Managing Cultural Heritage


Published in 2013 by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
 Edition: 2013  
 Table of contents:    
 1. Introduction 7
 2.  Context: managing cultural heritage 12
 3.  Understanding management in the World Heritage context 29
 4.  Defining, assessing and improving heritage management system 53
   Appendix A 122
   Appendix B 146
   Bibliography 148
   Contact information 152
The aim of this Resource Manual
The concept of ‘management’ emerged comparatively late in the forty-year history of the World Heritage Convention. But the requirement to achieve the outputs and outcomes of successful management – identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of heritage of Outstanding Universal Value – has been there from the outset. Over the years, achieving these ends has become more complex because of the increasing pressures of the modern world and also because of the widening range of what can be inscribed on the World Heritage List, for example, rural cultural landscapes.
These new challenges, along with other factors, have led to some pressing needs, including:
• establishing common ground for defining, assessing and improving management systems and, in turn, favouring exchange of good practice and the evolution of improved approaches to management;
• delivering practical guidance and tools for everyday management practice that recognize the increased number of parties involved and objectives to be achieved;
• increasing awareness of the diversity of the management problems faced by States Parties but also their common ground, so promoting wider cooperation to overcome them.
It is in this light that the Resource Manual for Managing Cultural World Heritage has been produced to help States Parties to manage and conserve their heritage effectively and protect values, in particular the Outstanding Universal Value (hereafter ‘OUV’) of their World Heritage cultural properties. In this regard, the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention (hereafter ‘OG’) declare that each World Heritage property ‘must have an adequate protection and management system to ensure its safeguarding’ (OG para 78). The OG go on to say that ‘The purpose of a management system is to ensure the effective protection of the nominated property for present and future generations’ and that ‘an effective management system depends on the type, characteristics and needs of the nominated property and its cultural and natural context’ (OG paras 109, 110). This manual places particular emphasis on understanding management systems and on ways to improve them for effectively managing cultural properties.
The manual provides guidance for States Parties and all those involved in the care of World Heritage cultural properties on how to comply with the requirements of the Convention. It also aims to help States Parties to ensure that heritage has a dynamic role in society and harnesses, but also delivers to others, the mutual benefits that such a role can create.
This Manual deals only with the management of cultural heritage sites. Natural World Heritage properties have many similar issues but they also have different problems. IUCN has produced a companion Resource Manual on the management of natural properties.
Who is the Resource Manual for?
This manual is intended as a tool for capacity-building for the effective management of heritage, and for World Heritage properties in particular. It is designed to help all practitioners:
• to strengthen the knowledge, abilities, skills and behaviour of people with direct responsibilities for heritage conservation and management;
• to improve institutional structures and processes through empowering decision-makers and policy-makers; and
• to introduce a dynamic relationship between heritage and its context that will lead to greater reciprocal benefits through an inclusive approach, such that outputs and outcomes follow on a sustainable basis.
The manual is designed to benefit all those individuals involved in decision-making for the care and management of World Heritage cultural sites on behalf of States Parties, those to whom they are responsible (policy-makers and administrators), and those with whom they are or might be working in future.
These individuals represent the three broad areas where management capacities reside, as defined by the World Heritage Strategy for Capacity Building:2
• Practitioners (including individuals and groups who directly intervene in the conservation and management of heritage properties).
• Institutions (including State Party heritage organizations at both federal and national levels, NGOs, the World Heritage Committee, Advisory Bodies and others institutions which have a responsibility for enabling improved management and conservation).
• Communities and networks (including local communities owning or living on or near properties as well as larger networks with an interest in improving the management of cultural heritage).3
Whether through self-guided learning or as part of structured capacity-building initiatives, the manual is intended to:
• provide strategic and day-to-day guidance, and
• build on existing capacities or create new strengths – whether of practitioners, institutions or communities and networks,
In both cases it is through people that positive changes to managing heritage can be achieved (see Part 3.8).
The circumstances in which each management system operates vary extensively and the relative isolation of many heritage practitioners prevents them from accessing the experience of others to inform their own actions. We hope the manual will help to overcome these difficulties.
How is the Resource Manual organized?
The main text of the Resource Manual explains what is involved in management for World Heritage, its context, its philosophies and its mechanisms. A set of appendices then offers guidance on how to put them into practice. The main text is divided into four parts:
This section, Part 1, provides an introduction to the manual and a list of references to publications and documents that are relevant to managing World Heritage.
Part 2 provides the context in which the management of cultural heritage is practised. It summarizes the currently evolving thinking about conservation and management of sites, placing emphasis on an integrated approach. It stresses the need to place heritage concerns in a broad framework, to link heritage and sustainable development and to consider a values-led approach as a useful tool for World Heritage management.
Part 3 describes the particular context for managing World Heritage properties and highlights how World Heritage resources and processes can reinforce management approaches. There are frequent references to the UNESCO Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which aim to facilitate the implementation of the Convention. These are revised periodically; references in this manual are to the 2012 edition. Part 3 also outlines the importance of capacity-building for managing change to management systems and to properties.
Part 4 is the core of the manual and provides a common framework for understanding, documenting and reviewing heritage management systems. This should prove helpful when complying with the requirements of the World Heritage system, or for a general assessment of how effective a given management system is for a cultural property, perhaps when developing or updating a management plan.
The concluding section (4.5) proposes a framework for documenting and assessing a management system – this can be usefully linked to section 5 of the World Heritage property nomination format (OG Annex 5). The ‘how-to’ guidance is delivered in the following appendices:
Appendix A uses management planning as a framework for property-based management practice. Management planning is perhaps the only tool that addresses the whole management system. Its practical application therefore offers guidance which will be of interest even to those involved in properties where management planning is not being used.
Appendix B introduces the Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit developed by IUCN.


See Manual