In recent years, an increased number of World Heritage sites have been facing pressures from various forms of development – for example, housing projects, commercial buildings and infrastructures – and other significant changes that can affect their Outstanding Universal Value. The World Heritage Committee has noted the impacts of these factors in many State of Conservation Reports and has been requesting impact assessments to inform decision-making for years.
Impact assessments can provide States Parties and managing institutions with the necessary tools to evaluate the risks and threats that new projects may pose to the Outstanding Universal Value and other values of World Heritage sites, as well as with the tools to find appropriate mitigation measures.
This course focuses on building capacities for the preparation, implementation and review of impact assessments – both Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), as well as Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) – with a focus on World Heritage values and attributes, and for compliance with World Heritage Committee decisions on State of Conservations and with the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention.
The course will also offer the chance to analyze existing and foreseeable challenges and factors affecting heritage places with specific regard to impact assessments in the context of World Heritage properties and other sites on the tentative list.
As a key knowledge module of the World Heritage Leadership Programme, the course provides essential guidance for the commissioning, conducting and review of impact assessments following the methodology proposed in the 2022 Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context.