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.

 

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). It may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet.

 

The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence. Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones.[3] The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 states parties which are elected by their General Assembly.

 

The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. 

Since then, 193 state parties have ratified the convention, making it one of the most widely recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program.

 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Heritage_site