World heritage sites
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World Heritage Sites. Natural vs. cultural sites. Heritage is: our legacy from the past what we live with today what we pass on to future generations. World Heritage Sites. Cultural ( H uman) Stonehenge. Natural (Physical ) Yellowstone.

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World Heritage Sites

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World heritage sites

World Heritage Sites

Natural vs cultural sites

Natural vs. cultural sites

Heritage is:

our legacy from the past

what we live with today

what we pass on to future generations

World heritage sites1

World Heritage Sites

Cultural (Human)


Natural (Physical)


Our world contains natural (physical) and cultural (human) features that are important and significant to many people.

Some of these features should be protected and conserved for the benefit of all global citizens, as they are part of our heritage

Where are the world heritage sites

Where are theWorld Heritage Sites?


  • The World Heritage Committee was formed in 1972 and was administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

  • World Heritage sites belong to all the people of the world, regardless of the country in which the sites are located.

Why protect

Why Protect?

  • The cultural and natural heritage is among the priceless and irreplaceable assets, not only of each nation, but of humanity as a whole.

  • The loss, through deterioration or disappearance, of any of these most prized assets constitutes an impoverishment of the heritage of all the peoples of the world

Criteria for world heritage listing

Criteria for World Heritage Listing


To be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List a place must be of outstanding value to the world.

  • Represents human creative genius

  • Shows important exchange of human values over time or over an area.

  • It can be displayed in architecture, technology, monuments, town planning or landscape design

  • Evidence of a civilization that has disappeared or which still exists

  • An outstanding building or landscape that represents significant stage(s) in human history

  • An outstanding example of human settlement or land use representing human interaction with the environment

  • Directly associated with events or traditions

Criteria for world heritage listing1

Criteria for World Heritage Listing

  • Contains natural phenomena or areas of natural beauty and importance.

  • Important and significant natural habitats for conservation of biodiversity. May contain threatened species with value for science or conservation.


    • Represents major stages of the Earth’s natural history, including record of life, geological processes and landforms

    • Represents ongoing processes in evolution and development of living things on land and water, developing ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.

International treaties and agreements responsibility for world heritage sites

International treatiesand agreements- Responsibility for World Heritage Sites


  • UNESCO adopted an international treaty called the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1972.

  • This is an agreement between countries that have signed the convention. It defines the types of natural and cultural sites that can be on the World Heritage List.

  • The convention sets out the duties of governments in identifying, protecting, preserving and reporting on existing and potential sites

Responsibility for world heritage sites

Responsibility forWorld Heritage Sites


  • The governments of the countries that sign the convention agree to identify and nominate properties in their national territory.

  • They also have to give details on how the site is going to be protected, and devise a management plan.

  • They also must promise to educate their citizens on the importance of world heritage sites

Responsibility for world heritage sites advisory bodies

Responsibility forWorld Heritage Sites - ADVISORY BODIES


  • The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property provides advice on how to conserve sites properly.

  • WHC

  • The World Heritage Committee meets once a year and is made up of 21 member countries. It has the final say on whether a site will be World Heritage listed or not, and allocates funds and examines reports on the state of conservation of sites already on the World Heritage List. It also decides on sites that need to be on the List of World Heritage in Danger

  • IUCN

  • The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is an international organisation that investigates natural and mixed sites, and reports on conservation.


  • The International Council on Monuments and Sites is a non-government organisation that investigates cultural and mixed sites.

Global citizens and world heritage

Global citizens andWorld Heritage

  • Global citizens can become actively involved in the protection and management of World Heritage sites

  • There are many non-government organisations that provide opportunities to volunteer at World Heritage sites.

  • These include the Earthwatch Institute, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Rempart.

World heritage in danger

World Heritage in danger

  • Some sites are in danger as they are not being properly managed or are threatened by natural activity. It is not only the responsibility of international organisations to preserve World Heritage sites—the actions of global citizens are also important

  • Because there are threats to World Heritage sites, the World Heritage Committee (WHC) created the List of World Heritage in Danger. The WHC lists sites that are in danger of destruction or degradation. The threats can include rapid urban or tourist development; armed conflict; serious fires, earthquakes and landslides; volcanic eruptions; changes in water level, floods and tidal waves

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