UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
The root of the convention can be traced back in the late 1950s when important monuments of Egypt and Sudan were threatened by the construction of the Aswan Dam. This and other major intervention conducted during the 1960s stimulated the idea of providing a specific status for places of high cultural or natural importance.
A step forward was then achieved in 1965 during the White House convention which introduced terms like "World Heritage Trust" to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry".
The 1972 convention provides the first detailed definitions of cultural and natural heritage, thus including both human-made buildings and artefacts, and environmental places.
Introduces the concept of World Heritage Site meaning a cultural or natural place representing an “irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration”.
Ideally this system should allow, through a bottom-up process lead by communities and institutions of single countries, the conservation and enhancement of places of outstanding value.