Europe and North America region starts the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting exercise this September
As foreseen by the World Heritage Convention in its Article 29, Periodic Reporting is a global conservation monitoring mechanism that aims to give the key stakeholders of World Heritage properties, i.e. World Heritage site managers and focal points responsible for the implementation of the Convention at national level, an opportunity to reflect on the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and to take stock of matters relating to the identification, conservation, protection and presentation of World Heritage sites, at the local, national and regional level.
This exercise is a self-reporting process that takes place every six years wherein the States Parties of one of the five regions - the Arab States, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and North America – complete and submit an online questionnaire. For the first time, Europe and North America will report together.
Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Europe and North America region
The first phase of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting exercise in the Europe and North America region will run for an approximate period of 10 months, i.e. from September 2022 to July 2023.
The Europe and North America region comprises, as to date, of 51 States Parties with a total of 547 World Heritage properties (468 cultural, 68 natural, 11 mixed and 32 transboundary), that is 47% of the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. The national focal points and World Heritage site managers designated by their respective States Parties will be requested to coordinate and respond to the questionnaire, with information available from the field on measures taken to implement the Convention at the national level and preserve World Heritage properties in the region.. The revised framework of the Third cycle questionnaire incorporates several new aspects, including the sustainable development approach as embedded in the 2030 Agenda and synergies with Multilateral Environmental Agreements, as well as other UNESCO Conventions, programmes and recommendations.
The Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting is geared to be an enhanced State Party-driven process while various national and sub-regional initiatives are expected to be undertaken by the stakeholders involved. As a result, the Periodic Reporting exercise throughout its process offers the opportunity for constant regional cooperation and exchanges.
In order to facilitate the exercise, UNESCO World Heritage Centre has developed a set of tools and guidance materials for reference and made these available on the dedicated webpage of Periodic Reporting exercise. Designated national focal points and World Heritage site managers will be informed individually when their questionnaire is available and will receive guidelines and information on how to complete it online..For more information on Periodic Reporting please visit:
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/10A,
- Recalling Decisions 38 COM 5F.2, 39 COM 10B.5, and 40 COM 10A, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
- Notes with appreciation the successful implementation of the Reflection Period by the Secretariat, in consultation with the Advisory Bodies, and the use of innovative and cost-effective working methods;
- Commends the Periodic Reporting Reflection Expert Group for the extensive and in-depth work carried out;
- Thanks all States Parties who volunteered to participate in the Testing Phase for their active engagement in the Periodic Reporting Reflection;
- Welcomes the recommendations and improvements proposed with regard to the format, content, relevance, analysis and use of data in the Periodic Reporting process;
- Also welcomes the inclusion in the revised questionnaire of questions relating to synergies with other international instruments and programmes on cultural and natural heritage; questions relating to the implementation of the 1972 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage and to the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape, as well as questions assessing the implementation of the World Heritage Policy for integrating a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention, and of other key policies adopted by the World Heritage Committee;
- Further welcomes the development of strengthened and comprehensive indicators to improve follow-up on progress made by State Parties in the implementation of the Convention as well as the 1972 Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage, further to the Recommendation of the Evaluation of UNESCO’s Standard-Setting Work of the Culture Sector (Part III – 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage);
- Takes note with appreciation of the analytical framework developed by the Expert Group and decides that it will be used as a global template for the analysis of data, for all regions, during the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting;
- Also takes note of the feasibility study concerning the production of a global World Heritage report and recommends that further work on the format and resourcing of the report be carried out using responses from States Parties and Site Managers in the first years of the Third Cycle;
- Also decides to maintain the order of regions and the 6-year periodicity of the Periodic Reporting cycles, with one region reporting every year (Arab States, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America) and one year between cycles for a reflection, if necessary, and for the production of a global report on the basis of the outcomes of the cycle across all regions;
- Further decides to officially launch the Third Cycle (2017-2022), but in view of the need to allow sufficient time for appropriate preparation, by the Secretariat, and by the States Parties of the Arab States region, exceptionally postpones the start of the Periodic Reporting of all regions by one year, starting with the Arab States region in 2018, followed by the Africa region in 2019, and so on;
- Encourages the active engagement of the States Parties in the following reporting cycles, and furthermore decides, that, in view of the current financial and human resources constraints of the World Heritage Centre, its role should consist of ensuring a holistic approach across regions, by providing overall coordination, guidance tools and analysis, as well as facilitating a State Party-driven approach, and invites the States Parties to contribute extrabudgetary resources for this purpose, and further decides, in case the resources are insufficient to ensure continuity, to supplement the funding of an extra-budgetary position from the Periodic Reporting budget line in the World Heritage Fund;
- Approves the revised Chapter V of the Operational Guidelines “Periodic Reporting on the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention” and the revised Annex 7 to the Operational Guidelines, on the Format of the Periodic Reporting Questionnaire, contained in Annex IV of Document WHC/17/41.COM/10A.