Heritage and development

World Heritage Sites

The Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China (inscribed in the World Heritage List in July 2013) covers 16,603-hectares in Southern Yunnan. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces. They have also created an integrated farming system that involves buffalos, cattle, ducks, fish and eel and supports the production of red rice, the area’s primary crop. The inhabitants worship the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, forests and other natural phenomena including fire. They live in 82 villages situated between the mountaintop forests and the terraces. The villages feature traditional thatched “mushroom” houses. The resilient land management system of the rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both visually and ecologically, based on exceptional and long-standing social and religious structures. Sylvio Mutal, former UNDP/Unesco CTA/Latin America and the Caribbean, says “at present ancient agricultural technologies are still being used. Traditional technologies in themselves are of world heritage value. This site combines natural, cultural and technological heritage values. It is a perfect combination: nature – culture – indigenous technology.”

Origin of World Heritage Convention ;
World Heritage Center;
Nominating process;
Selection Criteria;
Unesco World Heritage Sites as at July 2013;
Territorial division;
Heritage Sites in Danger

Presently there are 981 sites listed: 759 cultural, 193 natural, and 29 mixed properties, in 160 states parties.

Sylvio Mutal says it is expected that there will be a 1000 World Heritage Sites by July 2014.

Managing Cultural World Heritage Manual

Advisory bodies of the World Heritage Convention / Center: these are ngos ICOMOS, IUCN and the international governmental organization ICCROM.

Furthermore, the following organizations, among others, work with WHC on matters of heritage conservation and allied subjects, funding, dissemination, disaster preparedness:

-          Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles

-          World Monument Fund, New York

-          Crattere (Mud brick), Grenoble

-          Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva

-          Organization for World Heritage Cities, Quebec

-          ICOM, Paris

-          MAB Unesco, Paris

-          Prince Claus Fund, Amsterdam

-          UN OCHA

-          World Bank, IADB, ADB, AFDB, UNDP, among others.