How UNESCO selects World Heritage sites: All you need to know
The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra in April 2021, had sent a tentative ‘serial’ nomination of 14 forts to be accepted as World Heritage Sites. Read all you need to know how UNESCO selects World Heritage sites.
The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra in April 2021, had sent a tentative ‘serial’ nomination of 14 forts to be accepted as World Heritage Sites.
The list of 14 forts, belonging to the era of 17th century Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was based on the theme of ‘Maratha Military Architecture’.
The list of 14 forts included Raigad fort, Rajgad fort, Shivneri fort, Torna fort, Lohagad fort, Salher fort, Mulher fort, Rangana fort, Ankai Tankai forts, Kasa fort, Sindhudurg fort, Alibag fort, Suvarnadurg fort, and the Khanderi fort.
The Archaeology Survey of India forwarded the serial nomination to UNESCO through the Ministry of Culture. UNESCO accepted the tentative nomination list and now the state government must submit a detailed final nomination list to UNESCO listing why the sites have outstanding value.
What are World Heritage Sites?
•Countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention pledge to protect their cultural and natural heritage.
•These countries submit property or a list of properties that are of ‘outstanding universal value’ for nominations to be considered as a World Heritage Site.
Process of nomination for World Heritage List
As per the nomination process listed on the official website of UNESCO:
Step 1: A country prepares an ‘inventory’ known as the Tentative List of cultural and natural heritage sites it deems worthy of inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Step 2: The Tentative List prepared by a country with all necessary documentation and maps is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review. The list is forwarded to Advisory Bodies for evaluation.
Step 3: The Advisory Bodies: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) provide evaluations of the sites nominated, expert advice and training activities for the conservation of the sites.
Step 4: The World Heritage Committee takes the final decision on the inclusion of sites in UNESCO’s World Heritage List after evaluation.
Criteria for selection in UNESCO’s World Heritage List
•A country must submit a document in detail to UNESCO listing why a site or a list of sites have outstanding value for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
•The sites listed for nomination must hold universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria laid out in the Operation Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
•Till 2004, four natural and six cultural criteria were the basis of selection for World Heritage sites. Later, the updated guidelines only require meeting one of ten criteria.