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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.4 - Disaster risks management

7. “(…)

a) Cultural and natural heritage, with their related technologies, practices, skills, knowledge systems and ecosystem’s goods and services can play an important positive role in reducing risks from disasters at all phases of the process (readiness, response and recovery), and hence in contributing to sustainable development in general”.

b) The key to an effective reduction of risks from disasters is advance planning and the building of a culture of prevention”.

c) In developing plans for reducing risks at World Heritage properties it is essential to give adequate consideration to cultural diversity, age, vulnerable groups and gender perspective”.

d) Property occupants and users, and concerned communities in general, should be always involved in planning for disaster risk reduction”.

e) The protection of the Outstanding Universal Value and the integrity and authenticity of World Heritage properties from disasters implies consideration for the associated intangible aspects and movable items that contribute directly to its heritage significance.

(…).
9. The five objectives [of the Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disaster at World Heritage Properties] are the following:

a) Strengthen support within relevant global, regional, national and local institutions for reducing risks at World Heritage properties;

b) Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of disaster prevention at World Heritage properties;

c) Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks at World Heritage properties;

d) Reduce underlying risk factors at World Heritage properties;

e) Strengthen disaster risk preparedness at World Heritage properties for effective response at all levels".

Theme:  3.4 - Disaster risks management
Source:  WHC-07/31.COM/7.2 Issues related to the state of conservation of World Heritage properties: Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disasters at World Heritage properties

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.4 - Disaster risks management

16. “In the face of increasing disaster risks and the impact of climate change, States Parties should recognise that World Heritage represents both an asset to be protected and a resource to strengthen the ability of communities and their properties to resist, absorb, and recover from the effects of a hazard. In line with disaster risks and climate change multilateral agreements, States Parties should:

i. Recognise and promote – within conservation and management strategies – the inherent potential of World Heritage properties for reducing disaster risks and adapting to climate change, through associated ecosystem services, traditional knowledge and practices and strengthened social cohesion.

ii. Reduce the vulnerability of World Heritage properties and their settings as well as promote the social and economic resilience of local and associated communities to disaster and climate change through structural and non-structural measures, including public awareness-raising, training and education. Structural measures, in particular, should not adversely affect the OUV of World Heritage properties;

iii. Enhance preparedness for effective response and ‘building-back-better’ in post-disaster recovery strategies within management systems and conservation practice for World Heritage properties”.

Theme:  3.4 - Disaster risks management
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.4 - Disaster risks management

5. "[The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties] to make every endeavour to take into consideration disaster risks, including from human-induced hazards, in the management plans and systems for the World Heritage properties located in their territories."
Theme:  3.4 - Disaster risks management
Decision:  36 COM 7C

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.4 - Disaster risks management

16. "[The World Heritage Committee] urges States Parties to include risk mitigation measures in the management plans of World Heritage properties to address the potential effects of conflicts or disasters on their integrity;"

Theme:  3.4 - Disaster risks management
Decision:  41 COM 7

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.4 - Disaster risks management

24. "[The World Heritage Committee] encourages States Parties and other stakeholders to further strengthen international cooperation aiming at mitigating impacts of major natural disasters affecting World Heritage properties and reducing vulnerabilities on lives, properties and livelihoods."
Theme:  3.4 - Disaster risks management
Decision:  42 COM 7

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

25. "[The World Heritage Committee] notes with concern that the number of cases of ground transport infrastructure having potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties is continuing to grow, and calls upon States Parties to carry out Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) early in the process of transportation planning to allow for potential impacts of the OUV, including those resulting from foreseeable associated future developments, to be identified prior to the development of specific projects;

26. Encourages States Parties to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) on ground transport projects, once they are designed, with multiple options to ensure that transportation needs can be met with minimal impacts on the OUV of World Heritage properties."

Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
Decision:  40 COM 7
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests Heritage Impact Assessments and Environmental Impact Assessments of all significant development proposals in the property and of any major transportation infrastructure project, before approval for the schemes is granted and prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, including definitive location and plans for construction, in order to identify any adverse impacts on the property and ways to mitigate these impacts, and to submit the HIA and the EIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  32 COM 7B.122 36 COM 7B.80 36 COM 7B.100 37 COM 7B.65 38 COM 7B.62 39 COM 7B.91 40 COM 7B.55 41 COM 7B.31 41 COM 7B.59 41 COM 7B.69
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests the State Party to submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details about any cable car project, including design, technical specifications and precise location of the route, in relation to the inscribed property, together with a HIA and an EIA, well before any irrevocable decisions are taken about the construction of the cable car (based on case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.2 - Transportation infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  37 COM 7B.102 38 COM 7B.45 38 COM 7B.77 40 COM 7B.91 42 COM 7B.26
Threats:  Air transport infrastructure Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure Ground transport infrastructure Marine transport infrastructure Underground transport infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

17. "[The World Heritage Committee, noting] with significant concern that an increasing number of properties are facing potential threats from major dam projects, considers that the construction of dams with large reservoirs within the boundaries of World Heritage properties is incompatible with their World Heritage status, and urges States Parties to ensure that the impacts from dams that could affect properties located upstream or downstream within the same river basin are rigorously assessed in order to avoid impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)."
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
Decision:  40 COM 7
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to strengthen the protection of the immediate and wider setting of properties for addressing the impact of wind turbines, and to identify a wind turbine exclusion zone, based on the potential visual impact on the components of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  32 COM 7B.118 34 COM 7B.83 36 COM 7B.74 41 COM 8B.19 41 COM 7B.45
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to conduct an adequate environmental impact study for the power transmission lines, before any decision is taken (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.3 - Utilities or service infrastructure
See for examples Decisions:  37 COM 7B.79 21 BUR IVB.33 25 BUR V.126-127 38 COM 7B.59
Threats:  Localised utilities Major linear utilities Non-renewable energy facilities Renewable energy facilities Water infrastructure

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.4 - Pollution

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee recommends to enhance the regulation and monitoring of pollution, and to create management plans that consider options to address and to put in place adequate measures to mitigate the impact associated to the pollution, and its potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including the control of sources of pollution affecting the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.4 - Pollution
See for examples Decisions:  31 COM 7B.4 31 COM 7B.31 33 COM 7B.28 35 COM 7B.23 36 COM 7B.22 41 COM 7B.25
Threats:  Air pollution Ground water pollution Input of excess energy Pollution of marine waters Solid waste Surface water pollution

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee encourages States Parties to ensure that no commercial logging can be permitted within the property/to ban all commercial logging (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification
See for examples Decisions:  37 COM 7B.26 38 COM 7A.45 41 COM 7B.1 41 COM 7A.19 41 COM 7B.4
Threats:  Aquaculture Commercial hunting Commercial wild plant collection Crop production Fishing/collecting aquatic resources Forestry /wood production Land conversion Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals Subsistence hunting Subsistence wild plant collection

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests to undertake research to determine the effects and impact from existing resource use, including fishing activities, grazing and collection of medicinal plants on the OUV of the property and to work with communities and to fully involve local resource users to promote sustainable resource uses and practices (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.5 - Biological resource use/modification
See for examples Decisions:  38 COM 7B.62 38 COM 7B.84 40 COM 7B.85 41 COM 7B.15 41 COM 7B.17 43 COM 7B.8
Threats:  Aquaculture Commercial hunting Commercial wild plant collection Crop production Fishing/collecting aquatic resources Forestry /wood production Land conversion Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals Subsistence hunting Subsistence wild plant collection

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.7 - Local conditions affecting the fabric

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the conditions as well as an analysis of ways to address the underlying causes of local conditions affecting the fabric, and to elaborate a comprehensive strategy to address the impacts, including priority emergency measures, mitigation measures and an intervention programme (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.7 - Local conditions affecting the fabric
See for examples Decisions:  36 COM 7A.34 37 COM 7A.23 37 COM 7B.74 38 COM 7A.1 40 COM 7A.9 40 COM 7A.14 41 COM 7A.27 41 COM 7A.32
Threats:  Dust Micro-organisms Pests Radiation/light Relative humidity Temperature Water (rain/water table) Wind

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Paragraph 90

“For all properties nominated under criteria (vii) - (x), bio-physical processes and landform features should be relatively intact. However, it is recognized that no area is totally pristine and that all natural areas are in a dynamic state, and to some extent involve contact with people. Biological diversity and cultural diversity can be closely linked and interdependent and human activities, including those of traditional societies, local communities and indigenous peoples, often occur in natural areas. These activities may be consistent with the Outstanding Universal Value of the area where they are ecologically sustainable.”

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Paragraph 119

“World Heritage properties may sustain biological and cultural diversity and provide ecosystem services and other benefits, which may contribute to environmental and cultural sustainability. Properties may support a variety of ongoing and proposed uses that are ecologically and culturally sustainable and which may enhance the quality of life and well-being of communities concerned. The State Party and its partners must ensure their use is equitable and fully respects the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. For some properties, human use would not be appropriate. Legislation, policies and strategies affecting World Heritage properties should ensure the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value, support the wider conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and promote and encourage the effective, inclusive and equitable participation of the communities, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders concerned with the property as necessary conditions to its sustainable protection, conservation, management and presentation.”

Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
Source:  OG Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (WHC.19/01 - 10 July 2019)
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

10. "[The World Heritage Committee] 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."
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
3.6 - Tourism and visitor management
Decision:  43 COM 7.3

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to strengthen the cooperation with local communities, civil society and in particular the indigenous communities, including consideration of traditional knowledge for the management of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  36 COM 7B.25 43 COM 7A.2

3 - Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties

3.5 - Factors affecting properties

3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to assess the impacts of grazing, hunting and other human traditional activities on the biodiversity in the traditional use zone and develop a policy for the sustainable use of the natural resources in the traditional use zones in the property in close cooperation with the indigenous communities using these areas (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Theme:  3.5.8 - Social/cultural uses of heritage
See for examples Decisions:  32 COM 7B.41 36 COM 7B.25 40 COM 7B.79 40 COM 7B.88
Threats:  Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting Ritual / spiritual / religious and associative uses Society's valuing of heritage
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