The obligations of a World Heritage Site

When a site is inscribed on the World Heritage List, the State Party becomes obliged to protect and preserve the site for the long term, and to pass it on through future generations.

Following the inscription of a site, the state must report every six years on the site’s condition (monitoring). This allows UNESCO to ascertain whether the criteria for World Heritage status are still being fulfilled. There are no other legal obligations. All building and planning measures in the World Heritage area are subject only to national monument preservation, building and planning laws. Existing civil law and possessions are not affected. UNESCO has to be informed beforehand and, if appropriate, asked for permission in the case of large changes that could affect the World Heritage Site as a whole. There are plenty of examples (e.g. the Ozeaneum aquarium in Stralsund or the Koblenz Cable Car over the Rhine) that show that modern urbanisation, infrastructural and tourist developments are possible within a World Heritage Site.

All of the component parts selected for the Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří World Heritage project are already covered by monument or natural preservation measures. The implementation studies ensured optimum preparation for the selection of component parts with regards to local and regional economic and infrastructural measures, as they were created in close cooperation with the local authorities and property owners and checked by the regional planning organisations. To ensure sustainable further development of the Mining Cultural Landscape Erzgebirge/ Krušnohoří, appropriate management structures were created at both international and regional levels.