3. Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.3. Impact assessments

Case Law

Extract

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests the States Parties to provide, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, detailed information on the planning and design of proposed and on-going projects, which may impact on the visual integrity of the World Heritage property or its immediate and wider setting, and undertake a visual impact study, for review by the Advisory Bodies, prior to approval and implementation and before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse (Based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Date year: 2017 2014 2013 2011 2009 2008 2007 2004 2003
See for examples Decisions (13)
Code: 41 COM 7B.23

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.86, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Reiterates its significant concern that the vulnerability of the property to pressures from unsustainable resource use, soil erosion and habitat degradation is likely to have increased following the impacts of the cyclones, and recalls its request to the State Party to ensure that the road network in the property is not expanded;
  4. Calls on all UNESCO Member States to support emergency safeguarding measures, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;
  5. Recalls the State Party’s commitment expressed in 2016 that the rehabilitation of the sea port, which was damaged by the cyclones, would be limited to restoring it to its previous condition, and would not include any extensions;
  6. Requests the State Party and to provide further information on the development projects on Socotra to the World Heritage Centre and on alleged military operations, for review by IUCN, prior to taking any decisions regarding their implementation that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Also requests the State Party to ensure that any development on Socotra, including humanitarian aid-related development, is subject to a rigorous assessment of impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to submit a copy of the completed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN;
  8. Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess its state of conservation, including in view of the impacts from the cyclones, and to support the State Party in identifying priorities for rehabilitation and management activities;
  9. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.

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Code: 41 COM 7B.43

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.73, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Acknowledges that some progress has been achieved by the State Party in implementing the recommendations of the Committee and the 2010, 2012 and 2015 missions, as well as the commitment demonstrated towards the protection the property and the collaborative dialogue established with ICOMOS;
  4. Welcomes that the reconstruction/enlargement plan of the existing fishing port “Severna Buna-Nessebar” was abandoned and requests the State Party to carry out a HIA for the modernization of the existing fishing port in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for World Heritage cultural properties and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any decision is made;
  5. Express its concern regarding proposed infrastructure projects, incompatible with the values, attributes and vulnerabilities of the property, as well as development approach based on mass tourism, which are representing potential threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Urges the State Party to halt any unsustainable form of development, such as to open the Nessebar Port Terminal for large ships, and also requests the State Party to recover the terminal area using careful and light intervention compatible with the World Heritage status of the property;
  7. Invites the State Party to devise a radically different strategy for the sustainable and compatible development of Nessebar that reduces development pressure, by relocating plans and projects for any cruise terminals, or tourist, commercial or fishing ports for large ships elsewhere along the coast outside the visibility area from Nessebar and to develop a sustainable mobility plan to ensure the smooth circulation of residents, visitors and goods;
  8. Also urges that the State Party introduce all relevant provisions regarding the World Heritage into national legislation, as well as develop and adopt an OUV-based policy, appropriate regulatory instruments and mechanisms to prevent, at the planning and programming stage, inappropriate developments, which could jeopardize the property’s OUV and could represent a potential danger, in conformity with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Also invites the State Party to strengthen the property’s management system, address and resolve weaknesses in management, by reinforcing existing institutional framework and establishing an all relevant high-level inter-ministerial committee, decision-making bodies and working groups that develop and adopt a vision for the future of the property, including strategic programme for its implementation;
  10. Requests the State Party to adopt all relevant measures and plans (Management plan, Master Plan and Conservation Plan), as well as to enforce the protection regimes and the conservation prescriptions, to support the appropriate implementation of its decisions in order to prevent any threats to its OUV;
  11. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess its state of conservation and ascertain the progress made by the State Party ;
  12. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019, with a view to considering, in case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger

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Code: 38 COM 7B.42

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.95, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party to fund and organise the advisory mission conducted in January 2014 and encourages it to implement the recommendations contained in the mission report;
  4. Recognizes the efforts made by national and municipal authorities in implementing recommendations to control concerns for the property such as Subway Number 6, the Programme for the Promotion of Tourism financed by an Inter-American Development Bank project at the Colonial City and the Sansouci Project; as well as the work of neighbours’ associations and private investment groups to promote and take actions contributing to improve the conditions of the Colonial City;
  5. Considers that all projects or actions affecting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and undertaken by any international, governmental, non-governmental or private entity, including the Inter-American Development Bank project, must involve and be approved by the institution responsible for the protection of the property;
  6. Requests the State Party to implement the following and ensure specific and realistic timeframes are applied:
    1. Finalize the process for approval of the buffer zone in East Santo Domingo and its corresponding regulatory measures,
    2. Finalize the approval process for the new Law for the Protection, Safeguarding and Development of Cultural Heritage and ensure that its provisions are integrated into planning tools for the property,
    3. Improve management capacities and secure adequate resources for sustained implementation of conservation, protection and management actions, specially concerning the full functioning of the Steering Committee and the Strategic Plan for the Integral Revitalization of the Colonial City of Santo Domingo,
    4. Identify alternatives to address transportation issues and develop Heritage Impact Assessments for the Subway project and submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to making any commitments for implementation,
    5. Review the occupation-open space ratio of the Sansouci development project and define parameters for the further design of specific projects to ensure that potential negative impacts to the visual qualities of the setting of the property are mitigated,
    6. Ensure that design parameters for architectural projects consider the attributes that convey OUV and the conditions of integrity and authenticity of the property and that, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , the revised development project and specific building designs be submitted for review prior to commencing implementation;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.

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Code: 37 COM 7B.96

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.123 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the actions carried out in response to the decisions made by the World Heritage Committee and urges the State Party to continue its work, with particular attention to:

a)  Formal establishment of the buffer zone at Santo Domingo East and approval of regulations for construction heights,

b)  Approval and implementation of the Strategic Plan for the Integral Revitalization of the Colonial City of Santo Domingo,

c)  Approval of regulations for the Steering Committee to ensure that the management system becomes fully operational,

d)  Finalization of the approval process for the new law for the protection, safeguarding and development of cultural heritage and the regulations for archaeological investigation;

4.  Encourages the State Party to submit, according to paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines , the designated buffer zone as a minor boundary modification to allow a clear understanding for the protection of the visually sensitive areas around the property;

5.  Reiterates its deep concern to the State Party about the results of the view shed studies for the proposed Sansouci development at the left bank of the Ozama River;

6.  Reiterates its request , as expressed in Decisions 34 COM 7B.108 and 35 COM 7B.123 to develop alternative designs which take into account the attributes and scale of the inscribed property, and to submit the revised designs for evaluation prior to making any commitments for implementation;

7.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the project proposal, technical specifications and heritage impact assessment for the potential subway line and associated infrastructure, for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to making commitments to its construction, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;

8.  Welcomes the request of the State Party to receive an ICOMOS Advisory mission to assist in identifying the necessary measures to ensure the protection and conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

9.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014. 

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Code: 35 COM 7B.96

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 8D, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes with deep concern the collapses that occurred at the property in November 2010 and urges the State Party to address the underlying conditions that have contributed to the collapses, as a matter of urgency;

4. Also notes the conclusions of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS advisory mission to the property that while the collapses in November 2010 did not compromise the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, nevertheless the underlying conditions could threaten the Outstanding Universal Value if they remain unaddressed in the short term;

5. Deeply regrets that neither the World Heritage Centre nor the mission were informed about the construction of a large concrete building north of the Porta di Nola at the Pompei portion of the property and also urges the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with detailed information on this project for review;

6. Requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre regularly and in due time about any building project planned in the vicinity of the property in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

7. Also requests the State Party to give priority to work programmes dealing with the backlog in conservation and management of the property and to:

a) review the management plan to include a public use plan and risk management plan as well as provisions to regulate and control development at the vicinity of the property,

b) ensure that there are adequate qualified staff and contractors for the restoration and maintenance of the property,

c) develop and implement measures to monitor conditions and use of the property, including the updating of the Geographic Information System (GIS) for Pompei,

d) design and install effective drainage systems,

e) identify and secure the required technical and financial resources in order to carry out an effective programme of conservation and maintenance of the property;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value by 1 February 2012;

9. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission during 2012 in order to assess the progress achieved in implementing the measures outlined above;

10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of ascertained or potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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Code: 33 COM 7B.113

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Notes the boundary definition of the property as provided in the report by the State Party;

3. Requests the State Party to:

a) Provide a clear map showing the boundary of the property,

b) Establish a declared buffer zone in accordance with Paragraph 103 of the Operational Guidelines, with height controls around the property as a means of protecting the skyline configuration of the city and prepare a "Views and Vistas Analysis" from strategic points within and outside the property,

c) Establish clear policies in relation to height controls within the property as a means of protecting the skyline configuration of the city, by means of a "Views and Vistas Analysis" covering key areas and streetscape,

d) Submit detailed information on the proposed large scale developments within the property to the World Heritage Centre in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

4. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a state of conservation report on the issues above and in particular on the progress made with the establishment of a buffer zone and height controls within the property, together with information on the proposed large scale development projects.

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Code: 32 COM 7B.72

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.71, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party to address the overall preservation and conservation of the property and particularly the successful diversion of the subway;

4. Also notes the progress made in drafting the nomination dossier for the extension of the property to include the Cultural and Historic Axis of Esfahan;

5. Urges the State Party to complete the reduction of the height of the Jahan Nama Commercial Complex to ensure minimum negative impacts upon the visual integrity of the property;

6. Requests the State Party to establish mechanisms for undertaking systematic cultural, social and Environmental Impact Assessments prior to designing large scale development projects, which might impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a detailed report on the progress to complete the reduction of the height of the Jahan Nama Commercial Complex tower and in establishing assessment mechanisms for large scale projects, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

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Code: 31 COM 7B.89

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.73, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Commends the efforts, progress and commitments made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures to reduce threats to the site and improve management and conservation practices and for the preparation of the World Heritage Management Plan;

4.       Welcomes the appointment of a Site Manager and Steering Committee for the property as a first step, and the establishment of a “UNESCO World Heritage Coordination Unit” in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and a Focal Point for the World Heritage issues, as well as for the holding of the two international symposiums;

5.       Regrets, however, that the State Party report does not provide information on impact studies for the new large-scale development projects, and information on effective measures for the safeguarding of the Ottoman-period timber structures in the core area of Zeyrek, which was one of the main concerns of the previous Committee sessions;

6.       Requests the State Party:

a)      to continue to implement the Decision 30 COM 7B.73 as well as the recommendations and corrective measures to achieve the desired state of conservation established by the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission;

b)      to finalise the integrated and comprehensive World Heritage management plan in compliance with the Operational Guidelines, including details of a new and effective management structure and buffer zone to protect the integrity of the property, by 1 February 2008 at the latest;

c)      to provide the World Heritage Centre with information on impact studies, including Visual Impact Assessment, according to international standards for all new large-scale projects which may threaten the important views to and from the property and its buffer zone, including the Halic bridge across the Golden Horn, the proposed development project at Hydarpaşa, the Galataport project, the Dubai Towers, as well as the extension project for the Four Seasons Hotel over the archaeological remains of the Great Palace;

d)      to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission in early 2008 to assess the state of conservation of the property and progress made in the finalisation of the World Heritage Site Management Plan and in the implementation of the corrective measures addressing the desired state of conservation, as requested by the Committee and the joint mission recommendations in 2006;

7)      Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008 a progress report including all issues indicated above to enable the World Heritage Committee to consider inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 32nd session in 2008.

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Code: 31 COM 7B.90

The World Heritage Committee,

1.        Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

 2.        Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.74, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

 3.        Expresses its appreciation for the actions taken by the State Party in response to the Committee’s earlier requests; and takes note that a London View Management Framework will come into effect on 13 July 2007, while recognizing that the visual impact study requested by the Committee has not yet been finalized;

 4.        Encourages the State Party to adopt the policies set out in the Heritage Protection White Paper and urges the State Party to vigorously apply the concept of clustering of tall buildings so that they do not impact adversely on the Outstanding Universal Value of London World Heritage sites and by updating the site boundaries and buffer zones;

5.        Requests the State Party to prepare and present to the World Heritage Committee a dynamic visual impact study for the World Heritage property in order to facilitate thorough and rapid assessment of future planning applications;

6.        Acknowledges that the State Party has finalized the Management Plan for the Tower of London World Heritage property;

7.        Requests, given the recent finalization of the Management Plan and of the London View Management Framework, that the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS review these documents to asses their effectiveness in ensuring the proper protection of the site’s settings and vistas and report to the Committee at its 32nd session;

8.        Takes note that the State Party has demonstrated its commitment to comply with the requests of the Committee (Decision 30 COM 7B.74) to protect the World Heritage property, its setting and its vistas;

9.        Also requests the State Party to submit a progress report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008 for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session in 2008. 

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Code: 31 COM 7B.94

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B.Add,

2. Expresses its serious concern about the proposed high-rise building projects within the buffer zone which potentially could impact on the visual integrity of the Historic Centre of Prague;

3. Requests the State Party to reconsider current building projects as to their impacts on the World Heritage property’s Outstanding Universal Value, and also requests that any new construction projects respect the Outstanding Universal Value and important views to and from the property.

4. Recommends the State Party to conduct comparative studies in terms of sustainable management of historic towns in cooperation with the relevant Scientific Committees of the Advisory Bodies;

5. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to assess the state of conservation of the property;

6.  Also requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with a detailed report by 1 February 2008, on the state of conservation of the property, including the visual impact study and describing any steps undertaken in view of high-rise development for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

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Code: 28 COM 15B.71

The World Heritage Committee

1. Thanking the State Party for the report provided, concerning the conservation of the World Heritage property, including the redefinition of the buffer zone as well as information on construction developments in the immediate vicinity of the property,

2. Congratulates the State Party on its project “Unification of the Archaeological Sites of Athens,” and on the long-term conservation plan, including the new museum design for the Acropolis, as this will enhance the protection and presentation of the World Heritage property;

3. Strongly urges the State Party to define a coherent buffer zone surrounding the Acropolis and to extend the existing buffer zone (Zone 3) to the area of the proposed high-rise building, in order to limit the construction height and ensure the visual integrity of the property;

4. Recalls its request to undertake a visual impact study prior to the commencement of any construction developments;

5. Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on further developments, including the extension of the buffer zone and the visual impact study.

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Code: 28 COM 15B.74

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting the information provided by the Latvian authorities on the construction project within the buffer zone,

2. Acknowledges the efforts undertaken by national authorities to implement the Law on the Preservation and Protection of Riga’s Historical Centre 2003;

3. Regrets that the recommendations of the Committee have not been respected (Decision 27 COM 7B.69);

4. Encourages the State Party to finalize and implement the preservation and development plan for the Historic Centre of Riga, in close co-operation with the City authorities, and to ensure an overall vision for the site, including the town planning strategy and a comprehensive urban management;

5. Requests the State Party to carefully review all projects foreseen in the area and its buffer zone, including conducting a visual impact study, and to provide an up-date report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005 including a confirmation that any new building will fully respect the visual integrity of the Historical Centre of Riga and the historical watercourses will be preserved as open public space without any new buildings for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.

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Code: 27 COM 7B.67

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Regrets that the Greek authorities did not provide the report requested by 1 February 2003 until 2 July 2003;

2. Recalls its request (26 COM 21 (b) 49) that the State Party give urgent consideration to a redefinition of the buffer zone in order to better protect the visual setting of the monument;

3. Further recalls its request (26 COM 21 (b) 49) that the State Party provide information on any development projects, which may impact on the visual integrity of the World Heritage property and undertake a visual impact study, notably concerning the property of the Acropolis; 

4. Urges the State Party to prevent any activity which would cause irreversible damage to the outstanding universal value of the property;

5. Requests the State Party to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004.

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