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What is Heritage Sites

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations.

Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage.

What makes the World Heritage concept exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.


A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (like forest, mountains, lake, desert, monuments, building complex, city etc) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the International World Heritage Programme being administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committe composed of 21 State Parties (countrie) that are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a fixed term and same as that of the United Nation Security Council.

The program aims to catalogue, name and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditiond listed sites can also obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning The Protection Of The World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 184 (as of July 2007) State Provinces have ratified the Convention. As of 2007, a total of about

851 states are listed 660 cultural, 166 natural and 25 mixed properties in 142 State Parties. UNESCO, reference each World Heritage Site with a unique identification number, but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part part of larger descriptions. As a result, the system of numbering currently ends above 1200, even though there are fewer on the actual list.

Each World Heritage Site is the property of the country, on whose territory the site is located, but considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site for future generations of humanity. The protection and conservation of these sites are a concern of all the World Heritage Countries.

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