Statement to the World Heritage Committee
On 29 June 2015, Permanent Forum member Oliver Loode made a statement under the agenda item “Sustainable Development” at the thirty-ninth session of the World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany. In the statement, he noted that the Permanent Forum welcomes the proposed new policy for integrating a sustainable development perspective into the World Heritage convention. He added that the proposed policy correctly notes that that respecting rights and fully involving indigenous peoples, in line with international standards such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is at the heart of sustainable development. However, the effectiveness of the proposed policy will depend on the introduction of specific operational procedures that not only encourage but require State Parties to respect international standards. Mr. Loode noted that the proposed policy should first, ensure respect for the rights of indigenous peoples under international law; second, ensure that indigenous peoples are fully and effectively involved in the nomination of sites; and third, ensure that the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples is obtained before sites on their lands are inscribed on the World Heritage list.