The Government has announced that the Lake District will be put forward as the UK’s next nomination for World Heritage status under the UNESCO 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
The purpose of this Convention was to establish “an effective system of collective protection of the cultural and natural heritage of outstanding value.” It was founded on the philosophy that some natural and cultural sites constitute ‘common heritage’ and that the disappearance of such heritage would be of irreparable loss to mankind.
The Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said that the Lake District would be invited to prepare a nomination to be submitted to UNESCO in 2016, with a final decision expected to be made in 2017.
Sites already on the list include the Great Barrier Reef, the Taj Mahal, Yellowstone National Park, the Giant’s Causeway and Hadrian’s Wall.
Those awarded the status are considered by the World Heritage Committee as having outstanding universal value.
UNESCO’s World Heritage mission is to:
- encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage;
- encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List;
- encourage States Parties to establish management plans and set up reporting systems on the state of conservation of their World Heritage sites;
- help States Parties safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training;
- provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger;
- support States Parties’ public awareness-building activities for World Heritage conservation;
- encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage;
- encourage international cooperation in the conservation of our world’s cultural and natural heritage.