World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance. The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties which are elected by their General Assembly for a four-year term.
The program catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on November 16, 1972. Since then, 186 state parties have ratified the convention.
As of 2009[update], 890 sites are listed: 689 cultural, 176 natural, and 25 mixed properties, in 148 states. Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites to date with 44 sites inscribed on the list. UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with an identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions. As a result, the identification numbers exceed 1200 even though there are fewer on the list.
Each World Heritage Site is the property of the state on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.
- According to the UNESCO World Heritage website, States Parties are countries that signed and ratified The World Heritage Convention. As of November 2007, there are a total of 186 state parties.
- The World Heritage Committee. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Retrieved on 2006-10-14.
- Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage
- World Heritage List, UNESCO World Heritage Sites official sites.
- Twenty-seven new sites inscribed, UNESCO World Heritage Sites official sites.