In 1982, ICOMOS established 18th April as the ‘International Day for Monuments and Sites’ (IDMS) or ‘World Heritage Day’, followed by UNESCO adoption during its 22nd General Conference.
The purpose of the day is to educate about the diversity of the world’s heritage sites and the efforts that are essential in protecting and conserving them.
World Heritage Sites are places around the world that are considered so important for the shared understanding and future of our planet, that we should look after them forever.
There are more than 1100 sites globally; some are natural like the Great Barrier Reef or the Serengeti, and some are man-made like Stonehenge or the Taj Mahal. The UK has 33 World Heritage Sites including the Jurassic Coast, the Tower of London and St Kilda.
According to Historic England – ‘World Heritage Sites can be important for social cohesion and can help to foster a sense of pride. They can also act as the focus for education, tourism and economic regeneration.’
There is irreplaceable value in natural and culture heritage sites, museums, libraries and archive collections that can provide a wealth of knowledge for future generations and is something we should all care about protecting for many years to come.
If you would like to become a member of World Heritage UK visit worldheritageuk.org/world-heritage-uk-membership or if you have some spare time and want to make a difference, you can find out about volunteering at Historic England or with other heritage organisations via historicengland.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer