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World Heritage

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage.

What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

How do World Heritage properties get listed?

World Heritage properties can only be nominated by the national government of a country (also called a State Party) that has signed and ratified the World Heritage Convention. Australia was the seventh country to ratify the convention, in 1974. In Australia, the federal government is responsible for the nomination of World Heritage properties, with the consent of the relevant state government.

However, governments do not decide whether a property in their country is inscribed on the World Heritage List. That decision is made by the World Heritage Committee, a group of elected representatives of 21 of the States Parties based at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

What qualities does a property need to get listed?

To be included on the World Heritage List, properties must be of outstanding universal value; and meet at least one of ten selection criteria.

‘Universal value’ is the key to the meaning of World Heritage. It means that the importance of World Heritage properties transcend national boundaries. Their qualities are extraordinary so that no matter which country they are found in, and who experiences them, they evoke a sense of wonder and admiration. For example, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is treasured by people from Iceland to Israel, Ukraine to Uruguay, as well as by Australians!

The ten selection criteria are set by UNESCO. A property nominated for its cultural significance could, for example, represent a work of human creative genius; a significant stage in human history; or a historic event or living tradition. A property nominated for its natural values could have exceptional natural beauty; represent major stages of Earth’s history; or provide habitat for threatened species. Get the full list of selection criteria here.

세계 유산

유산이란 우리가 선조로부터 물려받아 오늘날 그 속에 살고 있으며, 앞으로 우리 후손들에게 물려주어야 할 자산이다. 자연유산과 문화유산 모두 다른 어느 것으로도 대체할 수 없는 우리들의 삶과 영감의 원천이다.

유산의 형태는 독특하면서도 다양하다. 아프리카 탄자니아의 세렝게티 평원에서부터 이집트의 피라미드, 호주의 산호초와 남미대륙의 바로크 성당에 이르기까지 모두 인류의 유산이다. ‘세계유산’이라는 특별한 개념이 나타난 것은 이 유산들이 특정 소재지와 상관없이 모든 인류에게 속하는 보편적 가치를 지니고 있기 때문이다.

유네스코는 이러한 인류 보편적 가치를 지닌 자연유산 및 문화유산들을 발굴 및 보호, 보존하고자 1972년 세계 문화 및 자연 유산 보호 협약(Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage; 약칭 ‘세계유산협약’)을 채택하였다.

세계유산의 정의

세계유산이란 세계유산협약이 규정한 탁월한 보편적 가치를 지닌 유산으로서 그 특성에 따라 자연유산, 문화유산, 복합유산으로 분류한다.



문화유산 기념물 : 기념물, 건축물, 기념 조각 및 회화, 고고 유물 및 구조물, 금석문, 혈거 유적지 및 혼합유적지 가운데 역사, 예술, 학문적으로 탁월한 보편적 가치가 있는 유산 

건조물군: 독립되었거나 또는 이어져있는 구조물들로서 역사상, 미술상 탁월한 보편적 가치가 있는 유산

유적지: 인공의 소산 또는 인공과 자연의 결합의 소산 및 고고 유적을 포함한 구역에서 역사상, 관상상, 민족학상 또는 인류학상 탁월한 보편적 가치가 있는 유산

자연유산 무기적 또는 생물학적 생성물들로부터 이룩된 자연의 기념물로서 관상상 또는 과학상 탁월한 보편적 가치가 있는 것. 

 지질학적 및 지문학(地文學)적 생성물과 이와 함께 위협에 처해 있는 동물 및 생물의 종의 생식지 및 자생지로서 특히 일정구역에서 과학상, 보존상, 미관상 탁월한 보편적 가치가 있는 것

 과학, 보존, 자연미의 시각에서 볼 때 탁월한 보편적 가치를 주는 정확히 드러난 자연지역이나 자연유적지

복합유산  문화유산과 자연유산의 특징을 동시에 충족하는 유산

Historic Villages of Korea: Hahoe and Yangdong

Founded in the 14th-15th centuries, Hahoe and Yangdong are seen as the two most representative historic clan villages in the Republic of Korea.

Read more: Historic Villages of Hahoe and Yangdong

Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

The Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty form a collection of 40 tombs scattered over 18 locations. Built over five centuries, from 1408 to 1966, the tombs honoured the memory of ancestors, showed respect for their achievements, asserted royal authority, protected ancestral spirits from evil and provided protection from vandalism.

Read more: Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

Complex of Koguryo Tombs

The property includes several group and individual tombs - totalling about 30 individual tombs - from the later period of the Koguryo Kingdom, one of the strongest kingdoms in nowadays northeast China and half of the Korean peninsula between the 3rd century BC to 7th century AD.

Read more: Koguryo Tombs Complex

Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes

Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes together comprise three sites that make up 18,846 ha. It includes Geomunoreum, regarded as the finest lava tube system of caves anywhere, with its multicoloured carbonate roofs and floors, and dark-coloured lava walls; the fortress-like Seongsan Ilchulbong tuff cone, rising out of the ocean, a dramatic landscape; and Mount Halla, the highest in Korea, with its waterfalls, multi-shaped rock formations, and lake-filled crater. The site, of outstanding aesthetic beauty, also bears testimony to the history of the planet, its features and processes.

Read more: Jeju Volcanic Islands and Lava Tubes

Gyeongju Historic Areas

The Gyeongju Historic Areas contain a remarkable concentration of outstanding examples of Korean Buddhist art, in the form of sculptures, reliefs, pagodas, and the remains of temples and palaces from the flowering, in particular between the 7th and 10th centuries, of this form of unique artistic expression.

Read more: Gyeongju Historic Areas
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