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World Heritage and Sustainable Development policy explained: A guide and a collection of good practices to support development of national policies, programmes and sustainable management of World Heritage properties

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Based on a strong appeal from national and local stakeholders, the 2030 Agenda adopted by the UN General Assembly integrated, for the first time, the role of culture, through cultural heritage and creativity, as an enabler of sustainable development across the Sustainable Development Goals. World Heritage was explicitly referred to in Goal 11.4 however its relevance goes well beyond this specific reference. On 19 November 2015, the 20th General Assembly of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention adopted the Policy on the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention, generally known by now as the World Heritage Sustainable Development Policy.

Fund this project
Budget Proposed
US$ 400,000

36 months

State Parties


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The overall goal of the World Heritage Sustainable Development policy is to assist States Parties, practitioners, institutions, communities and networks, through appropriate guidance, to harness the potential of World Heritage properties and heritage in general, to contribute to sustainable development and therefore increase the effectiveness and relevance of the Convention while respecting its primary purpose and mandate of protecting the Outstanding Universal value of World Heritage properties. The adoption of the Policy represented a significant shift in the implementation of the Convention and an important step in its history. While the Policy has been already mainstreamed in some of the main global World Heritage statutory  processes, such as Periodic Reporting, and is currently being mainstreamed in other processes within the revision of the Operational Guidelines, it is of overarching importance to assist States Parties to include the main principles and objectives of the Policy in their national policies and programmes, and to mainstream it in the management of their World Heritage sites so that it can genuinely achieve its objectives.


  1. Translate the principles of the World Heritage Sustainable Development Policy into actual policies and procedures, at the national, regional and site level by providing relevant guidance and good practices;
  2. Build capacity of States Parties, national institutions, heritage experts, communities and networks about how they could introduce and harness Sustainable Development principles in the framework of World Heritage and thus contribute to implementing the World Heritage Sustainable Developement Policy and achieving the Sustainable Developement Goals;
  3. Establish ongoing consultation with States Parties and other relevant stakeholders with a view to enriching the policy in the future

& Beneficiaries

  1. Support to World Heritage-related policies and programmes to be developed by States Parties;
  2. Enhanced support to sustainable management of World Heritage properties;

  3. World Heritage main stakeholders’ enhanced capacity to implement Sustainable Development principles enhanced.


  • Detailed project document, outline and budget;
  • Research, key actors, consultation survey, data gathering and analysis;
  • Preparation of the appropriate material;
  • Side-event and other visibility outreach to launch the materiel.


An estimated overall extrabudgetary funding of USD 400,000 is needed for the implementation of this activity. These funds will cover the development of guidance and good practices, main capacity-building activities across the regions and gathering and analysing of data in view of monitoring the implementation of the Policy and SDGs, as well as implementation and coordination costs.

Donor's visibility

A communication & visibility plan will be developed in consultation with the donor(s) and will include (but not limited to) the options below:

Visibility Material




Target audience

Dedicated webpage on the WH website

Donor's logo

World Heritage Centre website

● Public

Statistics for 2018:
  • 14,340 000 visits
  • 9,835 000 unique visitors
  • 4, 1650 00 pages viewed

Promotional and communication campaign on social media

Donor's logo

UNESCO networks:

Facebook Instagram

● Public and subscribers to UNESCO social media

  • 1,300 000 social media subscribers 
  • 5.800.000 impressions per month
Statistics 2018 (+13%) :

 63,841 subscribers : 1,271 453 subscribers
Instagram:1,032 067 followers

News and event article(s) in focus on UNESCO and World Heritage Centre website

Donor's logo

World Heritage Centre's website Site:

● Public interested in world heritage issues  

Statistics for 2016:
  • 13,340 000 visits
  • 9,735 000 unique visitors
  • 4, 1650 00 pages viewed
  • 111, 343 members
Donor's logo

UNESCO website :

● Public interested in UNESCO mandate

Statistics for June 2016 to June 2017
  • 38, 379 764 visits
  • 26, 763 513 pages viewed

Side-events at the World Heritage Committee

Donor's logo

World Heritage Committee - Official Launch and promotion campaign

● Committee members
● State Parties
● Observers
Site Managers
World media present

  • Around 2,000 participants from 193 countries
  •  5963 media coverage recorded during the 41COM
  • More than 2000 live connections on YouTube

Article on the Site Managers network in paper review

Donor's Logo

The World Heritage Review and/or World Heritage Paper Series 

● Public

  • More than 20 000 subscribers


Frédérique Aubert
Head of Unit
Policy and Statutory Meetings
World Heritage Centre

Objectifs stratégiques
Développement des capacités
Durée : 2 years