The 1972 World Heritage Convention is truly unique. It is the only legal instrument conceived to protect both cultural and natural heritage, based on the principle of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) – the value of a site that is irreplaceable and must be protected for the future.

Each year, during its annual session, the World Heritage Committee adds new sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List. In this issue, we present the 29 sites added to the List during the Committee’s 43rd session held from 30 June to 10 July 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The key goal of the World Heritage Convention is the conservation of cultural and natural places around the world of Outstanding Universal Value. We cannot protect these sites, whether in our own country, or elsewhere, if we are not aware of them. This issue gives you a brief look at each of these extraordinary places.

There are more and more disasters and conflicts around the globe, which threaten these precious places. The effects of climate change are contributing to many of these factors. At UNESCO, we are dedicated to bringing together the expertise to guide actions that will help with heritage conservation. It is not enough to identify heritage and include it on a List. We support national authorities, local authorities and site managers in their daily work of managing and monitoring the state of conservation of these sites.

We must take effective action to ensure our heritage can withstand threats or recover from damage from both natural and human causes. It is more important than ever that we develop and enhance awareness among all stakeholders of what is truly valuable among our human-made and natural treasures, our diverse cultural heritage and environment, so that we can preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

Mechtild Rössler
UNESCO World Heritage Centre

In Focus

New World Heritage sites 2019

Cultural Sites

Sites from ancient Babylon to the modern architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Natural sites

Primeval forests, Icelandic volcanoes, bird sanctuaries and a remote ‘oasis’ of biological evolution.

Mixed site

The historic coastal town and biodiversity hotspot of Paraty and Ilha Grande, Brazil.


The natural-cultural site of Lake Ohrid now spans two countries, Albania and North Macedonia.



Experts discuss climate change, World Heritage and tourism at UNESCO; Stepping up management of Komodo’s outstanding marine environment; Instituto do Património Cultural (Cabo Verde) awarded UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri cultural landscapes prize.

In Danger

Hydropower project in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve site causing UNESCO grave concern.


Arab World Heritage young professionals meet in Tunisia.