40th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee @UNESCO #whc40
40th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee

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Istanbul, Turkey hosted the 40th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee July 10-17, 2016. The event ended early due to political problems in the host country. Items not discussed will be taken up at an extraordinary meeting in Paris in October.

The World Heritage Committee examined proposals to inscribe 27 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its 40th session, which was chaired by Ambassador Lale Ülker, General Director for Overseas Promotion and Cultural Affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The session was held at the Istanbul Congress Centre.

The Committee wexamined the nomination of nine natural, 16 cultural and four mixed sites -- properties that are outstanding both for their natural and cultural characteristics. It also examined the state of conservation of 108 sites already on the World Heritage List and of 48 sites on the World Heritage in Danger List. The debates were webcast directly from the event website and YouTube. References include the Provisional Timetable and Provisional Agenda. You can watch previous video recordings.

The following nominations were considered for inscription:

Natural sites:

Mixed sites (natural and cultural):
  • Pimachiowin Aki (Canada)
  • Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape (Chad)
  • Khangchendzonga National Park (India)
  • The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Lanscape of the Mesopotamian Cities (Iraq)


Sites proposed for Danger listing:

Key Links

http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/40COM - http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/40COM/documents
http://40whc2016.istanbul - http://40whc2016.istanbul/media-and-press/press-material


Online Coverage: 40th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee






IUCN recommends five World Heritage listings

Today defines tomorrow: World Heritage as litmus test for action on agreements

**World’s top areas for iconic species among new sites on the World Heritage List**

Photo galleries:
Archipiélago de Revillagigedo, Mexico - thriving marine life
Hubei Shennongjia - home to the golden snub-nosed monkey
Khangchendzonga National Park, India - the world's third peak
Mistaken Point, Canada - where life got big

>> See all IUCN evaluations of all natural sites nominated for inscription


**Poland to report on impacts of felling in Bialowieza Forest in 2017**

IUCN noted at the World Heritage Committee meeting that a new conservation plan is urgently needed, following an advisory mission to the site in late June.

**Rising illegal wildlife trade threatens natural World Heritage sites, warns IUCN**

“This calls for a strong, coordinated response from the international community to stop it. We must all work together to safeguard our most precious natural areas for future generations.”

**First IUCN World Heritage Outlook Partners set to translate knowledge into action in pilot sites**

IUCN is pleased to announce African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) as its first ‘Outlook Partners’, contributing to the effectiveness of the IUCN World Heritage Outlook.

>> See all IUCN recommendations on the state of conservation of natural World Heritage sites



Turkish Government



What will be the legacy of the 40th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee?
Behind the scenes, how is the 40th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee different than the 39th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee?

Answers to technical questions

  • Will the session be livestreamed?
Yes, on http://whc.unesco.org in the original, English and French versions. Videos of each half-day session will be uploaded to the World Heritage Centre’s website and that of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee the day after the respective sessions. These videos may be used by media representatives. http://whc.unesco.org/include/tool_stream.cfm
  • Will pictures of the nominated sites be provided to the press?
Yes, pictures of the nominated sites are available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties/ They may be used for non-commercial purposes by media representatives.
  • Will videos of the newly inscribed sites be provided to the press?
Videos of some sites will be made available after the inscription of a site at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/multimedia/news-videos/b-roll/
  • Where can I find important documents of the session?
All working documents are available online at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/40COM/documents





Related Hashtag


world heritage




Working documents

40COM 4th dispatch documents (05/07/2016)
General Information
Admission of Observers
Provisional Agenda of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul, 2016)
Provisional list of documents of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul, 2016)
Provisional Timetable of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul, 2016)
Report of the World Heritage Centre on its activities and the implementation of the World Heritage Committee’s Decisions
Reports of the Advisory Bodies
World Heritage Convention and Sustainable Development
Report on the World Heritage Thematic Programmes
Follow-up to the World Heritage Capacity-Building strategy and Progress report on the World Heritage-related category 2 centres
State of conservation of World Heritage properties
WHC/16/40.COM/INF.7 Rev
List of state of conservation reports proposed for discussion
State of conservation of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
State of conservation of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
State of conservation of the properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
State of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
State of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
State of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
Nominations to the World Heritage List
Nominations to the World Heritage List
ICOMOS Evaluations of Nominations of Cultural and Mixed Properties to the World Heritage List
ICOMOS Evaluations of nominations of cultural and mixed properties to the World Heritage List
ICOMOS Evaluations of nominations of cultural and mixed properties to the World Heritage List
IUCN Evaluations of nominations of natural and mixed properties to the World Heritage List
IUCN Evaluations of nominations of natural and mixed properties to the World Heritage List
IUCN Evaluations of nominations of natural and mixed properties to the World Heritage List
List of nominations received by 1 February 2016 and for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session (2017)
Clarifications of property boundaries and areas by States Parties
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value
Progress Report on the Upstream Processes
Progress report on the Periodic Reporting Reflection (2015-2017)
Follow-up to the second cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise for all regions
Revision of the Operational Guidelines
Progress report on the Policy Guidelines Document
Follow-up to Recommendations of Evaluations and Audits on Working Methods: Outcomes of the ad-hoc Working Group
Follow-up to the Recommendations of the External Auditor’s “Report on the governance of UNESCO and dependant funds, programmes and entities” (Document 38 C/23)
Examination of International Assistance requests
Presentation of the final accounts of the World Heritage Fund for 2014-2015 and implementation of the World Heritage Fund under the biennium 2016-2017

Orientation Session for
Members of the World Heritage Committee
on 18 February 2016

This year, the committee is to examine 156 detailed reports. They help determine which sites, especially those in poorer states, should obtain international financial support.

Pimachiowin Aki = Land that gives life (Ojibwe) #40whc

Embedded Tweets

Istanbul Declaration on the Protection of World Heritage

http://40whc2016.istanbul/assets/pdfDocs/istanbul-declaration-12-07-2016.pdf (PDF)
Today on July 11th, World Heritage Committee Member States adopted the Istanbul Declaration on the Protection of World Heritage during the 40th Session of the UNESCO Committee, being organised in Istanbul under the chairmanship of Turkey. The Declaration, prepared with the iniative of the Chair of the Committee, Turkey, was unanimously adopted by the Committee Member States. By the so-called Istanbul Declaration, referring to the importance of cultural and natural heritage, States Parties are invited to take measures and act together against the destruction of common heritage of humankind, in cooperation with UNESCO and in correspondence with relevant UNESCO cultural conventions. The Istanbul Declaration is as follows: We, members of the World Heritage Committee, gathered in Istanbul today on 11 July 2016 on the occasion of its 40th session, declare the following: Fully aware of the paramount importance of cultural and natural heritage for people’s values, identities and memory, as well as for sustainable social and economic development; Fully determined to harness cultural heritage as a force for dialogue and mutual understanding, to foster a sense of common history and the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity, as the lasting foundation for peace, in the spirit of UNESCO Constitution; Bearing in mind the task entrusted to UNESCO by its Constitution, to ensure conservation and protection of the world’s inheritance of books, works of art and monuments of history and science; Mindful of UNESCO’s acquis on the protection of cultural and natural heritage; Recalling the relevant United Nations Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions, especially UNSC 2199 (2015) and 2253 (2015); Welcoming the references to culture in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that recognize and reinforce the important role of culture and cultural diversity in peaceful and inclusive societies and sustainable development; Reaffirming the commitment made by the 2015 Bonn Declaration on World Heritage in order to strengthen the international protection of cultural and natural heritage; Welcoming the 2016 Ngorongoro Declaration on Safeguarding African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development; Expressing serious concern about the destruction of and particularly the growing number of deliberate attacks against cultural heritage worldwide; Emphasizing that cultural diversity is essential and contributes to the richness of the common cultural heritage of humankind, and therefore must be respected, celebrated and protected; Deeply distressed by the increase of illegal excavations, as well as looting and illicit trafficking of artefacts which poses serious threat to World Heritage; Recognizing also the negative impact of factors such as climate change, environmental hazards and increasing social and economic pressure on heritage properties; Reiterating our commitment to the Global Coalition for #Unite4Heritage campaign launched by the Director-General; Fully cognizant that the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is the most effective international instrument for the protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage that are increasingly threatened with destruction not only by the traditional causes of decay; Also recognizing the increasing constraints impeding the proper implementation of the Convention, such as the lack of financial and human resources which threatens the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund; *** Invite all States Parties to consider innovative and effective solutions in a determined way to better address the evolving needs in heritage preservation; Strongly encourage all States Parties to contribute financially both by budgetary and extra-budgetary means to secure without further delay full and sound implementation of the Convention; Remind all States Parties of their obligation to safeguard cultural and natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value at national and international levels and to take all appropriate legislative measures in that direction where necessary; Call upon States Parties to integrate the protection of cultural and natural heritage in their policy making processes and security strategies; Call for a relevant and significant international assistance mechanism providing a more coherent expertise and resources sharing approach, as intensified international cooperation lies in the heart of the Convention; Call on States Parties to exercise proactive policy supported by decisive initiatives towards protection and restoration of cultural and natural heritage sites, especially those included on the List of World Heritage in Danger; Invite States Parties to reflect on how to better increase synergies between UNESCO’s culture conventions; as well as continue on-going collaboration to enhance synergies between biodiversity conventions; Unanimously commit ourselves to promote and implement the objectives of this Declaration.a