HOME

TheInfoList




A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
. World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain "
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms within the same species, and encompasses any behavior in which one member affects the other. This is due to an int ...
and
natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and ...

natural
heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to
humanity Humanity most commonly refers to: * Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language a ...

humanity
". To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be a somehow unique landmark which is geographically and historically identifiable and has special cultural or physical significance. For example, World Heritage Sites might be ancient ruins or historical structures, buildings, cities, deserts, forests, islands, lakes, monuments, mountains, or wilderness areas. A World Heritage Site may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet, or it might be a place of great natural beauty. As of July 2021, a total of 1,154 World Heritage Sites (897 cultural, 218 natural, and 39 mixed properties) exist across 167 countries. With 58 selected areas,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...
is the country with the most sites on the list. The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored, uncontrolled or unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones. The World Heritage Sites list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO
World Heritage Committee The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a Lis ...
, composed of 21 "states parties" that are elected by their General Assembly. The programme catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common culture and heritage of humanity. The programme began with the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage", which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 193 states parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most widely recognised international agreements and the world's most popular cultural programme.


History


Origin

In 1954, the government of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
decided to build the new
Aswan High Dam The Aswan Dam, or more specifically since the 1960s, the Aswan High Dam, is the world's largest embankment dam An embankment dam is a large artificial dam. It is typically created by the placement and compaction Compaction may refer to: * So ...

Aswan High Dam
, whose resulting future reservoir would eventually a large stretch of the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
valley containing cultural treasures of
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
and ancient
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

Nubia
. In 1959, the governments of Egypt and
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A ...

Sudan
requested UNESCO to assist them to protect and rescue the endangered monuments and sites. In 1960, the Director-General of UNESCO launched the International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia. This appeal resulted in the excavation and recording of hundreds of sites, the recovery of thousands of objects, as well as the salvage and relocation to higher ground of several important temples. The most famous of these are the temple complexes of
Abu Simbel Abu Simbel (also Abu Simbal, Ebsambul or Isambul; ar, أبو سنبل, Abū Sinbal or ar, أبو سمبل, Abū Simbal) is a village in the Egyptian part of Nubia, about southwest of Aswan and near the Egypt–Sudan border, border ...

Abu Simbel
and
Philae ; ar, فيلة; cop, ⲡⲓⲗⲁⲕ , alternate_name = , image = The-Temple-of-Philae-on-Agilika-Island.jpg , alt = , caption = The temple of Isis Isis (; ''Ēse''; ''Isis''; Meroitic language, Meroitic: ''Wos'' ...

Philae
. The campaign ended in 1980 and was considered a success. To thank countries which especially contributed to the campaign's success, Egypt donated four temples; the
Temple of Dendur The Temple of Dendur (Dendoor in nineteenth-century sources) is an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the plac ...
was moved to the
Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the Western Hemisphere. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building ...

Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York City, the
Temple of Debod A temple (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...

Temple of Debod
to the
Parque del Oeste 200px, Monument of José de San Martín, by French sculptor Louis-Joseph Daumas. The Parque del Oeste (in English: ''Western Park'') is a park of the city of Madrid (Spain) situated between the Autovía A-6, the Ciudad Universitaria de Madrid an ...

Parque del Oeste
in Madrid, the
Temple of Taffeh The Temple of Taffeh ( ar, معبد طافا) is an ancient Egyptian temple which was presented to the Netherlands for its help in contributing to the historical preservation of Egyptian antiquities in the 1960s. The temple was built of sandstone ...
to the
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden Ornamental disc ( fibula) made of gilded silver. Made in Thracia around 100 BC, it was found in Limburg (Netherlands)">Limburg in 1850. The (English language, English: National Museum of Antiquities) is the national archaeology, archaeological ...

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
in Leiden, and the
Temple of Ellesyia The Temple of Ellesyia is an ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and ...
to
Museo Egizio The Museo Egizio (Italian language, Italian for Egyptian Museum) is an archaeological museum in Turin, Piedmont, Italy, specializing in Art of Ancient Egypt, Egyptian archaeology and anthropology. It houses List of museums of Egyptian antiquitie ...
in Turin. The project cost US$80 million (equivalent to $ million in ), about $40 million of which was collected from 50 countries. The project's success led to other safeguarding campaigns, such as saving
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of
Mohenjo-daro Mohenjo-daro (; sd, موئن جو دڙو'', ''meaning 'Mound of the Dead Men';
in Pakistan, and the
Borobodur Borobudur, also transcribed Barabudur ( id, Candi Borobudur, jv, ꦕꦤ꧀ꦝꦶꦧꦫꦧꦸꦝꦸꦂ, Candhi Barabudhur) is a 7th-century Mahayana Buddhism, Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, not far from the town of Muntilan, in Central Java, ...
Temple Compounds in Indonesia. Together with the
International Council on Monuments and Sites The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS; french: links=no, Conseil international des monuments et des sites) is a professional association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world ...
, UNESCO then initiated a draft convention to protect cultural heritage.


Convention and background

The convention (the signed document of
international agreement A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...

international agreement
) guiding the work of the
World Heritage Committee The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a Lis ...
was developed over a seven-year period (1965–1972). The United States initiated the idea of safeguarding places of high cultural or natural importance. A
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...

White House
conference in 1965 called for a "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry". The
International Union for Conservation of Nature The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institut ...
developed similar proposals in 1968, which were presented in 1972 to the
United Nations Conference on the Human Environment United may refer to: Places * United, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated community * United, West Virginia, an unincorporated community Arts and entertainment Films * United (2003 film), ''United'' (2003 film), a Norwegian film * United (2011 film), ...
in
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
. Under the World Heritage Committee, signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic
data reportingData reporting is the process of collecting and submitting data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence ...
providing the committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a 'snapshot' of current conditions at World Heritage properties. Based on the draft convention that UNESCO had initiated, a single text was eventually agreed upon by all parties, and the "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. The Convention came into force on 17 December 1975. As of June 2020, it has been ratified by 193 states parties: 189
UN member states The United Nations member states are the sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as h ...

UN member states
, 2 UN observer states (the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
and the
State of Palestine Palestine ( ar, فلسطين, Filasṭīn), officially the State of Palestine ( ar, دولة فلسطين, Dawlat Filasṭīn) is a ''de jure'' sovereign state in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmos ...
) and 2 states in free association with
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
(the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua , coordinates = , largest_city = Avarua , official_languages = , languages_type = Spoken languages , languages = , ethn ...
and
Niue Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people wh ...

Niue
). Only four UN member states have not ratified the convention:
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein ( ; ), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German-speaking The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europ ...

Liechtenstein
,
Nauru Nauru ( or ; na, Naoero), officially the Republic of Nauru ( na, Repubrikin Naoero) and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Nauru
,
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
and
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
.


Objectives and positive results

By assigning places as World Heritage Sites, UNESCO wants to help to pass them on to future generations. Its motivation is that “ ritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today” and that both cultural and natural heritage are “irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration”. UNESCO's mission with respect to World Heritage consists of eight sub targets. These include encouraging the commitment of countries and local population to World Heritage conservation in various ways, providing emergency assistance for sites in danger, offering technical assistance and professional training, and supporting States Parties' public awareness-building activities. Being listed as a World Heritage Site can positively affect the site, its environment, and interactions between them. A listed site gains international recognition and legal protection, and can obtain funds from among others the World Heritage Fund to facilitate its conservation under certain conditions. UNESCO reckons the restorations of the following four sites among its success stories:
Angkor Angkor ( km, អង្គរ , ''capital city''), also known as Yasodharapura ( km, យសោធរបុរៈ; )Headly, Robert K.; Chhor, Kylin; Lim, Lam Kheng; Kheang, Lim Hak; Chun, Chen. 1977. ''Cambodian-English Dictionary''. Bureau of ...

Angkor
in Cambodia, the Old City of
Dubrovnik Dubrovnik (), historically known as Ragusa (#Names, see notes on naming), is a city on the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a Port, seaport and the centre of Dubrovn ...

Dubrovnik
in Croatia, the
Wieliczka Salt Mine The Wieliczka Salt Mine ( pl, Kopalnia soli Wieliczka), in the town of Wieliczka, southern Poland, lies within the Kraków metropolitan area. From Neolithic times, sodium chloride (table salt) was produced there from the upwelling brine. The Wiel ...

Wieliczka Salt Mine
near Kraków in Poland, and the
Ngorongoro Conservation Area The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (, ) is a protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protecte ...
in Tanzania. Additionally, the local population around a site may benefit from significantly increased tourism revenue. When there are significant interactions between people and the natural environment, these can be recognised as "cultural landscapes".


Nomination process

A country must first list its significant cultural and natural sites into a document known as the Tentative List. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File, which is evaluated by the
International Council on Monuments and Sites The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS; french: links=no, Conseil international des monuments et des sites) is a professional association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world ...
and the
World Conservation Union The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institut ...
. A country may not nominate sites that have not been first included on its Tentative List. These bodies then make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee. The Committee meets once a year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List; sometimes it defers its decision or requests more information from the country which nominated the site. There are ten selection criteria – a site must meet at least one to be included on the list.


Selection criteria

Up to 2004, there were six criteria for cultural heritage and four for natural heritage. In 2005, this was modified so that now there is only one set of ten criteria. Nominated sites must be of "outstanding universal value" and meet at least one of the ten criteria. These criteria have been modified or amended several times since their creation.


Cultural

  1. "To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius"
  2. "To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design"
  3. "To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared"
  4. "To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history"
  5. "To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change"
  6. "To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance"


Natural

  1. "to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance"
  2. "to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features"
  3. "to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals"
  4. "to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation"


Extensions and other modifications

A country may request to extend or reduce the boundaries, modify the official name, or change the selection criteria of one of its already listed sites. Any proposal for a significant boundary change or to modify the site's selection criteria must be submitted as if it were a new nomination, including first placing it on the Tentative List and then onto the Nomination File. A request for a minor boundary change, one that does not have a significant impact on the extent of the property or affect its "outstanding universal value", is also evaluated by the advisory bodies before being sent to the committee. Such proposals can be rejected by either the advisory bodies or the Committee if they judge it to be a significant change instead of a minor one. Proposals to change a site's official name are sent directly to the committee.


Endangerment

A site may be added to the
List of World Heritage in Danger The List of World Heritage in Danger is compiled by the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relation ...
if conditions threaten the characteristics for which the landmark or area was inscribed on the World Heritage List. Such problems may involve armed conflict and war, natural disasters, pollution, poaching, or uncontrolled urbanisation or human development. This danger list is intended to increase international awareness of the threats and to encourage counteractive measures. Threats to a site can be either proven imminent threats or potential dangers that could have adverse effects on a site. The state of conservation for each site on the danger list is reviewed yearly; after this, the Committee may request additional measures, delete the property from the list if the threats have ceased or consider deletion from both the List of World Heritage in Danger and the World Heritage List. Only three sites have ever been
delisted In corporate finance Corporate finance is the area of finance that deals with sources of funding, the capital structure of corporations, the actions that managers take to increase the Value investing, value of the firm to the shareholders, and the ...
: the
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary in the Omani Central Desert and Coastal Hills. It contains rare fauna, including a free-ranging herd of Arabian oryx, the first since the species' extinction in the wild in 1972 and its subsequent ...

Arabian Oryx Sanctuary
in Oman, the
Dresden Elbe Valley The Dresden Elbe Valley is a cultural landscape Cultural landscape is a term used in the fields of geography, ecology, and heritage studies, to describe a symbiosis of human activity and environment. As defined by the World Heritage Committ ...
in Germany, and the
Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is a former UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency ...
in the United Kingdom. The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was directly delisted in 2007, instead of first being put on the danger list, after the Omani government decided to reduce the protected area's size by 90 per cent. The Dresden Elbe Valley was first placed on the danger list in 2006 when the World Heritage Committee decided that plans to construct the
Waldschlösschen Bridge The Waldschlösschen Bridge (german: Waldschlößchenbrücke or Waldschlösschenbrücke, links=no) is a road bridge across the Elbe , german: Elbe, Low German: ''Ilv'' or ''Elv'' , name_etymology = , image = Labe_udoli.jpg , ...
would significantly alter the valley's landscape. In response, Dresden City Council attempted to stop the bridge's construction. However, after several court decisions allowed the building of the bridge to proceed, the valley was removed from the World Heritage List in 2009.
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, tenth largest English district by population, and its ...

Liverpool
's World Heritage status was revoked in July 2021, following developments (
Liverpool Waters Liverpool Waters is a large scale £5.5bn development that has been proposed by the Peel Group Peel or Peeling may refer to: Places Australia * * , Queensland * * Canada * * , an unincorporated community in Peel Parish * , tributary ...
and
Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium is a proposed association football, football stadium for Everton F.C. on Bramley-Moore Dock in Vauxhall, Liverpool, Vauxhall, Liverpool, England. The stadium is due to open for the start of the 2024–25 Premier League s ...
) on the northern docks of the World Heritage site leading to the "irreversible loss of attributes" on the site. The first global assessment to quantitatively measure threats to Natural World Heritage Sites found that 63 per cent of sites have been damaged by increasing human pressures including encroaching roads, agriculture infrastructure and settlements over the last two decades. These activities endanger Natural World Heritage Sites and could compromise their unique values. Of the Natural World Heritage Sites that contain forest, 91 per cent experienced some loss since 2000. Many of them are more threatened than previously thought and require immediate conservation action. Furthermore, the destruction of cultural assets and identity-establishing sites is one of the primary goals of modern asymmetrical warfare. Therefore, terrorists, rebels and mercenary armies deliberately smash archaeological sites, sacred and secular monuments and loot libraries, archives and museums. The ,
United Nations peacekeeping#REDIRECT United Nations peacekeeping Peacekeeping by the United Nations is a role held by the Department of Peace Operations as "a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict to create t ...
and
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
in cooperation with
Blue Shield International The Blue Shield, formerly the International Committee of the Blue Shield, is an international organization founded in 1996 to protect the world's cultural heritage from threats such as armed conflict and natural disasters. Originally intended as ...
are active in preventing such acts. "No strike lists" are also created to protect cultural assets from air strikes. However, only through cooperation with the locals can the protection of World Heritage Sites, archaeological finds, exhibits and archaeological sites from destruction, looting and robbery be implemented
sustainably Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century in the '' Anno Domini'' era or Common Era, in accordance with ...
. The founding president of Blue Shield International
Karl von Habsburg Karl von Habsburg (given names: ''Karl Thomas Robert Maria Franziskus Georg Bahnam''; born 11 January 1961) is an Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no ...
summed it up with the words: “Without the local community and without the local participants, that would be completely impossible”.


Criticism

Despite the successes of World Heritage listing in promoting conservation, the UNESCO-administered project has attracted criticism. This was caused by perceived under-representation of heritage sites outside Europe, disputed decisions on site selection and adverse impact of mass tourism on sites unable to manage rapid growth in visitor numbers. A large has grown around the awards, because World Heritage listing can significantly increase tourism returns. Site listing bids are often lengthy and costly, putting poorer countries at a disadvantage. Eritrea's efforts to promote
Asmara Asmara ( ), or Asmera, (Tigrinya Tigrinya (ትግርኛ; also spelled Tigrigna) is a Semitic language spoken in Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is ...

Asmara
are one example. In 2016, the Australian government was reported to have successfully lobbied for the World Heritage Site
Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held tog ...

Great Barrier Reef
conservation efforts to be removed from a UNESCO report titled "World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate". The Australian government's actions, involving considerable expense for lobbying and visits for diplomats, were in response to their concern about the negative impact that an "at risk" label could have on tourism revenue at a previously designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2021, international scientists recommended UNESCO to put the Great Barrier Reef on the endangered list, as global
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
had caused a further negative state of the corals and water quality. Again, the Australian government campaigned against this, and in July 2021, the
World Heritage Committee The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a Lis ...
, made up diplomatic representatives of 21 countries, ignored UNESCO's assessment, based on studies of scientists, "that the reef was clearly in danger from climate change and so should be placed on the list." According to environmental protection groups, this "decision was a victory for cynical lobbying and that Australia, as custodians of the world’s biggest coral reef, was now on probation." Several listed locations, such as George Town in Penang,
Casco Viejo Image:Bilboko irudi historikoa.jpg, The seven parallel streets are visible in this picture from the 18th century. or in Spanish language, Spanish or or in Basque language, Basque are different names for the medieval neighbourhood of Bilbao, pa ...
in Panama and
Hội An Hội An (), formerly known as Fai-Fo or Faifoo, is a city with a population of approximately 120,000 in Vietnam's Quảng Nam Province and noted since 1999 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Town Hội An, the city's historic district, is rec ...
in Vietnam, have struggled to strike a balance between the economic benefits of catering to greatly increased visitor numbers after the recognition and preserving the original culture and local communities.


Statistics

The World Heritage Committee has divided the world into five geographic zones which it calls regions: Africa, Arab states, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Russia and the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
states are classified as European, while Mexico and the Caribbean are classified as belonging to the Latin America and Caribbean zone. The UNESCO geographic zones also give greater emphasis on administrative, rather than geographic associations. Hence,
Gough Island upright=1.3, Map of Gough island Gough Island (), also known historically as Gonçalo Álvares after the Portuguese explorer Portuguese discoveries (Portuguese language, Portuguese: ''Descobrimentos portugueses'') are the numerous territori ...
, located in the South Atlantic, is part of the Europe and North America region because the British government nominated the site. The table below includes a breakdown of the sites according to these zones and their classification : * The properties "Uvs Nuur Basin" and "Landscapes of Dauria" (Mongolia, Russian Federation) are trans-regional properties located in Europe and Asia and the Pacific region. They are counted here in the Asia and the Pacific region. * The property "The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement" (Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland) is a trans-regional property located in Europe, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean region. It is counted here in the Europe and North America.


Countries with 15 or more sites

Countries with 15 or more World Heritage Sites :
ImageSize = width:600 height:auto barincrement:15 PlotArea = top:10 bottom:30 right:50 left:20 AlignBars = early DateFormat = yyyy Period = from:0 till:60 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:0 Colors = id:canvas value:rgb(1,1,1) id:green value:green id:blue value:blue id:orange value:orange id:red value:rgb(0.95,0.1,0) id:redl value:rgb(0.84,0.41,0) id:black value:black id:brown value:rgb(0.58,0.29,0) Backgroundcolors = canvas:canvas Define $n24=24 BarData = barset:Studentenbuden PlotData = width:5 align:left fontsize:S shift:(5,-4) anchor:till barset:Studentenbuden from: 0 till: 58 color:green text:"
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...
" (58) from: 0 till: 56 color:green text:"
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...
" (56) from: 0 till: 51 color:green text:"
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
" (51) from: 0 till: 49 color:blue text:"
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
" (49) from: 0 till: 49 color:blue text:"
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
" (49) from: 0 till: 40 color:blue text:"
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...
" (40) from: 0 till: 35 color:orange text:"
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...
" (35) from: 0 till: 33 color:red text:"
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...
" (33) from: 0 till: 30 color:red text:"
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
" (30) from: 0 till: 26 color:redl text:"
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...
" (26) from: 0 till: 25 color:redl text:"
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...
" (25) from: 0 till: 24 color:brown text:"
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
" ($n24) from: 0 till: 23 color:brown text:"
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...
" (23) from: 0 till: 20 color:brown text:"
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
" (20) from: 0 till: 20 color:brown text:"
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
" (20) from: 0 till: 19 color:black text:"
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...
" (19) from: 0 till: 18 color:black text:"
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...
" (18) from: 0 till: 17 color:black text:"
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
" (17) from: 0 till: 17 color:black text:"
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...
" (17) from: 0 till: 16 color:black text:"
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to ...
" (16) from: 0 till: 15 color:black text:"
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...
" (15) from: 0 till: 15 color:black text:"
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and sharing a Korean Demilitarized Zone, land border with North Korea. Its western border is for ...
" (15) from: 0 till: 15 color:black text:"
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...
" (15) barset:skip


See also

* GoUNESCO – initiative to promote awareness and provide tools for laypersons to engage with heritage * Index of conservation articles *
Lists of World Heritage Sites This is a list of the lists of World Heritage Sites. A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having special cultural or physical significance. Gen ...
* Former UNESCO World Heritage Sites *
Memory of the World Programme UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autono ...
*
UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialised age ...
*
Ramsar Convention The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after th ...

Ramsar Convention
- international agreement on wetlands recognition


Footnotes


References


Bibliography

* *


External links


UNESCO World Heritage portal
– Official website *
The World Heritage List
– Official searchable list of all Inscribed Properties *
KML file of the World Heritage List
– Official KML version of the list for
Google Earth Google Earth is a computer program, formerly known as Keyhole EarthViewer, that renders a 3D computer graphics, 3D representation of Earth based primarily on satellite imagery. The program maps the Earth by superimposition, superimposing satell ...
and
NASA Worldwind NASA WorldWind is an open-source software, open-source (released under the NASA Open Source Agreement, NOSA license and the Apache 2.0 license) virtual globe. According to the website (https://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/), "WorldWind is an ...
*
UNESCO Information System on the State of Conservation of World Heritage properties
– Searchable online tool with over 3,400 reports on World Heritage Sites *
Official overview of the World Heritage Forest Program
*
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
– Official 1972 Convention Text in seven languages **

– Fully indexed and crosslinked with other documents
Top Breathtaking world heritage sites by UNESCO

Protected Planet
– View all Natural World Heritage Sites in the World Database on Protected Areas
World Heritage Site – Smithsonian Ocean Portal

UNESCO chair in ICT
to develop and promote
sustainable tourism Sustainable tourism is a concept that covers the complete tourism experience, including concern for economic, social and environmental issues as well as attention to improving tourists' experiences and addressing the needs of host communities. Tou ...
in World Heritage Sites
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
showcased in
Google Arts & Culture Google Arts & Culture (formerly Google Art Project) is an online platform of high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural artifacts from partner cultural organizations throughout the world. It utilizes high-resolution image technolo ...
{{Authority control 1972 in the environment 1972 introductions Global culture Protected areas UNESCO