Celebrate World Heritage Day: World Heritage is the Shared Wealth of Humankind

08 May 2014 | Article

On 18 April 1982, on the occasion of a forum organized by the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in Tunisia, the holding of the "International Day for Monuments and Sites" to be celebrated simultaneously throughout the world was suggested. This has been traditionally called the “World Heritage Day”. 

World Heritage is a natural or man-made site, area, or structure recognized as being of outstanding international importance and therefore as deserving special protection. Sites are nominated to and designated by the World Heritage Convention (an organization of UNESCO).

Armed conflict and war, earthquakes and other natural disasters, pollution, poaching, uncontrolled urbanization and unchecked tourist development pose major problems to World Heritage sites. Dangers can be ‘ascertained’, referring to specific and proven imminent threats, or ‘potential’, when a property is faced with threats which could have negative effects on its World Heritage values.

Because World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind, protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public's awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.

IUCN ROWA supports the World Heritage related activities in the Arab States region on a broader framework of the IUCN's Global World Heritage Programme through Tabe’a Programme. It aims at enhancing the role of the World Heritage Convention in protecting the planet’s biodiversity and promoting effective use of its mechanisms to strengthen the conservation and management of natural World Heritage site.

The Arab States are home to a wealth and diversity of natural heritage, with desert landscapes and marine sites being particularly noteworthy.

For more information, kindly contact:
Haifaa Abdulhalim - Haifa.abdulhalim@iucn.org
IUCN - Regional World Heritage Coordinator, Arab States & West Asia.
Tabe'a- World Heritage Program