As an Advisory Body to the World Heritage Convention, ICCROM leverages knowledge gained within the World Heritage system to help its Member States improve conservation and management of World Heritage properties and a wider range of sites. ICCROM’s role in World Heritage helps it better understand conservation needs, while the related capacity building work gives ICCROM access to information on training needs, valid within the World Heritage context and beyond.
ICCROM is one of three Advisory Bodies named in the World Heritage Convention, the other two being ICOMOS and IUCN. While ICCROM and ICOMOS advise on cultural heritage, IUCN advises on natural heritage. All three work with mixed properties inscribed on the World Heritage List for both cultural and natural criteria. ICCROM also has a specific capacity building role within the framework of the Convention.
The 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, more commonly known as the World Heritage Convention, is the most widely recognized UNESCO normative instrument for cultural heritage, with 193 State Parties out of the 195 UNESCO Member States being signatories. All ICCROM Member States are State Parties to the Convention as well.
The main objective of the Convention is to protect heritage sites of Outstanding Universal Value, which also serve as flagships for conservation worldwide. The wealth of knowledge developed within the World Heritage context is often shared to assist the conservation of a broader range of sites. Although the Convention is site-based, World Heritage properties are almost always complex places that combine global, regional, national and local values. The Convention is also one of the few international instruments linking together the protection of cultural and natural heritage, providing a platform to develop integrated approaches.
ICCROM’s World Heritage activities are carried out in close collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Secretariat of the Convention. More information on ICCROM’s role in the convention can be found in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention in paragraphs 32 and 33.