What is UNESCO
Camonica Valley rock art
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a special Agency of the United Nations, located in Paris, founded on November 16th, 1945 and operating since 1946, charged with fostering collaboration among member states in the fields of education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, communication and information.
In the field of Culture, UNESCO introduced in 1972 the WHL-World Heritage List, which includes world sites of particular cultural and natural interest, with the aim of promoting tutelage, conservation, development and the spreading of this heritage on to future generations. The Cultural World Heritage sites belong to all peoples of the Earth, regardless of where they reside.
The Convention regarding protection of the world cultural and natural heritage was approved by the UNESCO General Conference on November 16th, 1972. It prompts the member states to identify and protect their own heritage independently of their inscription on the World Heritage List. The countries, however, consider the sites included in the World Heritage List as a patrimony “to be safeguarded by the entire international community”
The Convention takes into consideration both cultural and natural aspects of the property and thus emphasizes the interactions between human beings and nature and the fundamental importance of keeping a balance between the two.
In the month of March 2012 there are 189 States which have approved the Convention and the List includes 936 sites distributed in 153 States: 725 have a cultural value, 183 natural and 28 both.
Italy has ratified its own membership in the 1978 List and in 1979 Camonica Valley was the first Italian site to be included in the series, acknowledging the world importance of the Valley’s rock art heritage.
After a little over 30 years Italy is the Country with the largest number of sites inscribed on the List, 47 between cities and towns, unique monuments, archaeological sites and places of natural interest.
ATTENTION: the data reported as of March 2012 can be verified on this link:: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list
The 36th session of the Comittee will be held in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation From 24 June - 6 July 2012;
Official Website: whc36-russia2012.ru
After this session there will be variations on the numbers of new sites to be included in the List.
The 1972 ConventionThe Convention defines the different types of cultural and natural sites that can be inscribed on the World Heritage List
Establishes the duties of the member States as to identifying the sites and their role in safeguarding and preserving them
Establishes the obligation of the States to report regularly to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of the inscribed sites
Establishes also the ways in which the Fund for the world heritage should be managed an used in order to take advantage of the international financial assistance
Defines the functions of the World Heritage Committee, member election procedures, duration of mandate and a list of consultative organs