4.3 Approaches to minimise wasted investment
All those involved are concerned to minimise potentially wasted investment in applications which may never succeed. To go forward as a nomination, a site needs to demonstrate both the integral qualities required, and the appropriate management arrangements.
All three pillars of Outstanding Universal Value must be in place. These are: meeting the Criteria; Integrity and (for Cultural Sites) Authenticity; and Protection and Management. Management arrangements can sometimes be changed and improved. Although knowledge and understanding can be improved by additional research, even the most extensive research can only demonstrate meeting of criteria, and integrity (and authenticity) where these do actually exist. These aspects will therefore receive particular attention in the Technical Evaluation process. It is therefore highly beneficial to establish the existence or otherwise of these crucial elements, against a backdrop of comparative analysis, at an early stage. National heritage agencies should ensure that advice on OUV given to Tentative List sites during the preparation process is clear and consistent with current UNESCO Operational Guidelines. There is no purpose in sites which cannot make a robust case continuing to pursue nomination.
Further, it is premature and potentially wasteful to invest in detailed preparation, high quality visual design and presentation until there is some confidence that the case can be made. The key to this lies in promoting an iterative approach, starting with seminars where the process is explained to Tentative List sites, and continuing with dialogue and workshops involving national agencies and advisory bodies.
Tentative List sites should be encouraged to seek feedback as their submissions develop. They should also consider coming to the Panel with an early draft for advice and comment rather than waiting until they feel ready to seek nomination.
In this context, it is important to remember the definition of Outstanding Universal Value, which comprises meeting one or more of the criteria for Inscription, having sufficient Authenticity (for cultural sites) and Integrity, and demonstrating that effective Protection and Management arrangements are in place.