1. What is World Heritage?
- In 1972, the Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (The World Heritage Convention) was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO. Properties considered to have "outstanding universal value" were placed (registered) on the World Heritage List, which includes: irreplaceable "natural" heritage and "cultural" heritage of human creation that should be handed on to future generations, whatever nation or people it may belong to, such as monuments, ruins, and natural areas.
- Three prerequisites must be satisfied to be listed as World Heritage: the property must have outstanding universal value; one or more of the criteria for inclusion in the World Heritage List must be satisfied; and measures must have been taken for the protection and management of the cultural and natural heritage to ensure that the value of the property can be handed on to future generations.
- As of July 2007 there are 851 properties on the World Heritage List (166 Natural, 660 Cultural and 25 Mixed*) from 141 countries.
* Mixed heritage: A property that satisfies the criteria for both natural and cultural heritage
2. World Heritage Criteria (Cultural)
- Represent a masterpiece of human creative genius; or
- Exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; or
- Bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared; or
- Be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural, technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage (s) in human history; or
- Be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or of human interaction with the environment, especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
- Be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, beliefs, with artistic and literary works of "outstanding universal significance" (the Committee considers that this criterion should justify inclusion in the List only in exceptional circumstances and in conjunction with other criteria cultural or natural).
3. World Heritage Properties in Japan
|1||Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area||Nara||Cultural||1993|
|5||Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto||Kyoto, Shiga||Cultural||1994|
|6||Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama||Gifu, Toyama||Cultural||1995|
|7||Hiroshima Peace Memorial||Hiroshima||Cultural||1996|
|8||Itsukushima Shinto Shrine||Hiroshima||Cultural||1996|
|9||Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara||Nara||Cultural||1998|
|10||Shrines and Temples of Nikko||Tochigi||Cultural||1999|
|11||Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu||Okinawa||Cultural||2000|
|12||Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range||Mie, Nara, Wakayama||Cultural||2004|
|14||Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape||Shimane||Cultural||2007|
|Representative World Heritage Properties around the World|
Great Wall of China (China)
The Palace of Versailles (France)
The Pyramids (Egypt)
The City of Potosi (Bolivia)
The Grand Canyon (USA)
The Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
|Both Cultural and Natural Property|
|Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru)
In addition to the properties listed above, the Japanese Government has made a list of sites in its territory that it believes satisfy the criteria for inscription in the World Heritage List, and has presented this "Tentative List" to the World Heritage Committee** for evaluation.
The Committee requests that State Parties to the World Heritage Convention submit a list of the properties it intends to nominate for inscription in the World Heritage List over the next five to ten years. This list will enable the Committee to evaluate within the widest possible context the "outstanding universal value" of each property nominated for the List.
It has been decided that no property will be considered for the World Heritage List unless it has been previously submitted on such a tentative list.
**The World Heritage Committee:
Composed of representatives from 21 committee states selected from the State Parties to the World Heritage Convention and observers and experts from dozens of other countries. Meets once a year to fulfill four roles:
- To inscribe superior cultural and natural properties on the List of World Heritage;
- To coordinate with countries after inscription and continue to monitor the status of conservation;
- To conclude whether certain properties are endangered and inscribe them on the List of World Heritage in Danger; and
- To give assistance to the State Parties of the World Heritage Convention by effectively allocating financial aid from the World Heritage Fund.
World Heritage Committee
(Christchurch, New Zealand, 2007)
4. Extent of a World Heritage Site (Japan)
5. Related World Heritage Sites (Industrial)
|Site / Descriptions||Country||Date of Inscription|
|1||Roros / Copper mine town developed in a stringent natural setting||Norway||1980|
|2||City of Potosi / Once prospered as the world's largest silver mine||Bolivia||1987|
|3||Historic Town of Guanafuato and Adjacent Mines / Silver mining town and center of the arts that supported the prosperity of Spain||Mexico||1988|
|4||Mines of Rammelsberg and Historic Town of Goslar / Silver mining town, once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire||Germany||1992|
|5||Historic Centre of Zacatecas / Home of the first "silver rush" in Mexico||Mexico||1993|
|6||Banska Stiavnica / The oldest gold and silver mining town that experienced many ups and downs||Slovakia||1993|
|7||Kutna Hora: Historical Town Centre / Historic site reminiscent of the past glories as a silver mining town||Czech Republic||1995|
|8||Las Medulas / Abandoned gold mines from the ancient Roman times found in the mountainsides||Spain||1997|
|9||Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun / Copper mine with over 1000 years of history||Sweden||2001|
|10||Historic Centre of the Town of Goias / Gold mining town developed in a central highland area||Brazil||2001|
|11||Mining landscape from Cornwall and West Devon / Industrial landscape of copper and tin mines||England||2006|
|12||Sewell Mining Town / Corporate / Mining town built high up in the Andes||Chile||2006|