Management and Protection of World Heritages

The Management and Protection shall effectively preserve and escalate the outstanding universal values, integrity, and authenticity of World Heritages; and relevant laws and regulations shall be enacted to properly protect these heritages.

Legal, Regulatory and Contractual Measures
The legislation and regulations of one country or region shall ensure the existence of heritages, and exempt the outstanding universal values, integrity and authenticity from impacts brought about by development and social changes. Furthermore, state parties shall ensure these measures are effectively implemented.

The Boundaries of Effective Protection
The description of the boundaries is a key requirement for effectively protecting the listed heritages; and the boundaries shall be clearly delimited so as to fully embody the outstanding universal values, integrity and authenticity of heritages.

For heritages that are inscribed into the List according to Criteria I-VI, the boundaries include: the zones and their tangible features that can directly embody the outstanding universal values; and the zones that may probably deepen the understanding of the outstanding universal values in the future research.

According to Criteria VII-X, the delimitation of the boundaries shall reflect the spatial requirements, such as habitats, species, process and phenomena, according to which a heritage is inscribed into the List.   

In order to protect the outstanding universal values from being damaged by indirect human intrusion and exploitation of resources outside the zone, the boundaries shall include the regions that are closely related to the outstanding universal values.

The boundaries may be same with a (or several) existing protected zone (zones), such as a nature reserve or historical site. And only some zones may meet the World Heritage Criteria, though a protected zone may include several management zones.

Buffering Zones
A buffering zone refers to the nearby areas of a heritage site. The exploitation and utilisation of the buffering zone is banned by law because it functions as the additional protective area of the heritage. If necessary, a buffering zone wide enough shall be set up to effectively protect the heritage.

The buffering zone shall include major sites in the area where the heritage is located, and the area or features that are functionally important for the heritage and its protection.

An appropriate mechanism shall be established for demarcating the buffering zone. When submitting the application, a state party shall offer detailed information about the acreage, features and authorised use of the buffering zone, together with a pinpointed map of the demarcation and the buffering zone itself.

The application documents shall describe the role the buffering zone plays in the application for World heritage status; and if no buffering zone has been set up, the documents shall include relevant description or explanation.

And any man-induced change of the buffering zone shall be reported to the World Heritage Committee for approval, although a buffering zone is not a formal part of a heritage.

Management System
A management system aims to effectively protect a world heritage at present and in the future. Each and every listed heritage shall be equipped with a proper management system or written regulations-in which detailed description shall be included for how to adopt multilateral ways to protect the outstanding universal values.

What is included in an effective management system rests with the heritage’s type, features, demand, and cultural and natural environments. However, management systems differ due to such factors as cultural background and available resources.

And management systems may include traditional practices, current urban or regional planning, and other formal and informal planning-control mechanisms. Taking into consideration the diverse conditions mentioned above, the Convention has it that an effective management system shall include factors as below:

a)-Each and every interested party holds thorough understanding of the value of the heritage;
b)-A recycle mechanism of plan, implementation, supervision, evaluation and feedback; 
c)-Joint participation of cooperators and relevant interested parties;
d)-Allocation of essential resources;
e)-Capacity buildup;
f)-Description of the operational credibility, overtness and transparency of the management system. 

The effective management refers to both long-term and routine protection, management and exhibition of heritages. In order to implement the Convention, the World Heritage Committee has set up reactive monitoring programmes and periodic reporting mechanism.

For serial heritages specially, management systems or mechanisms shall be clarified in documents because they are essential to ensure the coordinative management of all inseparable parts of heritages.

Under some circumstances, the relevant management plan or other management systems may not be in place though an application has been submitted to the World Heritage Committee. So in order to direct the management of heritages before a management plan is worked out, what a state party shall do is: (1)-Explicate when the management plan or system will be ready; (2)-Explain how to prepare necessary resources and how to carry out the new management pan or system; (3)-Offer other relevant documents such as Operational Plan.

If the inner nature of a heritage is threatened by human activities, but can still meet the requirements and criteria of authenticity and integrity, a descriptive correction plan or project shall be submitted to the World Heritage Committee, together with the application documents; and if a state party adopts no corrective measures in a given timeline, the Committee then shall act, according to related procedures, to remove the heritage from the List.
 
A state party shall conduct effective management of heritages in its territory, while closely collaborating with other parties-which may include management staff, authorities, co-operators as relevant interested parties.

And the World Heritage Committee suggests that state parties should add the Risk Prevention Mechanism to their strategies of world heritage management planning and training. 

Sustainable Utilisation
The world heritages have existing and to-be-developed utilisation values that are culturally and ecologically sustainable. State parties and co-operators shall guarantee that such sustainable utilisation won’t damage the outstanding universal values, integrity and authenticity of heritages.

Additionally, any use shall be based on the cultural and ecological sustainability. And for some heritages, it is unsuitable for humans to exploit anyway.