State Party & Government
- facilitating transformative visitor management
There are currently 194 States Parties to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention (1972). Besides nominating sites onto the World Heritage List and carrying the overall responsibility for implementing the Convention concerning management and protection of these sites, States Parties and their governments are called to ensure the relevance of World Heritage in a sustainable development perspective.
There is a global and collective urgency to decarbonise travel and tourism as well as to support the sustainable recovery of tourism dependent communities suffering under global travel restrictions. Besides the focus on how to rebuild the tourism sector post Covid-19 (Policy Brief on Covid-19 and transforming Tourism, August 2020), States Parties and their concerned government organisations should be equally if not more concerned about how to strengthen the resilience, adaptive and transformative capacity of communities and stakeholders towards future disruptions associated with biodiversity loss and climate change.
Responsibilities of the individual States Parties in relation to World Heritage, sustainability and tourism as set out through Policy guidelines (2010 and 2015) include to:
- develop national policies for protection
- develop national policies for promotion
- engage with their sites to provide and enable support, and to ensure that the promotion and the tourism objectives respect the OUV and are appropriate and sustainable
- ensure that individual World Heritage properties within their territory do not have their OUV negatively affected by tourism.
Cnf. Policy guidelines defining the relationship between World Heritage and sustainable tourism (UNESCO, 2010)
- Develop and promote inclusive and equitable economic investments in and around World Heritage properties...
- Encourage locally-driven responsible and sustainable tourism management... to promote economic diversification between tourism and non-tourism activities...
- Reinvest part of the revenues from tourism activities in the conservation and management of heritage resources...
- Adopt adequate visitor management planning... and implement socio-economic impact assessment prior to the approval of tourism projects...
- Promote development of sustainable economic activities related to craftsmanship associated with heritage conservation.
Cnf. Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (UNESCO, 2015)
World Heritage Catalysis seeks to help States Parties back communities in processes that concerns the use of natural and cultural heritage commons in the development and implementation of strategies of relevance to their future. It seeks to serve as a platform supporting Focal Points site management authorities in local as well as national efforts concerning tourism development and visitor management.
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