Assistance provided to States Parties by ICOMOS

Apart from its responsibilities as to the evaluation and monitoring of World Heritage cultural sites, ICOMOS offers its services to States Parties that encounter difficulties in meeting the requirements of the World Heritage Convention. It can intervene at various stages of the inscription process of a site, namely:

Beforehand: ICOMOS can advise a State Party for a site that has not yet been nominated. At this stage, it can undertake a feasibility study to ascertain whether the property could be a sound future nomination, provide advice on the logic behind the site's boundaries or on the methodology used for the comparative analysis part of the nomination dossier, etc. In no case can ICOMOS participate in the drafting of the actual dossier. Its role is simply to guide the work of the State Party in the right direction. In this regard, ICOMOS encourages States Parties to organize and improve their Tentative List before preparing nomination dossiers. This preliminary work, which ICOMOS can also help with, enables the identification of the most promising properties in the country and the optimization of time and financial resources by concentrating from the outset on the sites most likely to get inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Afterwards: ICOMOS can provide assistance to a State Party that is experiencing specific problems in relation to a site already inscribed on the World Heritage List. For instance, it can give technical advice on issues such as the building of a new development project, the updating of the management plan, the restoration of a monument, etc.

The assistance provided by ICOMOS can take different forms: it generally involves a substantial desk review, an on-site mission and direct discussions with the concerned State Party. After these exchanges, ICOMOS produces a final report to be delivered to the State Party, a copy of which is also sent to the World Heritage Centre. Unlike evaluation and monitoring activities, this service is not automatically funded by the World Heritage Fund. The State Party may, however, submit a request for international financial assistance to the World Heritage Centre.