UNESCO World Heritage Sites


On the Europe trip we visited several places designated as “UNESCO World Heritage Sites” such as the Naeroyfjord region of Norway, The Jungfrau / Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland, and the Cinque Terre in Italy,  but I was only vaguely familiar with how those designations come to be.     Here is the list of all 890 global heritage sites and more from UNESCO about the process.

I’m still wondering how much the process is political and subjective vs analytical and objective, but in general I do think it’s neat to designate areas in this fashion and encourage travelers to better understand and explore their world.

Here are the criteria:

Selection criteria:

  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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One Response to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  1. Eleanor Kerfoot says:

    I would like to order a wall map of the Unesco world heritage sites. Could you please advise me how to do this?
    Thank you
    Eleanor Kerfoot

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