The World Heritage List

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The World Heritage List

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:29 pm

As well as national institutes protecting and preserving cultural and natural properties in each UN member country, there is also a "World Heritage List" that seeks to give recognition to those areas of significant natural and cultural value to humanity as a species. Those areas and monuments that are proscribed onto the list are given special protection under international law and, where necessary, funding for their preservation and access to expert knowledge.

What the Convention contains

The Convention defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.

The Convention sets out the duties of States Parties in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them. By signing the Convention, each country pledges to conserve not only the World Heritage sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its national heritage. The States Parties are encouraged to integrate the protection of the cultural and natural heritage into regional planning programmes, set up staff and services at their sites, undertake scientific and technical conservation research and adopt measures which give this heritage a function in the day-to-day life of the community.

It explains how the World Heritage Fund is to be used and managed and under what conditions international financial assistance may be provided.

The Convention stipulates the obligation of States Parties to report regularly to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of their World Heritage properties. These reports are crucial to the work of the Committee as they enable it to assess the conditions of the sites, decide on specific programme needs and resolve recurrent problems.

It also encourages States Parties to strengthen the appreciation of the public for World Heritage properties and to enhance their protection through educational and information programmes.

Brief History

The idea of creating an international movement for protecting heritage emerged after World War I.

The 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage developed from the merging of two separate movements: the first focusing on the preservation of cultural sites, and the other dealing with the conservation of nature.

Preserving cultural heritage

The event that aroused particular international concern was the decision to build the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, which would have flooded the valley containing the Abu Simbel temples (pictured here), a treasure of ancient Egyptian civilization. In 1959, after an appeal from the governments of Egypt and Sudan, UNESCO launched an international safeguarding campaign. Archaeological research in the areas to be flooded was accelerated. Above all, the Abu Simbel and Philae temples were dismantled, moved to dry ground and reassembled.

The campaign cost about US$80 million, half of which was donated by some 50 countries, showing the importance of solidarity and nations' shared responsibility in conserving outstanding cultural sites. Its success led to other safeguarding campaigns, such as saving Venice and its Lagoon (Italy) and the Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro (Pakistan), and restoring the Borobodur Temple Compounds (Indonesia).

Consequently, UNESCO initiated, with the help of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the preparation of a draft convention on the protection of cultural heritage.
Linking the protection of cultural and natural heritage

The idea of combining conservation of cultural sites with those of nature comes from the United States of America. A White House Conference in Washington, D.C., in 1965 called for a ‘World Heritage Trust’ that would stimulate international cooperation to protect ‘the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry’. In 1968, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) developed similar proposals for its members. These proposals were presented to the 1972 United Nations conference on Human Environment in Stockholm.

Eventually, a single text was agreed upon by all parties concerned. The Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.

By regarding heritage as both cultural and natural, the Convention reminds us of the ways in which people interact with nature, and of the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.

Benefits of Ratification

The overarching benefit of ratifying the World Heritage Convention is that of belonging to an international community of appreciation and concern for universally significant properties that embody a world of outstanding examples of cultural diversity and natural wealth.

The States Parties to the Convention, by joining hands to protect and cherish the world's natural and cultural heritage, express a shared commitment to preserving our legacy for future generations.

The prestige that comes from being a State Party to the Convention and having sites inscribed on the World Heritage List often serves as a catalyst to raising awareness for heritage preservation.

A key benefit of ratification, particularly for developing countries, is access to the World Heritage Fund. Annually, about US$4 million is made available to assist States Parties in identifying, preserving and promoting World Heritage sites. Emergency assistance may also be made available for urgent action to repair damage caused by human-made or natural disasters. In the case of sites included on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the attention and the funds of both the national and the international community are focused on the conservation needs of these particularly threatened sites.

Today, the World Heritage concept is so well understood that sites on the List are a magnet for international cooperation and may thus receive financial assistance for heritage conservation projects from a variety of sources.

Sites inscribed on the World Heritage List also benefit from the elaboration and implementation of a comprehensive management plan that sets out adequate preservation measures and monitoring mechanisms. In support of these, experts offer technical training to the local site management team.

Finally, the inscription of a site on the World Heritage List brings an increase in public awareness of the site and of its outstanding values, thus also increasing the tourist activities at the site. When these are well planned for and organized respecting sustainable tourism principles, they can bring important funds to the site and to the local economy.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/convention/

The List is here. Check out what your country has deemed of having outstanding universal value
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by TexasBlue on Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:21 pm

United States of America

* Mesa Verde National Park
* Yellowstone National Park
* Everglades National Park
* Grand Canyon National Park
* Independence Hall
* Kluane / Wrangell-St Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek # * 29
* Redwood National and State Parks
* Mammoth Cave National Park
* Olympic National Park
* Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
* La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico
* Great Smoky Mountains National Park
* Statue of Liberty
* Yosemite National Park #
* Chaco Culture
* Hawaii Volcanoes National Park #
* Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
* Pueblo de Taos
* Carlsbad Caverns National Park
* Waterton Glacier International Peace Park *
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by TexasBlue on Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:22 pm

Canada

* L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
* Nahanni National Park #
* Dinosaur Provincial Park
* Kluane / Wrangell-St Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek # * 5
* Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
* SGang Gwaay
* Wood Buffalo National Park
* Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks # 6
* Historic District of Old Québec
* Gros Morne National Park
* Old Town Lunenburg
* Waterton Glacier International Peace Park *
* Miguasha National Park
* Rideau Canal
* Joggins Fossil Cliffs
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by TexasBlue on Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:22 pm

Germany

* Aachen Cathedral
* Speyer Cathedral
* Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square
* Pilgrimage Church of Wies
* Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl
* St Mary's Cathedral and St Michael's Church at Hildesheim
* Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier
* Frontiers of the Roman Empire * 10
* Hanseatic City of Lübeck
* Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin
* Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch
* Mines of Rammelsberg and Historic Town of Goslar
* Maulbronn Monastery Complex
* Town of Bamberg
* Collegiate Church, Castle, and Old Town of Quedlinburg
* Völklingen Ironworks
* Messel Pit Fossil Site
* Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau
* Cologne Cathedral
* Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
* Classical Weimar
* Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
* Wartburg Castle
* Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
* Monastic Island of Reichenau
* Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen
* Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar
* Upper Middle Rhine Valley
* Dresden Elbe Valley Delisted 2009
* Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski *
* Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen
* Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof
* Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
* The Wadden Sea *
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by TexasBlue on Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:23 pm

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

* Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
* Durham Castle and Cathedral
* Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast
* Ironbridge Gorge
* St Kilda
* Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
* Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey
* Blenheim Palace
* City of Bath
* Frontiers of the Roman Empire * 27
* Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church
* Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church
* Henderson Island
* Tower of London
* Gough and Inaccessible Islands 28
* Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
* Maritime Greenwich
* Heart of Neolithic Orkney
* Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
* Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda
* Derwent Valley Mills
* Dorset and East Devon Coast
* New Lanark
* Saltaire
* Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
* Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City
* Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
* Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:38 am

I must admit that "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" is an odd one to create a group rather than listing all of the frontiers individually. Obviously most people know about the northern-most frontier being the Antonine Wall in Scotland (with Hadrian's Wall being a little further south). But effectively, this same states groups monuments in the middle east, Egypt and other areas of North Africa, Germany and Scotland.

How many from your respective countries have each of you visited? For me it is:

* Ironbridge Gorge
* Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
* City of Bath
* Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church
* Tower of London
* Maritime Greenwich
* Dorset and East Devon Coast
* Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by BubbleBliss on Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:48 am


I think what the "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" meant are the ancient Roman structures left behind by the Romans. Since it was listed under the "Germany" list, I'd guess it only applies to those located there. To this day, you'll find many Aqueducts, watchtowers, etc. in Germany that were originally built by the conquering Romans. They're mostly located along the Rhine, since the Romans never did cross the Rhine and established a "residence" there after the defeat of the Roman general Varus by Hermann of the Cherusker tribe.

From the lists, I've seen:

Cologne Cathedral

Everglades National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Smoky Mtns. National Park
Statue of Liberty

Obviously I've seen plenty of historic buildings in Germany that are under protection of the German gov't, they just don't happen to be on the World Heritage list. I'm kind of surprised not even Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau is on there....
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:21 am

BubbleBliss wrote:I think what the "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" meant are the ancient Roman structures left behind by the Romans.
Yes, on the frontiers. From my understanding... and I was studying UNESCO and World Heritage before "Frontiers" was put on the list, was that all of them would be considered as a single monument and given equal status.

BubbleBliss wrote:Since it was listed under the "Germany" list, I'd guess it only applies to those located there. To this day, you'll find many Aqueducts, watchtowers, etc. in Germany that were originally built by the conquering Romans. They're mostly located along the Rhine, since the Romans never did cross the Rhine and established a "residence" there after the defeat of the Roman general Varus by Hermann of the Cherusker tribe.
Though I've not seen them, I did study the Roman military as an undergraduate. I would say that the Roman military remains in the Rhine are amongst the most impressive.

BubbleBliss wrote:Obviously I've seen plenty of historic buildings in Germany that are under protection of the German gov't, they just don't happen to be on the World Heritage list. I'm kind of surprised not even Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau is on there....
Neuschwanstein... that is the castle that appears as stock footage in films set in cheap films set in some vague and unspecified area of Eastern Europe... usually those containing cheap looking vampires and/or werewolves?

I'm surprised Trier's "Porta Nigra" isn't on there.

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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by TexasBlue on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:27 am

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:How many from your respective countries have each of you visited?

None of them for me. But this is a large country to travel. I've seen certain things as far as tourist attractions (Stone Mountain in Georgia for example) but none of the major ones like the ones listed under the US.
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by BubbleBliss on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:40 am

The_Amber_Spyglass wrote:
BubbleBliss wrote:I think what the "Frontiers of the Roman Empire" meant are the ancient Roman structures left behind by the Romans.
Yes, on the frontiers. From my understanding... and I was studying UNESCO and World Heritage before "Frontiers" was put on the list, was that all of them would be considered as a single monument and given equal status.

BubbleBliss wrote:Since it was listed under the "Germany" list, I'd guess it only applies to those located there. To this day, you'll find many Aqueducts, watchtowers, etc. in Germany that were originally built by the conquering Romans. They're mostly located along the Rhine, since the Romans never did cross the Rhine and established a "residence" there after the defeat of the Roman general Varus by Hermann of the Cherusker tribe.
Though I've not seen them, I did study the Roman military as an undergraduate. I would say that the Roman military remains in the Rhine are amongst the most impressive.

BubbleBliss wrote:Obviously I've seen plenty of historic buildings in Germany that are under protection of the German gov't, they just don't happen to be on the World Heritage list. I'm kind of surprised not even Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau is on there....
Neuschwanstein... that is the castle that appears as stock footage in films set in cheap films set in some vague and unspecified area of Eastern Europe... usually those containing cheap looking vampires and/or werewolves?

I'm surprised Trier's "Porta Nigra" isn't on there.


Neuschwanstein is the castle in Bavaria after which the Cinderella castle in Disney World is modeled after.

This picture ring any bells?

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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:43 am

Yes it is the one I'm thinking of. Usually, cheap films have a flyover pic of that castle with a caption "somewhere in Eastern Europe". I guess they think it looks suitably Transylvanian.
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by BubbleBliss on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:51 am

Sure it's not the real Dracula's castle?

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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:57 am

No I've seen that one. I'm thinking of films from the 1980s (such as the later Howling films and other early slashers) when Romania would still have been Communist.
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by BubbleBliss on Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:25 pm


Oh, okay I know what you mean. Guess I'm not up to par on my cheap 80s films. Very Happy
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by TexasBlue on Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:47 pm

Impressive photos.
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by BubbleBliss on Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:48 pm


Kinda look alike, don't they?
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:11 am

Absolutely. Both impressive castles.
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Re: The World Heritage List

Post by BubbleBliss on Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:10 am


Yeah, just 2 completely different rulers. One was declared unfit to rule and committed suicide (even though there's lots of debate on that subject) whereas the other threw his enemies' dead bodies off of his castle walls to impale them on long wooden poles.
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