Online consultation survey concerning a voluntary annual fee by the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List 2018

Deadline for completing the survey: 6 April 2018


At its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), the World Heritage Committee decided “to initiate a consultation process on a possible annual fee for World Heritage listed properties on a voluntary basis by requesting the Secretariat to send out a survey to States Parties, in order to verify from their local administrations in charge of management of inscribed sites of the possibility of paying an annual fee to the [World Heritage] Fund, depending on their financial autonomy and capacity to pay and report back to the Committee” (Decision 40 COM 15).

The consultation was launched online on the World Heritage Center website in English and French (, on 31 January 2017. The consultation period lasted 4 months in total (31 January to 29 May 2017).

The results of the online survey, conducted by the World Heritage Center, were presented to the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (2017, Krakow), in Document WHC/17/41.COM/INF. 14.I. In addition to a brief analysis of the results of the survey, this document contains in annex the list of replies given by States Parties to the question of the possibility for World Heritage properties to pay or not a voluntary annual fee. All replies to the survey are also available at Out of 193 States Parties to the Convention, 63 responded online to all survey questions, representing 32.7% of all States Parties. The total number of World Heritage properties belonging to State Parties that participated in the survey is 505, representing 45.4% of all World Heritage properties.

One of the reasons given for the low level of survey responses by States Parties was the lack of time to conduct the consultations. Consequently, the World Heritage Committee, at its 41 session (Decision 41 COM 14 (paragraph 31)), invited “the States Parties to continue consultations with their local administrations in charge of World Heritage properties and inform the Secretariat accordingly.”

State Parties, which did not respond to the first online survey launched in January 2017, are thus invited to continue consultations with their local administrations in charge of the management of World Heritage properties.


The World Heritage Fund was established in 1977 under Article 15 of the World Heritage Convention. Its main resources consist of assessed contributions paid by the States Parties to the Convention, calculated on the basis of 1% of their contribution to the budget of UNESCO.

The number of States Parties to the Convention being almost at the possible maximum, the resources of the World Heritage Fund can no longer increase on the basis of the States Parties’ contributions, whereas the number of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List grows every year. In this context, the ability of the World Heritage Fund to provide for its main purpose, i.e. the conservation of sites, is at stake.

Consultation with States Parties

It is understood that, while some World Heritage properties might not be in a position to respond positively, all States Parties are encouraged to conduct a consultation with the administrations in charge of their World Heritage properties and complete the online survey in order to allow the Secretariat to report back to the Committee. This will allow the Secretariat to provide a thorough picture of the possibilities for strengthening the World Heritage Fund.

It is up to the States Parties to choose the form of consultation with their local administrations in charge of the site management of World Heritage properties in their countries: written consultations, individual meetings, email communication, meetings of all site managers etc. It is also up to them to decide on what basis the annual fee will be calculated: it could be a lump sum, a percentage of entrance fees, or any other calculation, which the States Parties may consider appropriate.

Furthermore, while the survey does not suggest a set amount for the voluntary annual fee, you are invited, in order to facilitate the analysis, to select an approximate average value of the annual fee from a range of values (see question 2).

For serial transnational properties, you can provide a reply to the online survey concerning only the component(s) situated in your State Party.