What's wrong with universal value

Become a world heritage


The basic definition of the term “World Heritage” was given by the World Heritage Convention of 1972. The decisive factor is the extraordinary universal value of a cultural or natural site.

When deciding on inclusion in the World Heritage List, the overarching conditions of authenticity (historical authenticity, only for cultural goods) and integrity (intactness, for cultural and natural goods) are applied, in conjunction with one or more of the ten criteria according to which establishes the extraordinary universal value of a site. Criteria (i) to (vi) relate to cultural heritage sites, criteria (vii) to (x) relate to natural heritage sites.

To classify a site in the international context, a comparative study must also be carried out based on the geographic location and type of site and in relation to the respective criteria. In addition, an appropriate management plan must be presented which, in the case of cross-border or transnational sites, also sets out the international coordination mechanisms.

“The Committee considers a good to be of exceptional universal value if the good meets one or more of the following criteria. Registered goods should therefore:

(i) represent a masterpiece of human creativity;

(ii) show, for a period of time or in a cultural area of ​​the world, a significant intersection of human values ​​in relation to the development of architecture or technology, large-scale sculpture, urban development or landscaping;

(iii) represent a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or an existing or lost culture;

(iv) represent a prime example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble, or landscape that typifies one or more significant periods in human history;

(v) represent an excellent example of a traditional form of human settlement, land or sea use typical of one or more specific cultures, or the interaction between humans and the environment, especially when it is threatened with extinction under the pressure of inexorable change;

(vi) be linked in an immediate or recognizable manner to events or traditional ways of life, to ideas or creeds, or to artistic or literary works of exceptional universal importance. (The Committee is of the opinion that this criterion should normally only be used in conjunction with one additional criterion);

(vii) have outstanding natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;

(viii) present exceptional examples of the major stages in the history of the earth, including the evolution of life, major geological processes in progress in the evolution of landforms, or major geomorphological or physiographic features;

(ix) present exceptional examples of significant ecological and biological processes in progress in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and plant and animal communities;

(x) Contain the most significant and typical habitats for the in situ conservation of biodiversity, including those containing threatened species which, for scientific reasons or for their conservation, are of exceptional universal value.

To be considered a good of exceptional universal value, a good must also meet the conditions of integrity and / or authenticity and have a protection and management plan sufficient to ensure its preservation. "

(Extract from the guidelines for the implementation of the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage)