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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7.3
Other matters

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/19/43.COM/7, WHC/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3, WHC/19/43.COM/7B, WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add.2 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7, adopted at its 42nd (Manama, 2018),

    Management Plans in the context of urban development

  3. Noting that the many Management Plans and management systems for urban properties are not adequately anchored in the legal mechanisms, systems, and processes for urban development,
  4. Also noting that the pressures of high investment urban development projects in and around properties are increasingly a threat to their Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and that in contrast, the OUV could provide a valuable opportunity for the property and its wider setting to define a new urban vision that integrates and valorizes the OUV with new needs and aspirations,
  5. Recalling that the approach of the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape has highlighted the need for urban areas to be well integrated into their wider social, economic and cultural context, calls on all States Parties to prepare and deliver Management Plans, for properties in and around urban areas, so that their planning elements can be integrated directly into the planning and development policies, plans, processes and instruments; regardless of whether the property is inscribed for its urban values or not;
  6. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to continue reflecting on the mechanisms and tools needed to assess and guide interventions in and around urban properties to sustain the OUV of the properties and to promote sustainable development and actively engage with the wider development processes that could over time impact the appearance, use, and meaning of buildings and spaces in properties and their settings;
  7. Notes with appreciation the International Union of Architects Forum (UIA) on “Mass Tourism in Historic Cities”, which was held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 7-9 June 2019 and welcomes the proposal of the UIA to prepare, in close cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, guidelines for architectural competitions in and around World Heritage urban properties that will recognise their Outstanding Universal Value;
  8. Welcomes the offer of the Government of Japan to host an international experts meeting in January 2020 to provide further guidelines for the integration of the assessment of the impacts for interventions in the wider processes of urban management by applying the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape to address the challenges of increased urbanization in close cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Calls on the UNESCO Secretariat to develop measures to address the inherently limited nature of institutional capacity in SIDS, acting as an impediment in identifying, inventorying and proposing potential cultural and natural heritage sites for listing;


  10. Acknowledging the contribution of sustainable tourism to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the positive impact it can have on local communities and the protection of World Heritage properties, nevertheless notes with concern that the number of properties negatively affected by overcrowding, congestion and tourism infrastructure development continues to increase;
  11. Noting that the protection of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) must be a central objective for all World Heritage properties, requests States Parties to develop visitor management plans and strategies that address the seasonality of tourism (smoothing visitor numbers over time and spreading visitors across sites), encourage longer more in-depth experiences promoting tourism products and services that reflect natural and cultural values, and limit access and activities to improve visitor flows and experiences, while reducing pressures on the attributes which underpin OUV ;
  12. Encourages the States Parties to support UNESCO in its efforts to assist heritage and tourism managers with system development and data collection to help destinations understand their specific situations and early warning signs, provide incentives for sustainable tourism development and raise awareness to change visitor behaviour;
  13. Calls on UNESCO Secretariat to recognize opportunities for forging synergies between core UNESCO activities that could be harnessed to strengthen heritage sites: youth, heritage tourism training, sustainable heritage tourism and biodiversity, and relate it directly to SIDS;

    Heritage Impact Assessments / Environmental Impact Assessments (HIAs/EIAs)

  14. Notes the progress of revising the guidance on impact assessment for World Heritage undertaken by the ICCROM/IUCN World Heritage Leadership Programme together with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS.