Monitoring the state of conservation
Reactive monitoring and SOC reports
ICOMOS is actively involved in the reactive monitoring process set up by the World Heritage Committee to ensure an effective protection and conservation of sites. In this regard, it continuously collects and analyzes information regarding the state of conservation of World Heritage properties and the dangers likely to have an impact on their Outstanding Universal Value. This information comes from various sources: reports submitted by States Parties, data provided by third-party organizations or individuals, press articles, etc. All the information is gathered in state of conservation reports (SOC), jointly prepared by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies once a year. These SOC reports are then presented in the form of a working document to the World Heritage Committee, which then makes requests to States Parties concerning the necessary measures to be taken to safeguard the sites.
Reactive monitoring missions and practical tools
Upon receipt of a SOC report, the Committee may appeal to ICOMOS for a reactive monitoring mission. Experts are then sent on site to assess the threats to the property’s outstanding universal value and to identify concrete actions to improve its state of conservation. These missions, paid for by the World Heritage Fund, may be carried out conjointly with the World Heritage Centre, IUCN or ICCROM. They lead to the preparation of a mission report, which is revised by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies before being transmitted to the State Party.
To help States Parties deal with threats to World Heritage properties, such as urban development, natural disasters, armed conflicts or mass tourism, ICOMOS also produces studies and practical tools: