Story | 20 Aug, 2010

Guidance on the preparation of retrospective statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage Properties

A joint ICCROM - ICOMOS - IUCN - World Heritage Centre Publication

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Photo: Delwyn Dupuis

Many properties inscribed on the World Heritage List do not have an agreed Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) – an essential tool that was included for the first time in the 2005 Operational Guidelines and has become operational since 2007.

The 2nd cycle of Periodic Reporting, which started in the Arab States region in 2008, has provided the motivation for all properties without complete Statements of OUV to prepare them retrospectively. Such retrospective Statements of OUV will provide a clear, shared, understanding of the reasons for inscription and of what needs managing in order to sustain OUV for the long-term. These Statements need to be approved by the World Heritage Committee as a way of articulating the OUV that was identified at the time of inscription.

This guidance sets out the suggested procedures for compiling retrospective Statements of OUV and for submitting them for approval by the World Heritage Committee. It aims to show that the process should be manageable for most properties using the materials available at the time of inscription, and that the outcome is of great benefit to all those involved in the protection, management and promotion of World Heritage properties, and to the World Heritage Committee and the Advisory Bodies.

Based on this Guidance, the Advisory Bodies and World Heritage Centre aim to provide support and advice to States Parties on preparing retrospective Statements of OUV, when requested.