World Heritage sites are irreplaceable treasures created by the formation of the earth and history of mankind, passed down from the past to the present, and to be passed on to our future generations. UNESCO adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (commonly known as the World Heritage Convention) at the 17th UNESCO General Assembly in 1972 as an international treaty to establish an international cooperative framework for the protection and conservation of the World Heritage as the "common heritage of mankind."
(*Taken from the UNESCO website)
As of January 2023, there are 1,157 World Heritage Sites (900 Cultural Heritage Sites, 218 Natural Heritage Sites, and 39 Mixed Heritage Sites), with 194 countries that are parties to the Convention.
Types of World Heritage Sites
There are three types of World Heritage Sites.
Cultural Heritage Sites
Monuments, buildings, ruins, cultural landscapes, etc., with Outstanding Universal Value
Examples: The Great Wall of China, the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, etc.
Natural Heritage Sites
Landforms and geology, ecosystems, and habitats of endangered animals and plants, etc., with Outstanding Universal Value
Examples: Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, etc.
Mixed Heritage Sites
Sites combining the values of both cultural and natural heritage
Examples: Meteora in Greece, Tikal National Park in Guatemala, etc.