- Every year, the United Nations marks April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites, in many countries also celebrated as World Heritage Day. The theme for this year is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”.
- Globally, the day is promoted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
- ICOMOS in 1982 had decided to celebrate April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites or World Heritage Day.
- Approved by UNESCO in 1983 during its 22nd General Conference, the day is dedicated to recognising sites of historical importance, raising awareness regarding them, and stressing the need to restore and preserve them.
World Heritage Sites in India
- Currently, there are 38 World Heritage Sites located in India.
- Of these, 30 are ‘cultural’, such as the Ajanta Caves, Fatehpur Sikri, Hampi monuments and the Mountain Railways of India, and 7 are ‘Natural’, including Kaziranga, Manas and Nanda Devi National Parks.
- One is classified as ‘Mixed’, the Khangchendzonga National Park.
- In 2019, ‘Jaipur City’ became the 38th addition to the India list under Culture.
- Every year, 18th April is celebrated Worldwide as World Heritage Day to create awareness about Heritage among communities.
- Theme: The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Rural Landscapes’, which is related to the theme of the 2019 ICOMOS Scientific Symposium on Rural heritage that will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco in October.
- There are 37 World Heritage Sites located in India. These include 29 cultural sites, seven natural sites and one mixed site. India has the sixth largest number of sites in the world.
What is a World Heritage site?
- A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection.
- These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO. UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
- In 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) announced, 18 April as the “World Heritage Day”, approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with the aim of enhancing awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage of humankind, and redouble efforts to protect and conserve the human heritage.
- Rural landscapes encompass an increasing accumulation of tangible and intangible heritage which is in constant adaptation to environmental, cultural, social, political and economic conditions. They are the most common type of continuing cultural landscape.
SOURCE:THE HINDU ,THE ECONOMIC TIMES ,MINT