The International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day) is held on 18 April each year around the world with different types of activities, including visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences, round tables and newspaper articles.
The International Day for Monuments and Sites was proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on 18 April 1982 and approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983. The aim is to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.
World Heritage Day 2017: what it is and why is it important?
World Heritage Day, celebrating international monuments and sites, is on April 18.
The event is marked globally, and each year there’s a theme – this year it’s sustainable tourism.
It’s been chosen to tie in with the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
World Heritage Day is all about raising awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status.
It’s a chance to inform everyone about the efforts involved to protect and conserve, and just how vulnerable these sites are.
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.
How many World Heritage Sites are there in the UK?
There are 30 sites in the UK, and British Overseas Territories.
These include places such as Stonehenge, Blenheim Palace and the Forth Bridge.
How many World Heritage Sites are there globally?
In total there are 1,052.
Of these, 814 are cultural, 203 are natural and 35 are mixed.
Fifty-five of these are in danger, including the birthplace of Jesus, Church of the Nativity and Pilgrimage Route in Bethlehem.
Why is World Heritage Day important?
The day seeks to raise awareness of the challenges involved in protecting World Heritage Sites.
2017 will allow communities to celebrate the positive impact of sustainable tourism – how it can empower communities and educate visitors.
How can I get involved?
There are many sites in the UK celebrating, with activities such as water-based fun, craft activities, yarnbombing and much more.
The full list of UK activities can be found here.