What is a World Heritage site?
The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972. The purpose of this convention is to establish a system of international cooperation and support toward protecting cultural heritage and natural heritage from threats of damage, and preserving them for posterity as part of the heritage of humankind as a whole.
World Heritage sites are properties inscribed on the World Heritage List under this Convention and categorized into three types: cultural heritage (monuments, groups of buildings, sites), natural heritage (habitats of plant and animal species, places of natural beauty, etc.), or mixed heritage having both cultural and natural features. To be included on the World Heritage List, a property needs to be of Outstanding Universal Value, meeting certain requirements.
World Heritage Site inscription process
To be considered for inscription, a property must first be included on the Tentative List of candidate sites nominated by the government of the state party where the property is.
A nomination dossier for each property is then submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in the order it is complete with a management plan and other requirements for the bid. The property subsequently goes through an evaluation, which includes an on-site survey, before a decision on its inscription is made by the World Heritage Committee held once a year.