To underline the importance of adequate heritage management, in 2002, during its 26th session, the World Heritage Committee adopted the “Budapest Declaration” inviting all partners to support the safeguarding of World Heritage through fundamental strategic objectives, trying to ensure a fair balance between conservation, sustainability and development, so that World Heritage properties can be protected through adequate activities that contribute to the socio-economic development and quality of life of the communities; through communication, education, research, training and awareness strategies; seeking the active involvement of local authorities, at all levels, in the identification, protection and management of World Heritage properties.
Each request for inscription on the World Heritage List must therefore be accompanied by a Management Plan which describes how the exceptional value of the site will be protected. The primary objective of the Management Plan is to ensure effective protection of the property, to guarantee its transmission to future generations. For this reason, the Management Plan must take into account the typological differences, the features and needs of the site, as well as the cultural and/or natural context in which it is located. It can also implement existing planning systems and/or other traditional ways of organising and managing the territory. In the case of serial and/or transnational sites, the Management Plan must guarantee coordination in the management of the various components of the site.
A useful tool for the preparation of the Management Plan is the Operational Manual for the management of World Heritage sites, in the two versions concerning cultural and natural heritage.
At national level, Law n. 77 of 20 February 2006,”Special measures for the protection and use of Italian sites of cultural, landscape and environmental interest, included in the ‘World Heritage List’, placed under the protection of UNESCO” introduces the Management Plans for Italian sites already inscribed on the List, in order to ensure their conservation and create the conditions for their enhancement; the law provides for the approval of management plans and support measures, including for their preparation.