UNESCO Stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It was founded on November 16th, 1945 about 75 years ago after World War 2. This is a specialized Agency That is Aimed to Promote World Peace and Security through International Co-Operation in Education, Sciences, and Culture.UNESCO has 193 member states and 11 Associate Members, Also Partners in Non-Governmental, Inter-Governmental, and Private Sector. The Head Quarters of Unesco is Located in Paris, Which is the Capital City of France.
UNESCO has 53 regional offices and 199 National Mandates, The UNESCO main theme was established after the devastation of the second world war, It advises in advancing peace and Maintaining peace between the nations. Initially, it was started in London, United Kingdom, But Later it was shifted to Paris.
Initially, to Maintain World Peace, There use to be an organization called the League of Nations which was found on 20 September 1921 following the First World War, But Later When the second world war Started, Again LON was dissolved. The Devastation caused by Second World War was by far the Most Catastrophic wartime in History, Almost 60 Million People Died and many places were destroyed due to Internal wars and resulted in the malnourishment of Children and many schools were destroyed.
Immediately after the War, The existed League of Nations was replaced by UNESCO by the United Nations in 1945, To Place things again back to place, Provide food, shelter, and Education in every aspect possible.
World Heritage Site (UNESCO WHS)
The World Heritage Site is a Status which will be given by UNESCO, By Considering Social, Economical, Cultural, and Historical elements of the Site. The Main Advantage of achieving World Heritage Site Status is funding and Protecting from United Nations for the development of the Site. It will be protected by international Laws and also the Inflow of Tourists and Connectivity to the Site will be Developed and Increased, Resulting in an increase in Income.
The World Heritage Committee was signed in 1972 November 16th and from December 17th 1975 it is Effective.
At Present, there are almost 1121 World Heritage Sites all over the World, 869 Cultural Sites, 213 Naturally Formed Sites, 36 Transboundaryies, 167 States parties, And out of which 53 are in danger and 2 are delisted.
How to Apply for World Heritage Site Status?
Before Applying for the World Heritage Status, You must differentiate whether it is Cultural, Natural, or Mixed Criteria and then go for Applying.
Cultural means Man Made, Which has Historical Importance like Architecture or Culture.
Natural means those which are formed naturally by Nature, Like Caves, Valleys etc.
Mixed means which have both the features like Cultural and Natural Importance to Site.
If at all after getting Certified from UNESCO, If you don’t follow the Criteria of UNESCO guidelines, Then you’ll be delisted from UNESCO WHS Status.
If The Site is endangered, Like affected due to war, Political Crisis, or any other reasons, That’ll be listed under Danger Zone. Indian Site Hampi was listed in this category, But Later the Government took the best steps and the status of Danger was Removed by UNESCO.
The procedure of Listing Site to UNESCO
As mentioned above you must first differentiate and find out the type of site and next submit it to World Heritage Committee.
- First it must list the features of Cultural or Natural Importance of the Site.
- The Next Step is filing a Nomination
- The Nomination will be evaluated by International Council on Monuments and Sites, They’ll Visit this place and review the site thoroughly based on the Criteria.
- The Criteria is a 10 Point Criteria, If the nominated Site falls under this criteria, Then it’ll be given UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE STATUS.
The World Heritage Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, They define the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
The 10 Point Criteria.
- to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
- 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;
- to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
- to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
- 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;
- to be outstanding examples representing significant ongoing ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
- 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.
UNESCO WHS INDIA
India is also a Member of the World Heritage Committee, India started being active in World Heritage Committee from 1977. Since then they apply for Many Sites regarding World Heritage Status.
Till Date they are 38 World Heritage Sites in India, 30 Cultural, 7 Natural and 1 Mixed.
UNESCO WHS UPSC
UPSC UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION is an Exam that is applied by almost 2 Million Indians every year. It is a prestigious exam.
It Includes many topics, But one of the Topic is UNESCO World Heritage Sites Because that include Cultural and Natural Scenarios.
Many WHS Sites have Historical Importance like Either Empire Rule, Kings Rule and also Architecture. Also Natural includes topics like the formation of deserts, the Importance of Sundarbans, Wild Life Conservation, etc.
This Site Provides UPSC Notes on Each and Every World Heritage Site in India and also reference is provided.