Asia-Pacific Focal Point

for World Heritage Managers

What is best practice management?

The commitment of States Parties to meeting their obligations under the World Heritage Convention is most graphically demonstrated by their approach to the management of sites within their territories. The effectiveness of management will determine whether the outstanding universal value of the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List are maintained and transmitted to future generations. The Asia-Pacific World Heritage Managers Network promotes excellence in management and is aimed at helping regional property managers to meet the objectives of the World Heritage Convention.

World Heritage site managers are encouraged to adopt the following principles in the preparation and implementation of management plans, programs, practices and institutions. The principles are intended to be consistent with the World Heritage Convention and the Operational Guidelines and should be read in conjunction with them. The purpose of the principles is to provide a simple, but comprehensive, guide to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention through excellence in management.

General principles

  1. The primary purpose of World Heritage site management must be to identify, protect, conserve, present, transmit and, where appropriate, rehabilitate the outstanding universal values of the site in accordance with State Party obligations under the World Heritage Convention.
  2. Management should provide for adequate public consultation on decisions and actions that may have a significant impact on the site or on the public.
  3. Management should make special provision for the involvement of people with a particular interest in the property, for example Indigenous groups traditionally affiliated with the site and the holders of property rights, who may be affected by the management of the site.
  4. Management should provide for ongoing community and technical input in relation to the management of the site (for example, through community advisory bodies and technical and scientific advisory bodies).

Management planning

A plan or plans for the management of each World Heritage site should be prepared which:

  1. Identifies the outstanding universal values of the site covered by the plan.
  2. Includes adequate processes for public consultation on proposed elements of the plan.
  3. Includes special provision for the involvement of people with a particular interest in the site, for example indigenous groups traditionally affiliated with the site and the holders of property rights, who may be affected by proposed elements of the plan.
  4. Identifies specific actions and strategies to ensure the identification, protection, conservation, presentation, transmission and, where appropriate, rehabilitation of the outstanding universal values of the site.
  5. Establishes or identifies mechanisms to address the individual or cumulative impacts of actions on the outstanding universal values of the site.
  6. Provides that management actions in relation to non-World Heritage values (if any) will not be inconsistent with the management of the outstanding universal values of the site.
  7. Promotes the integration of management responsibilities in relation to the site.
  8. Provides for ongoing monitoring and periodic reporting on the state of the outstanding universal values of the World Heritage site.
  9. Will be reviewed at regular intervals.

Impact assessment processes

All proposed actions in or uses of the site that, if taken, would be likely to have a significant impact on the outstanding universal values of a site should be subject to an environmental impact assessment process.

Examples of best practice management principles

The following are considered to be examples of best practice management. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 example illustrates how appropriate legislation can assist in the effective management of World Heritage properties.

Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, Australia

Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, Australia

Sarah Titchen

Key

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