What is World Heritage Convention?

You might have heard of United Nations’ conventions for the rights of the child and human rights which protect fundamental freedoms for everyone. UNESCO, shortened for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, accepted a similar convention in 1972. This convention is called World Heritage Convention.

Short history of the World Heritage Convention

Because the World War one destroyed nature and buildings, people wanted to protect important places or World Heritages. This is why international World Heritage Convention was made in 1972. The aim of the World Heritage Convention is to preserve cultural sites and conserve nature. In total 193 countries have signed the World Heritage Convention. The World Heritage Convention is a great example of how international cooperation helps to protect places which are important to the whole world.

Convention comes with great responsibility

All the states who have signed the World Heritage Convention have taken on great responsibility. Every state must maintain and preserve their existing World Heritage Sites. This is done with suitable legislation, management and education. It is important that states spread knowledge of the World Heritage Convention and the World Heritage Sites. Every 6 or 7 years, states also write a report to UNESCO, which describes how their World Heritage Site is protected.

With the World Heritage Convention, every state also agrees to identify, document and nominate any new World Heritage Sites in their territory for the World Heritage List. UNESCO encourages international cooperation between states, and this cooperation is very remarkable in the joint World Heritage Site of the Swedish High Coast and the Finnish Kvarken Archipelago.

Sign of the World Heritage status

You may have seen this round logo at our World Heritage Site. This logo is visible at every cultural and natural World Heritage Site, which is part of the World Heritage List and protected by the World Heritage Convention. The logo depicts the relation between the cultural and natural heritage. The square in the middle stands for all the things that humans have created and the circle around the square represents nature. The round shape also symbolises protection and the Earth. In other words, everything is connected in this world.