UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, 1972
- The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is an international agreement that was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972.
- It is based on the premise that certain places on Earth are of outstanding universal value and should therefore form part of the common heritage of humankind.
- It basically defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.
- Cultural sites include monuments, such as architectural structures, art and science pieces, while natural sites include formations that are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view.
- In addition to these, UNESCO designates some sites as Mixed heritage sites which contain elements of both natural and cultural significance.
- The Convention sets out the duties of State 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.
- It explains how the World Heritage Fund is to be used and managed and under what conditions international financial assistance may be provided.
World Heritage Sites in India
Cultural sites (32)
- Agra Fort
- Ajanta Caves
- Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar
- Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
- Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)
- Churches and Convents of Goa
- Elephanta Caves
- Ellora Caves
- Fatehpur Sikri
- Great Living Chola Temples
- Group of Monuments at Hampi
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
- Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
- Hill Forts of Rajasthan
- Historic City of Ahmedabad
- Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
- Jaipur City, Rajasthan
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments
- Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
- Mountain Railways of India
- Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi
- Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat
- Red Fort Complex
- Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
- Sun Temple, Konârk
- Taj Mahal
- The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement
- The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
- Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai
- Ramappa temple, Telangana
- Dholavira, Gujarat
Natural sites (7)
- Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area
- Kaziranga National Park
- Keoladeo National Park
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
- Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
- Sundarbans National Park
- Western Ghats
Mixed site (1)
- Khangchendzonga National Park
Why in News?
- Currently, India has 40 Sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List and 52 sites (including 6 added in year 2022) in the UNESCO Tentative List.
- Inclusion of any property in Tentative List is a prerequisite condition for onward inclusion in the World Heritage List. Augmentation of Tentative List is a continuous process. As per UNESCO Operational Guidelines, 2021, only one property, either cultural or natural, can be nominated for the inscription process annually.
- Additionally, inclusion of any site requires fulfilment of Criteria, meeting the condition of authenticity and integrity and providing justification of Outstanding Universal Value.