Glossary of Main Terms

Advisory Bodies
  
 A nominated property is independently evaluated by two Advisory Bodies mandated by the World Heritage Convention: the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), which respectively provide the World Heritage Committee with evaluations of cultural and of natural sites nominated. The third Advisory Body is the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), an intergovernmental organization which provides the Committee with expert advice on conservation of cultural sites, as well as on training activities.
 
 
Criteria for selection of World Heritage sites
  
 To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.
 
 
Culture Sector, UNESCO
  
 Is responsible for important conventions and universal declarations, such as the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity which it implements in a number of areas in order to promote intercultural dialogue. The Cultural Heritage Division manages international campaigns and assists in safeguarding sites – some of which involve World Heritage properties – and masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage. It also carries out operational projects in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, ICCROM, ICOMOS and ICOM.
 
 
Cultural Heritage
  
 Monuments, groups of buildings and sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, art, or science as well as anthropological point of view.
 
 
Cultural landscapes
  
 Cultural properties that represent the " combined works of nature and of man". Cultural landscapes often reflect specific techniques of sustainable land-use, considering the characteristics and limits of the natural environment they are established in, and a specific spiritual relation to nature.
 
 
Heritage Canal
  
 A canal is a human-engineered waterway. It may be of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history or technology. The canal may be of monumental work, the defining feature of a linear cultural landscape, or an integral component of a complex cultural landscape.
 
 
Heritage Route
  
 A heritage route is composed of tangible elements of which the cultural significance comes from exchanges and a multidimensional dialogue across countries or regions, and that illustrate the interaction of movement, along the route, in space and time.
 
 
Historic Towns and Town Centers
  
 Groups of urban buildings eligible for inscription on the World Heritage List.
 
 
General Assembly
  
 includes all States Parties to the Convention. It meets once every two years during the ordinary session of the General Conference of UNESCO to elect the members of the World Heritage Committee, to examine the statement of accounts of the World Heritage Fund and to decide on major policy issues.
 
 
ICCROM
  
 The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, is an intergovernmental body founded in 1956 which provides expert advice on how to conserve World Heritage sites, as well as training in restoration techniques.
 
 
ICOM
  
 Founded in 1946, the International Council of Museums is devoted to the promotion and development of museums and the museum profession at an international level. ICOM is a non-governmental organization with around 17,000 members in 140 countries, many of which have World Heritage sites with museums.
 
 
ICOMOS
  
 The International Council on Monuments and Sites, a nongovernmental organization, was founded in 1965 after the adoption of the Charter of Venice, in order to promote the doctrine and the techniques of conservation. ICOMOS provides the World Heritage Committee with evaluations of properties with cultural values proposed for inscription on the World Heritage List, as well as with comparative studies, technical assistance and reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties.
 
 
Intangible heritage
  
 Intangible cultural heritage is the practices, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities, groups and sometimes individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage. Also called living cultural heritage, it is usually expressed in one of the following forms: oral traditions; performing arts; social practices, rituals and festive events; knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and traditional craftsmanship.itage Centre is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Convention and for the administration of the World Heritage Fund.
 
 
World Heritage Committee
  
 meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected for terms up to six years. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, allocates financial assistance from the World Heritage Fund and has the final say on whether a site is inscribed on the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed sites and decides on the inscription or removal of sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
 
 
 
 
 

Publications

Partners