In the “World Heritage tentative list frequently asked questions

The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (commonly known as the ‘World Heritage Convention’) is an international agreement that was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1972.

Support for an international movement for protecting heritage emerged at the conclusion of World War I and grew with the increased threat to significant heritage sites around the world.

The most significant feature of the 1972 World Heritage Convention is that it links together the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The Convention is based on the premise that certain places on earth are of ‘outstanding universal value’ and therefore they should be identified and safeguarded by the international community as a whole.

The Convention is administered by the World Heritage Committee, which is an elected body comprising representatives of 21 nations. Over the past 30 years the World Heritage Convention has become the foremost international legal tool in support of the conservation of the world's cultural and natural heritage. Today, 182 countries (called States Parties) have ratified the Convention making it an almost universally accepted set of principles, and one of the most widely supported conventions of the United Nations.

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