Many World Heritage sites face elements of change and threats from development proposals that can negatively impact their values. Before decisions are made about proposed developments, it is essential to identify, evaluate, avoid, assess alternatives, and mitigate the potential environmental, social and heritage impacts.
This module addresses the capacity needs for the efficient use of impact assessment tools to provide support to State Parties and other actors in areas of legal assistance, consultation and community participation.
A crucial focus of this module is to support the integration of World Heritage sites into impact assessment methodologies and standards at an international level, while in the shorter term bringing together advice on culture and nature within the World Heritage Convention.
The programme aims to produce a holistic toolkit to address World Heritage conservation issues in impact assessment and implement capacity building activities to raise awareness among diverse audiences of the relationship between development threats and World Heritage.
Impact Assessment Guidance
To address the current gaps and challenges that World Heritage sites face in relation to impact assessment processes, we are developing a new joint guidance document in collaboration with ICOMOS, IUCN, and UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
The guidance document will ensure that impact assessment processes give due consideration to the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties and support State Parties in meeting their obligations under the convention, both in principle and practice. The document will result in the development of an impact assessment toolkit for World Heritage properties, using a framework that can be applied to both natural and cultural settings.
The guidance document takes an integrated approach, following current best practice in impact assessment methodologies. It incorporates and replaces both the ICOMOS Guidance on Impact Assessment for Cultural World Heritage Properties and the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note: Environmental Assessment & World Heritage.
Currently the latest draft is undergoing a broad review process by all the partners involved, with the final draft scheduled to be presented to the World Heritage Committee in July 2021.
Impact Assessment Course
In recent years, many World Heritage sites have been faced with increasing opportunities, as well as challenges, from local development. In response to the World Heritage Committee’s call for capacity building in this area, ICCROM conducts, and cooperates with other institutions and actors in organizing, international training courses and workshops on heritage impact assessment.
Through systematic analysis and study of the factors (real and potential) that may influence a World Heritage site, this training aims to improve the practical skills of professionals, and offers valuable and pragmatic suggestions to aid decision-making processes.
As part of its mandate to build the capacities of State Parties to the World Heritage Convention, WHITRAP, together with ICCROM, has to date organized five training courses on impact assessments.
This fifth course was also linked to the WHL programme to expand its focus on all forms of impact assessments - strategic environmental assessment (SEA), environmental impact assessment (EIA), heritage impact assessment (HIA) - and promote the benefits of linking nature and culture when managing heritage.
The WHL programme provided a partial scholarship to the WHITRAP course to ensure the attendance of four international participants, and helped coordinate and streamline the content of the course.
The course highlighted the full potential of the impact assessment methodology, which can be applied to all areas of heritage management and monitoring.
- Impact Assessment WHITR-AP Course 2016
- Impact Assessment WHITR-AP Course 2018
- Impact Assessment WHITR-AP Course 2021
On demand national and regional workshops for impact assessment
In the past few years, ICCROM has organised upon request several impact assessment courses and workshops at the national and regional level.
These courses provide State Parties with insights into the reality of working on the ground, helping to ensure that impact assessment guidelines are relevant to practitioners in the field and address their needs.
- Regional Workshop on Heritage Impact Assessment Kotor, Montenegro
- Workshop on Impact Assessment for Heritage in the Republic of Korea