UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization

The Organisation

Special Issue


A Tribute to the Past
 Certain sites, like the Acropolis in Athens, are victims of their own success
 © Martin Parr/Magnum, Paris

Signatories to the World Heritage Convention on November 16, 1972 were not fully aware of the far-reaching implications of their action. But now, over 30 years later, the UNESCO label on remarkable sites represents national pride combined with substantial benefits from tourism. Each year new sites are added to the World Heritage List. Further efforts are needed, however, to make the list more representative. Long-term protection from war, looting, natural catastrophes, tourist overflows and climatic change represent other major challenges to the survival of these sites. More
The Rebirth of Kunqu Opera
Proclaimed by UNESCO in 2001 as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage, this traditional Chinese art, once threatened with extinction, is now the object of renewed interest.
Natural Sites Under Pressure
The effects of climate change are already being observed on several World Heritage sites. Some environmentalists are calling for them to be placed on the endangered list.
Last but not List
The World Heritage List gets longer each year but is this to the detriment of the “exceptional universal value” attributed to the sites?
Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific