GHF Project Selection Criteria - GHF specialists discuss conservation techniques with local experts and students in Pingyao, China.


GHF Project Selection Criteria

GHF specialists discuss conservation techniques with local experts and students in Pingyao, China.



Global Heritage Fund’s mission is to protect, preserve and sustain the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world through its 360-degree Preservation by Design® methodology combining planning, conservation science, community development and partnerships.

GHF seeks visionary projects that are models for sustainable development, add value to communities, and leverage significant funding from others.  Projects should be assessed in terms of risks as well as opportunities for success.


1. World Heritage Status
The project must involve or be associated with a site inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site; or on the States Party tentative list.  In some cases, an independent analysis demonstrating that the site is likely to meet World Heritage criteria may be acceptable.

2. Highly Endangered
The site must be “at risk” or “in danger” but have the potential for adequate protection and management.

3. Developing Countries
The project must be located within a developing country based on international standards or definitions such as those used by World Bank.  Projects that address underdeveloped regions within otherwise more developed countries may be considered.

4. Preservation By Design®
Each Project must fulfill all four Preservation by Design components.  Each project should demonstrate potential to be a model for the region, country or world. 

The project must have a comprehensive plan that includes the following:  master conservation plan; site management; interpretive program; tourism management; training; impact assessment; community development; and integration into existing regional plans.  The project must have a site manager.

Conservation Science:
The project must employ modern conservation science standards in identification, registration and treatment of all aspects of a project’s cultural heritage and intangible heritage where applicable.  Contemporary ethical standards in the field will be employed.

Community Development:
The project must have the potential for sustained preservation through an associated community.  There should be good, managed site access to the site, and community development will be a central goal. 

All applications should address how the project will meet this goal.  Job training, conservation training, sustainable tourism development, community economic development, local infrastructure development, educational program implementation and templates for the supportive transference of intangible cultural heritage are examples of community development.

Local partners will ensure the long-term stewardship and sustainability of the project.  The project must have local co-funders and NGOs in place providing at least 50% of direct project funding.  GHF financial commitments will be contingent on co-funding. 

5. Project Management
The project shall have concrete goals and a definitive timeline, and shall deploy appropriate professional and skilled expertise in an efficient manner.

6. Project Leadership
The key to a successful project is a strong Project Director who can coordinate the various scientific, economic and political aspects of a site project.

Open-ended projects will not be considered.  All projects shall be structured in partnership with local, regional and national planning and cultural agencies.