WH Sites identify, protect, and preserve cultural and natural heritage around the world that is considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972. Sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria to be included on the World Heritage List. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.

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.

How to use

To download the text of the Convention, operational guidelines for implementation, and to search the map and individual sites: https://whc.unesco.org

To explore the WHS criteria and download the operational guidelines: