Untitled design - 1

50th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention

November 15, 2022 Published by Alex McCoskrie


Thursday 16th November 1972 – Wednesday 16th November 2022

The Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.

The 1972 World Heritage Convention links together in a single document the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The Convention recognises the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.

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 the UK Government (or State Party) in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them. By signing the Convention, the UK has pledged to conserve not only its World Heritage Sites, but also to protect its national heritage.

States Parties are encouraged by UNESCO 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.

The Convention requires 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.

Click here to read more on the WHUK website.

Click here to discover what the next 50 years may hold for the WH Convention.