Outstanding Universal Value
Two of the most frequently asked questions from local residents are ‘Why did the Derwent Valley Mills qualify?’ and ‘What parts of the World Heritage Site are the areas UNESCO want to protect?’ Now those questions can be answered clearly in a short document known as a ‘Statement of Outstanding Universal Value’ (SOUV).
The Statement of OUV now lies at the core of any inscription and management plan for World Heritage Sites. It is incorporated within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site’s management plan.
In December 2008, a process began to create conformity of style for the SOUVs for each of the UK World Heritage Sites, whilst keeping precisely to the reasons for inscription. Following the terminology of Para 155 of the Operational Guidelines, effectively Statements of Outstanding Universal Value fall into two parts:
- the Committee’s determination of OUV, identifying the criteria under which the property was inscribed.
- assessments of the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity, and of the requirements for protection and management in force.
The first part is based on evidence of the Committee’s assessment of OUV at the time of inscription – this came from the Committee’s actual decision and the Advisory Body evaluation. As far as possible the actual language of those texts has been used.
The Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for the Derwent Valley Mills was submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and endorsed in July 2010.