The World Heritage Convention

Related Document:
Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage (16 November 1972) >>


The World Heritage Convention

The most significant feature of the 1972 World Heritage Convention [full name: Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972] is that it links together in a single document the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The Convention recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.
Strategic Objectives
the “Five Cs”

Credibility Conservation Capacity-building Communication Communities

Read more:
Budapest Declaration (2002)The “fifth C” (2007)

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.


Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972

Paris, 16 November 1972

Depositary – Entry into force – Authoritative texts – Registration at the UN – States Parties – Declarations and Reservations – Territorial Application –
UNESDOC – (PDF) English – French – Spanish – Russian – Arabic

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization meeting in Paris from 17 October to 21 November 1972, at its seventeenth session,

Noting that the cultural heritage and the natural heritage are increasingly threatened with destruction not only by the traditional causes of decay, but also by changing social and economic conditions which aggravate the situation with even more formidable phenomena of damage or destruction.

Considering that deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the nations of the world, Tiếp tục đọc “The World Heritage Convention”