World Heritage is a designation given to cultural and natural sites that are deemed to be of outstanding universal value. The designation is determined by the World Heritage Committee, made up of 21 countries from all regions. The countries submit proposals for sites to be considered for designation and evaluations by experts take place to ensure the proposed site meets specific criteria. UNESCO accompanies this process to ensure all necessary steps are taken towards completing the nomination successfully. Once a site is inscribed on the World Heritage list, UNESCO works with countries and communities towards sustainable protection and promotion.
World Heritage sites carry deep meaning for communities and beyond. They are urban centres that have a rich history, monuments embodying experiences of generations past, ancestral homes, and hotspots for biodiversity. The protection of World Heritage is essential and contributes to the remembrance of who we were and inspiration for who we want to become. The designation is important because it recognizes the uniqueness of a site and its value to humanity.
However, the threats against natural and cultural sites are rising. According to UNESCO’s latest research, sixty percent of World Heritage forests are threatened by climate change-related events, while glaciers in one-third of World Heritage sites are set to disappear by 2050. Therefore, it is crucial to protect World Heritage sites as they contain the world’s most beautiful natural and cultural wonders that are invaluable to humanity.
In conclusion, World Heritage designation recognizes the uniqueness and value of a site to humanity, and it is important for the remembrance of our past and inspiration for our future. The threats against natural and cultural sites are increasing, and it is essential to work towards sustainable protection and promotion of these sites to preserve their beauty for future generations.