40 nominations will be examined at the World Heritage Committee’s 44th session slated to be chaired from Fuzhou (China) from July 16-31. Of these, 31 nominations are for cultural sites, 5 natural sites, one mixed and three nominations for significant modifications to the boundaries.
It may be noted that India has submitted two nominations for inscription on World Heritage Sites list – the cultural sites of Dholavira in Gujarat and Ramappa Temple in Telangana. World Heritage is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
44th Session of the World Heritage Committee should have taken place last year itself. However, the Committee had to take a drastic step of postponing the session to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected by their General Assembly. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties. It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed. It also decides on the inscription or deletion of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Presently, a total of 1,121 World Heritage Sites (869 cultural, 213 natural, and 39 mixed properties) exist across 167 countries. With 55 selected areas each, China and Italy are the countries with the most sites on the list.