World Heritage listing process
For an area to be considered for World Heritage listing, a country must first prepare a World Heritage nomination. The nomination must show that the area meets at least one of the ten World Heritage criteria and demonstrates potential outstanding universal value.
The nomination must also show that the site can be managed effectively and will be protected, monitored and communicated.
Countries then send the nomination to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, which refers it to one or two of the advisory bodies for evaluation:
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for natural values
- International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) for cultural values
These advisory bodies evaluate the nominations using the World Heritage criteria and prepare an evaluation report for the World Heritage Committee for a decision.
The final decision is made by the elected representatives from the 21 elected state party members of the World Heritage Committee, who meet annually. The committee decides whether the nominated site is inscribed on the World Heritage List, deferred or rejected.
Once a site is inscribed on the World Heritage List, the nominating country is then committed to the ongoing care of the property to ensure the outstanding universal values are protected.
Read more about preparing a World Heritage nomination.
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