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UNESCO world heritage sites

Topics Covered: Important International Conventions.

UNESCO world heritage sites:


  • UNESCO has voted to remove Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City from its world heritage list.
  • The waterfront was stripped off of its status by the committee because of “irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property”.


What is a World Heritage site?

  • A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection.
  • These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO.
  • UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
  • They are protected under a international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.


Key facts:

  1. The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly.
  2. Each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located and UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.
  3. To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance.



  1. Cultural heritage sites include historic buildings and town sites, important archaeological sites, and works of monumental sculpture or painting.
  2. Natural heritage sites are restricted to natural areas.
  3. Mixed heritage sites contain elements of both natural and cultural significance.


Insta Curious: 

Did you that recently the Great Barrier Reef was recommended to be added to a list of “in danger” World Heritage Sites? What are “in danger” World Heritage Sites? Reference



Prelims Link:

  1. Who declares a site as world heritage site?
  2. What is endangered list?
  3. What is tentative list?
  4. WHS in India and their locations?

Sources: Indian Express.