Statements of outstanding universal value (SOUV) are written for all World Heritage Sites (WHS) and are key references for their effective protection and management. From time to time the SOUV may be reviewed and amended in line with World Heritage Organisation guidance.
Draft SOUVs are written for sites which are considered suitable candidates to be listed as WHS.
SOUVs are made up of several elements - brief description, statement of significance, statement of authenticity, statement of integrity and a section describing how the WHS is protected and managed. SOUVs are approved by the World Heritage Committee after an 18 month evaluation period. The main objective should be the protection of each WHS through conservation and preservation of its outstanding universal value.