World Heritage Day 2020: Current Theme, History and Significance

World Heritage Day 2020: It is observed on 18 April to increase awareness on the importance of diversity of cultural heritage and preserving it for the generations ahead. Let us have a look in detail about World Heritage Day, 2020 theme, history and significance.
Created On: Apr 18, 2020 08:19 IST
Modified On: Apr 18, 2020 08:19 IST
World Heritage Day
World Heritage Day

World Heritage Day 2020: The day is about preserving human heritage, diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites. Also, the efforts required to protect and conserve it and to draw attention towards it.

We all know that Ancient buildings and monuments are an asset for us and for the world. Therefore, World Heritage Day is a collective effort of the communities in the world to do the needful. This day maintain the cultural legacy and make people think about its susceptibility.

World Heritage Day 2020: Theme

The theme of World Heritage Day 2020 is "Shared Culture’, ‘Shared heritage’ and ‘Shared responsibility". In the time of global crises where the whole world is fighting with COVID-19 pandemic, the theme plays an important role. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, the organisation has decided to celebrate World Heritage Day via the internet. The theme focuses on global unity with the current worldwide health crisis. It also recognises that whether the heritage is connected with landscapes, place, etc. it should be valued by multiple and diverse groups and communities.

The theme of World Heritage Day 2019 was “Rural Landscapes”. International Day for Monuments and Sites offers the opportunity this year for National and International Scientific Committees to raise awareness about the relevance of rural landscapes, the challenges that encompass their conservation, the benefits that these efforts provide, and how rural landscapes are intrinsically related with sustainable development.

What are rural landscapes?

The area whether terrestrial and aquatic which are co-produced by the interaction of human nature for the production of food and other renewable natural resources like agriculture, animal husbandry, pastoralism, fishing, aquaculture, gathering, hunting, extraction of other resources like salt etc. Let us tell you that rural landscapes are multifunctional resources. Therefore, all rural areas have cultural meanings attributed to them by people and communities. So, we can say that all rural areas are landscapes.

World Heritage Day: History

World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on 18 April to preserve the human heritage and to recognise all the efforts of relevant organizations. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in 1982 announced, 18 April as the World Heritage Day. This was approved by General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with an aim of enhancing awareness about the importance of cultural heritage, monuments and to conserve them.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) organisation was established on the principles set forth in the Venice Charter, also known as the 1964 International Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites.

World Heritage Sites

 World Heritage Day 2020:  Celebration

On this day organisation has decided to celebrate the day via internet due to COVID-19 outbreak. Several activities like virtual conferences, online lectures, press releases and social media campaigns can be performed. People can even post their photographs, information and videos on shared heritage, cultures from their country. Even it is said that to increase the reach hashtags can be used, share the message about the importance of heritage with friends, relatives and family as much as possible. Interested can also take an initiative and can host webinars related to the topic of heritage. 

According to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS):
1. Inter-generational transfer of knowledge: To emphasise and exchange the importance of knowledge between generations to promote the ICOMOS ethos for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage.
2. Youth Leadership: In each country, professionals will emerge and organise events that will focus on reaching the younger members of the wider public community by showcasing the creative use of social media.
This communication process across the generations of heritage practitioners generates enriching exchanges. Even to combine the knowledge of experienced practitioners with the newer members will bring a more holistic approach to ongoing initiatives.

Therefore, to celebrate World Heritage Day is an opportunity to emphasise the importance of safeguarding, conserving and preserving our heritage. Various conferences related to preserving heritage culture, lectures, training sessions, round-table discussions, poster sessions etc. will pave the importance of heritage and celebrates it on a wider scale.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance. 

World Heritage Day gives us an opportunity to conserve and preserve our heritage culture which paves an ancient importance. They have an outstanding universal value.

World Heritage Sites in India identified by UNESCO

Important Days and Dates in April 2020


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