Heritage Alert

Po?itelj, Bosnia-Herzegovina © Gregor GrešakThe Heritage Alert process uses ICOMOS’ professional and public networks to promote the conservation of cultural heritage and draw attention to the threats which it confronts and to promote good conservation solutions.

ICOMOS recognizes that publicizing and defining such matters requires a high degree of responsibility. The assessment of situations leading to a Heritage Alert being issued by ICOMOS will therefore be pursued with ethical rigor and accuracy. ICOMOS is by its nature multi-disciplinary, with expert members worldwide.

The Heritage Alert objectives


You wish to alert us?

To ensure the reputation and international credibility of the ICOMOS Heritage Alert response, a formal process has been established that will confirm that the heritage significance and threat is well understood before an ICOMOS Heritage Alert is issued.

Download the Heritage Alert template and send it once completed to the ICOMOS International Secretariat (secretariat[at]icomos.org)


Role of the ICOMOS National and International Scientific Committees

To handle requests for Heritage Alert actions, all ICOMOS National and Scientific Committees are encouraged to establish a small advocacy sub-Committee (annual rotation, renewable membership). These can for example consists of two Committee members, the Committee Secretary General and President (or nominee).

Heritage Alert Process

A five step process includes broad but fast consultation by the Advocacy sub-committee.

  1. Preliminary Assessment: When a proposal for an alert is received by the ICOMOS International Secretariat it is forwarded to the concerned National Committee and relevant International Scientific Committee(s). The Heritage Alert sub-committees of the National Committee or International Scientific Committee(s) provide initial confirmation that the case is of international or national significance. If so, the Advocacy sub-committee chair (or acting chair), forwards the Heritage Alert template to the proposer, and immediately invites comment and advice from the relevant National Committee of ICOMOS, if the request has been received by a Scientific committee or from the relevant ICOMOS Scientific Committee(s) if the request has been received by a National Committee. The ICOMOS Secretary General is advised of the issuing of a Heritage Alert template. Affiliated organizations may also be advised and invited to investigate or take action, such as joint support letters.
  2. Advocacy Sub-committee recommendation: The sub-committee Chair will receive the final template and associated documentation from the proposer. Additional or comparative material may be requested. The sub-committee will aim to assess and recommend on the Alert request by email within five business days whenever possible and recommend action to the National and/or Scientific Committee President whose decisions are final. The ICOMOS Secretary General and the relevant ICOMOS National Committee will be consulted regarding the proposed actions.
  3. ICOMOS National or Scientific Committee Action: The Committee Secretary General will prepare the necessary public documentation letters and media briefing material in consultation with the ICOMOS National Committee and the International Scientific Committee President, when applicable.
  4. ICOMOS Action: The ICOMOS Secretariat in Paris will facilitate the Heritage Alert being electronically forwarded to all ICOMOS members. The relevant National Committee and or ISC(s) will prepare any letters required, including the addresses, and they will be disseminated on ICOMOS letterhead by the ICOMOS Secretary General.
  5. Website Action: The Heritage Alert template and associated documentation will be uploaded on the relevant National or International Committee web site by their Secretary General.


Assessing proposals for Heritage Alerts