- Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
World heritage day
What to study?
- For Prelims: UNESCO WHS- important sites.
- For Mains: Significance and the need for conservation of WHS.
Context: Every year, 18th April is celebrated Worldwide as World Heritage Day to create awareness about Heritage among communities.
Theme: The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Rural Landscapes’, which is related to the theme of the 2019 ICOMOS Scientific Symposium on Rural heritage that will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco in October.
There are 37 World Heritage Sites located in India. These include 29 cultural sites, seven natural sites and one mixed site. India has the sixth largest number of sites in the world.
What is a World Heritage site?
A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection.
These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO. UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
In 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) announced, 18 April as the “World Heritage Day”, approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with the aim of enhancing awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage of humankind, and redouble efforts to protect and conserve the human heritage.
What are rural landscapes and why are they significant?
In the ICOMOS “Principles concerning rural landscapes as heritage”, adopted by the ICOMOS General Assembly in 2017, rural landscapes are defined as “terrestrial and aquatic areas co-produced by human-nature interaction used for the production of food and other renewable natural resources, via agriculture, animal husbandry and pastoralism, fishing and aquaculture, forestry, wild food gathering, hunting, and extraction of other resources, such as salt. Rural landscapes are multifunctional resources. At the same time, all rural areas have cultural meanings attributed to them by people and communities: all rural areas are landscapes.”
Rural landscapes encompass an increasing accumulation of tangible and intangible heritage which is in constant adaptation to environmental, cultural, social, political and economic conditions. They are the most common type of continuing cultural landscape.
Sources: the hindu.