IUCN at the World Heritage Committee

The World Heritage Committee is the governing body on World Heritage and meets every year. The Committee takes decisions on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List, and may request States Parties to take action when sites are facing major conservation threats or are not being adequately managed. As its Advisory Body on nature, IUCN prepares and presents its recommendations to the World Heritage Committee regarding the inscription of new sites, assesses sites’ state of conservation, prepares draft decisions, and provides advice to States Parties.

To help maintain the highest possible standards in our delivery, IUCN's work on World Heritage is guided by the following principles:

  • Partnership is paramount. All our activities are carried out in partnership with other organizations and stakeholders, particularly the World Heritage Centre, the other Advisory Bodies to the Convention (ICOMOS and ICCROM), and States Parties.
  • Sound science is essential. One of the Union's major strengths is its high level of scientific credibility, consistency and objectivity. We maintain this by drawing on the expertise of our scientific networks – particularly the WCPA and SSC.
  • Problems require practical solutions. An important part of our work is to identify threats to World Heritage sites, but we aim to go beyond mere reporting to seeking practical and innovative solutions to address these threats.
  • Consistency with global agendas and policies. Throughout our advice IUCN is guided by policy positions on the Global Biodiversity Framework, the incompatibility of World Heritage status with oil/gas/mining (no-go commitment), human-rights based approaches, the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessment in a World Heritage Context, and other policies and advice notes.

Past news from IUCN at World Heritage Committee meetings


Key habitats among new World Heritage sites