English Français
Help preserve sites now!

Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean Region possess a rich cultural and natural heritage. The 33 countries have ratified the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The Region counts with 131 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List of which 91 cultural properties, 36 natural properties and 4 mixed properties recognized by their Outstanding Universal Value.

From archeological pre-Hispanic sites, exceptionally well preserved historical centres, breathtaking natural sites with exquisite, bio diverse landscapes, the Region’s World Heritage serves as a basis for further strengthening sustainable development and the role of local communities which is vital for heritage protection and management. A well Protected World Heritage site contributes directly to environmental, social and economic development and helps better the life of the local community. This process constitutes a great challenge for the years to come, both for the State Parties to the Convention and for UNESCO.

Action Plan (2014-2024)

The World Heritage Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh – June 2013) requested the World Heritage Centre to develop an Action Plan for the Region.

Taking into consideration the inputs provided by the States Parties within the framework of the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting and during the regional and sub-regional meetings and the regional meeting in Brasilia (April 2014), the Action Plan includes the objectives, regional priorities and a strategy for implementation for the next decade. The Action Plan will be submitted to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in June 2014.

Regional Ongoing Activites

Field offices

Conservation, protection and capacity building activities in the region are carried out through reinforced cooperation among the States Parties, the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and UNESCO Offices in the field. The network of field offices plays an essential role in the implementation of specific activities.

Category II Centers

Created in order to assist and support the States Parties of the three LAC sub-regions to implement the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Two centres have been created: the Rio de Janeiro Centre for the South American sub-region and the Zacatecas Centre for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Capacity Building

Capacity Building is one of the key issues in the Region. The lack of management capacity and expertise has been identified as one of the pressing needs in some countries from the region preventing them from ensuring better protection for the World Heritage sites within their territory.

Periodic Reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean

Second Cycle (2013)

The process of preparing for the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting was implemented with the intention of strengthening the capacities of States Parties to LAC. Close cooperation was reached, with the purpose of reaching the objectives of the Retrospective Inventory exercise and contributing to the official presentation of the Retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for all sites inscribed in the Region (Decision 31COM11D.1, Para 7 - Christchurch, 2007) prior to the official launch of the exercise which will take place during the 35th Session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2011).

First Cycle (2004)

The Committee expressed its wished to examine the States Parties periodic reports region by region. The World Heritage Committee decided to examine the Report on the State of the World Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean at its session in 2004. 
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre, through the Adviser for World Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean based at the UNESCO Office in Montevideo, will coordinate the periodic reporting process, will provide assistance to States Parties and will ensure the preparation of the regional synthesis report.

Working Areas

The World Heritage Centre aims to provide an interactive space for the LAC community and participants of thematic groups created during the sub-regional meetings. Each group will have a coordinator that will be responsible for the launching, coordination and moderation of discussions.

Thematic Groups National Legislation Management Plans

Reference Documents

Documents referring to the follow-up of the First Cycle 2004-2014 Action Plan, the 2nd cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise, as well as publications concerning the LAC region.

LAC Repository

Extra-budgetary Projects
Tiwanaku Calakmul Machu Picchu Heads in LAC

Many of the programmes developed in LAC are funded by Spanish Funds-in-Trust for World Heritage.

See Also (1)
Decisions (2)
Show 38COM 8E Adoption of Retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value
Show 38COM 10B.4 Progress Report on Periodic Reporting in the Latin America and the Caribbean region