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Global environmental politics: A study of the world heritage convention (1972)

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The reasons to set up the World Heritage Convention.
    1. The WHC: Current situation and capacity of adaptability.
    2. The background of WHC: Two trends put together.
    3. Universality: The feature of a unique concept of natural sites conservation.
  3. A rigorous structure to put the Convention in practice.
    1. A real World Heritage machinery.
    2. Inscribing natural sites on the list: The World Heritage listing process.
    3. The criteria identifying 'outstanding universal natural values'.
    4. An organization cannot work and a convention cannot be put in practice without money.
  4. Positive and negative effects: The World Heritage, an on-going system.
    1. Problematic points.
    2. Benefits of the World Heritage Convention and its application.
    3. The prospects for future development.
  5. Bibliography.

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention has been established in 1972. It recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two. Thus, that convention concerns both the cultural and natural properties, but I will focus in that essay on the natural heritage aspect. Since it is regularly said to be "one of the most important tool for an international cooperation for environmental protection", it appears normal to set out the question why is that system able to be so long-lasting? In fact, it seems to have fixed itself achievable and more precise goals than the others MEA and to have stressed out the necessity of regular updates. Consequently, the World Heritage Convention is always today successful and attractive for both the state parties and the sites concerned. Why does such a need have emerged; how it works; and what are the benefits will be here the key questions.

[...] The listing process begins with the submission of a State Party's inventory of properties in its territories that may be suitable for World Heritage listing, called the ?tentative list?. It also provides a basis for the filling of the nomination file which is the 2nd step of the process. The World Heritage Centre offers advice and assistance to the State Party in preparing this file, which needs to be as exhaustive as possible, making sure the necessary documentation and maps are included. [...]


[...] Thus the World Heritage Convention set up the goals and the tools to achieve a preservation of the natural sites inscribed on the list. Nevertheless, the sustainability remains to be a key for the survival and the credibility of the World Heritage. The conservation of natural sites is indeed a long term process: state parties are engaged in an on-going procedure: more than identifying potential sites, they have an active role in protecting and preserving the site. Another crucial aspect is that those countries engaged have an obligation to report regularly to the World Heritage Committee the state of conservation of their World Heritage properties. [...]


[...] In response of the little funds of the WH system, the UNF and the Conservation International have already launched in 2002 a 15 millions dollars-3 years partnership for World Heritage conservation, including mobilizing resources towards setting up sustainable financing mechanism such as trust funds for selected natural sites. The Durban meeting also stresses on the African World natural Heritage: it established the African WH Fund to respond of the emergency of situations and took the African Position Paper, which lists the targeted challenges for Africa, into account. [...]

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