World Heritage Convention and Sustainable Development

27 July 2010 | IUCN statement

IUCN, along with the two other Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention, welcome a first step in exploring the critical issue of sustainable development for the World Heritage Convention at its annual meeting in Brasilia.

IUCN, The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) said in a statement that State Parties and managers of World Heritage properties have long been confronted with the need to see the management of properties within a broader sustainable development context.

Indeed, many managers have had to address the way management issues link to a wider development framework.

It is essential that the World Heritage community engages more effectively with the sustainable development agenda and of all the many actors that it involves, so that World Heritage properties become essential contributors to sustainable development rather than being seen as obstacles to be worked around.

It is clearly an essential principle that such engagement should be based on the primary and central purpose of the World Heritage Convention which is to protect cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value.

In order to allow this to happen and to begin to set out a more helpful framework to allow properties to be engaged effectively into sustainable development goals, it is clear that appropriate guidance and tools need to be developed for World Heritage properties. It is essential that this guidance should incorporate knowledge and lessons learned from other fields.

In conclusion, the Advisory Bodies support the action plan as a step to further develop these reflections. We would note however, the need for additional resources to allow for its full implementation.