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Reinforced Monitoring
Tentative Lists
Working methods and tools
World Heritage Convention

Decision 7 COM VII.14-26
Tentative Lists

14. The Committee noted that tentative lists for natural properties had been submitted by Brazil and Portugal, presented in document SC/83/CONF.009/INF.3.

15. The Committee was greatly interested in the ideas presented by Mr. Parent, President of ICOMOS, in his report given at the seventh session of the Bureau, notably concerning the difficulties currently encountered in applying the cultural criteria to the nominations of historic towns, cultural properties representative of a series and the criterion of authenticity. After discussion, the Committee stated its full agreement with the ideas expressed by Mr. Parent.

16. The Committee recalled that, as early as 1979 it had recommended to States Parties to draw up tentative lists of cultural and natural properties suitable for nomination to the World Heritage List. In conformity with Article 11.1 of the Convention concerning the presentation of inventories, the Committee requested all States Parties that had not already done so to send this tentative list to the Secretariat during the course of 1984.

17. Should any State meet particular difficulties in rapidly preparing a tenta­tive list, it could request help from ICOMOS or IUCN according to the characte­ristics of the property in question, and if necessary request preparatory assis­tance under the World Heritage Fund.

18. The nominations of cultural properties by States which had not submitted such a tentative list after this time period could not be examined thereafter by ICOMOS. The submission of tentative lists for natural sites is also requested in order to facilitate the evaluation of nominations by IUCN.

19. The Committee, having requested ICOMOS to examine all the cultural nominations in the light of comparative studies, noted that tentative lists are also desirable for the examination of cultural nominations submitted before 1 January 1984.

20. Tentative lists, as their name implies, do not definitely commit the States nor the Committee. They should therefore be treated in a confidential manner. Their aim is to enable the Committee and the non-governmental organization concerned to carry out comparative and serial studies which are necessary for a methodical approach in building up the World Heritage List.

21. Consequently, each State submitting a tentative list should provide the following information for every property on that list:

a) reference as to the category of properties defined in the Convention,

b) reference to the criteria that warrant the nomination:

c) In the case of cultural properties, a reference can be added to the cultural area or to the type of property implicitly concerned, particularly when the reference to the criteria relates to the representativity of a series.

d) Finally, whenever a State includes in its tentative list a cultural property with the intention to associate with it an entire series of other properties similar in character and whose cultural value is due to this multiplicity and similarity, the State should specify this intention and should leave open the alternative of retaining eventually only one or a limited number of such properties as representing the series.

22. States having no need of assistance in preparing tentative lists of cultural properties could submit these lists before 1 June 1984. This would permit a first typological sorting before the next meeting of the Bureau. An account thereof would be given by ICOMOS at the next meeting of the Committee.

23. At the same time, the Committee invites ICOMOS to prepare a preliminary typological study, based on all cultural properties already included in the World Heritage List and on a review of the tentative lists already submitted.

24. As far as a certain number of criteria are concerned which raise problems of interpretation pointed out in Mr. Parent's report, ICOMOS will convene small groups of experts who are specialists in specific fields so that they may, on the basis of the information obtained through the nomination documents of sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List and through the tentative lists already deposited, formulate suggestions towards the interpretation of these criteria which will then be submitted to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee and to the next session of the Committee. This would in particular be the case with regard to:

  • "historic cities",
  • properties representing events, ideas or beliefs, and
  • clarifying the notion of authenticity.

25. The representative of IUCN noted that India had not yet submitted nominations of natural properties although this country had a number of sites which possibly could meet World Heritage criteria. The Committee noted that other States Parties had similarly not yet submitted natural nominations and expressed concern that appropriate balance with cultural properties be obtained on the World Heritage List. In the case of India, the Committee encouraged the Indian authorities to submit a tentative list of natural properties.

26. The Committee expressed its gratitude to both ICOMOS and IUC for their work towards preparing tentative lists of cultural and natural properties respectively.

Decision Code
7 COM VII.14-26
Tentative Lists
Report of the rapporteur
Context of Decision