World heritage sites

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The World Heritage site program was created and funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The purpose is to preserve and protect cultural and natural history around the world. [1] UNESCO’s mission regarding World Heritage sites include getting more countries to sign the World Heritage Convention treaty, which guarantees the protection of cultural and natural artifacts relevant to humanity. These artifacts are protected by ensuring their preservation against natural and human made disaster through specific management systems. As of 2014, the number of states to follow the World Heritage Convention was 191. [2] The country with the most World Heritage sites is China, which has 48 sites protected by the UNESCO organization. [3]

Another mission is to encourage more of the international community to sign the World Heritage Convention treaty to protect their cultural and natural property. [4] States are then also able to elect cultural and natural artifacts they believe should be marked as a World Heritage site. The preservation of World Heritage sites is possible through contributions from states and individual parties to the World Heritage fund. This fund provides four million dollars in support of the overall protection of cultural artifacts and valuable biological landmarks. [5]



The Committee

The World Heritage Committee is composed of twenty-one representatives from different states, and meets annually to discuss the operations of the organization. [6] These operations include determining how to use the funds from the World Heritage Fund, what sites have the criteria to be a World Heritage site, and maintains that each site is being monitored and preserved. The maximum term of office for committee members is six years, although most states only serve for four in order to allow other states the chance to serve. The current members of the World Heritage Committee as of 2015 are Algeria, Colombia, Croatia, Finland, Germany, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia, Turkey, and Viet Nam. [7]

Within the World Heritage Committee is the Bureau, which is composed of seven elected state parties. These seven members include a chairperson who is H.E. Ambassador Gürcan Türkoğlu from Turkey, vice chairpersons who represent Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, and Senegal, and a rapporteur who is Eugene Jo from the Republic of Korea. [8] The Bureau is responsible for determining the dates of important meetings and the organization of work. This group is re-elected annually at the World Heritage Committee session.

Stated in the World Heritage Convention, is that three non-government companies have advising abilities to the operations of the organization. These companies include The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). [9] IUCN aids the World Heritage committee by examining sites and reporting on the conservation efforts. ICOMOS evaluates sites to determine if they are eligible to be put on the World Heritage list. Finally, ICCROM serves the World Heritage committee by advising and teaching techniques for how to conserve sites. [10]


See also


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