The World Heritage Day is observed every year across world on April 18. Observance of this day aims to spread awareness and importance of protecting and preservating various sites around world that have achieved world heritage status and having great universal values. This year theme of the day is “Heritage for Generations”, emphasizing on inter-generational transfer of knowledge.
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity. It was approved by General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983, with an aim of enhancing awareness about importance of cultural heritage, monuments and to conserve them. ICOMOS was established on principles set in Venice Charter, also known as 1964 International Charter on Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites.y
Rio de Janeiro
The UN cultural body UNESCO has accorded world heritage status to Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (nicknamed as Marvelous City). Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. It also had hosted 2014 football World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance (such as an ancient ruin or historical structure, building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, mountain, or wilderness area). The list is maintained by international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The committee comprises of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly. A country must first list its significant cultural and natural sites; the result is called the Tentative List. A country may not nominate sites that have not been first included on the Tentative List. Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File. Presently, Italy with 50 sites is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites.