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World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Convention, adopted in 1972, is a legally binding instrument providing an intergovernmental framework for international cooperation for the identification and conservation of the world's most outstanding natural and cultural properties. The document developed from the merging of two separate movements: the first focusing on the preservation of cultural sites, and the other dealing with the conservation of nature and defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.

It sets out the duties of States Parties in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them. Under the Convention, States Parties are obliged to report regularly to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of their World Heritage properties. These reports are crucial to the work of the Committee as they enable it to assess the conditions of the sites, decide on specific programme needs and resolve recurrent problems.

Source(s): http://whc.unesco.org/en/convention/