IUCN’s advice to the World Heritage Committee following the COVID-19 pandemic
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre has recently announced the postponement to a later date of the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The timing of release of IUCN’s recommendations to the World Heritage Committee will be set by UNESCO, which is currently holding consultations to determine the exact dates of the postponed session.
Photo: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan
As the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, IUCN continues to work closely with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre to adapt to the exceptional circumstances. IUCN remains fully committed to providing the highest quality of technical advice to the World Heritage Committee as its official advisory body on nature.
Every year, IUCN recommends necessary action for some 55-60 sites facing threats, and evaluates candidate sites aspiring to achieve World Heritage status for their natural values. The World Heritage Committee considers this advice during its annual session, which this year was originally due to take place in from 29 June to 9 July.
As the Secretariat of the World Heritage Convention, UNESCO issues all documents related to World Heritage Committee sessions, including IUCN recommendations. UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre has not yet set the dates for the publication of these documents for the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee.
Update (5 May 2020): UNESCO's World Heritage Centre has announced that “the dates of the dispatches of statutory documents for the 44th session will be established, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, once the dates of the 44th session of the Committee are fixed.”
Update (2 November 2020): The World Heritage Committee has decided at its 14th extraordinary session "to hold an extended 44th session in June/July 2021 in Fuzhou, China. The exact dates will be determined at a later stage by the Chairperson of the Committee in consultation with the Secretariat." The World Heritage Centres indicates that the dates of dispatch for statutory documents will be established, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, once the exact dates of the Committee's 44th session are fixed.
Update (31 March 2021): The extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee will take place from 16 to 31 July 2021. The session will be held online and technical information will soon be provided by UNESCO's World Heritage Centre. Further information on the decisions related to dates and modalities can be found here: UNESCO World Heritage Centre - 15th extraordinary session of the World Heritage Committee.
For official information on the Committee session, visit UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre website: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/44com.
Read also IUCN’s statement on the COVID-19 pandemic.