 2017. The Policy Compendium initiative, which will see the development of a consolidated source of World Heritage policies for use by the World Heritage Committee, States Parties and other stakeholders, is being implemented through financial support received from the government of Australia.
The Working Group is composed of representatives of the UNESCO Advisory Bodies (ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN), professionals working in the field of cultural and natural heritage and staff members of the World Heritage Centre and is based on the principles of geographic and gender-balanced representation. The group was established in accordance with World Heritage Committee Decision 40 COM 12, which also endorsed the recommendations of a Scoping Study on the Policy Compendium, which was carried out in 2015 by ICCROM and the World Heritage Centre.
After the official welcome of participants by Mechtild Rossler, Director of the World Heritage Centre, an intensive two-day working session got underway. During the working meeting the participants carried out a review of a compilation of policies that had been assembled by the World Heritage Centre and also discussed the methodology and approach to be taken as well as the structure of the document. Before the meeting was concluded, a detailed plan for the next phase of work was elaborated.
The Working Group will further collaborate online, working in smaller teams on distinct subject areas, which will be consolidated during their next meetings. Relevant consultations with other key stakeholders will also be organized by the World Heritage Centre.
In accordance with Decision 40 COM 12, a first draft of the Policy Compendium and the Working Group Recommendations will be presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session, which will be held in Manama, Bahrain from 24 June – 4 July 2018.
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/11B,
- Recalling Decisions 35 COM 12B, 37 COM 13, 39 COM 12, 40 COM 12 and 42 COM 11 adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively;
- Thanks the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Korea for their commitment and financial contribution in view of the development of the World Heritage Policy Compendium funded by Australia and the Policy Compendium Online Tool, funded by the Republic of Korea;
- Commends the Expert Working Group and the World Heritage Centre for their commitment and efforts in improving the first draft and finalizing the World Heritage Policy Compendium;
- Also commends the World Heritage Centre for successfully developing a user-friendly and easily accessible World Heritage Policy Compendium Online Tool and for successfully carrying out inclusive consultations with World Heritage stakeholders and welcomes the constructive positive feedback received;
- Endorses the World Heritage Policy Compendium and requests the World Heritage Centre to keep it regularly updated.
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/12,
- Recalling Decisions 35 COM 12B, 37 COM 13 and 39 COM 12 adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
- Reiterates its gratitude to the Government of Australia for their commitment and financial contribution in view of the development of a Policy document for a better implementation of the World Heritage Convention;
- Commends ICCROM for the preparation of the scoping study, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and IUCN;
- Decides to apply the two-phased approach for the preparation of a Policy Compendium as described in document WHC/16/40.COM/12;
- Requests the World Heritage Centre to assemble existing policies and to convene a geographically balanced working group of natural and cultural heritage experts and to inclusively involve other stakeholders such as ICOMOS, IUCN, ICCROM, Category 2 Centres and UNESCO Chairs, to review the collection of policies taking into account the views of Committee members through an appropriate consultation procedure;
- Also requests the World Heritage Centre to submit the first draft Policy Compendium, reviewed by the working group, as well as to report on the progress of work for examination to the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.