Natural Heritage

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In accordance with Article 2 of the Convention as well as paragraph 45 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, the following shall be considered as properties of this type:

the natural features consisting of physical and biological formations;
  • the geological and physiographical formations that are localized within a frame of precisely delineated areas, which represent the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants that ensure their protection and the harmonious expansion;
  • precisely delineated natural sites or areas which are of outstanding value from the point of view of science or natural beauty;
  • To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one of four following selection criteria.
Selection criteria for natural heritage

Criterion 1

to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;

Criterion 2

to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;

Criterion 3

to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;

Criterion 4

to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

 

Furthermore, the INTEGRITY of all these characteristics also constitutes an important consideration.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

According to Article 1 of the Convention from 1972, the cultural heritage is represented by properties of outstanding universal value, such as:

  • the architectural monuments or their groups;
  • works of monumental sculpture and painting;
  • elements or structures of an archaeological nature, as well as the inscriptions or cave dwellings;
  • the sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical point of view, for example and others.

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

Selection criteria for cultural heritage

Criterion 1

to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;

Criterion 2

to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

Criterion 3

to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;

Criterion 4

to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;

Criterion 5

to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;

Criterion 6

to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);

 

Furthermore, the AUTHENTICITY of all these characteristics also constitutes an important consideration.

 

Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as CULTURAL LANDSCAPES.

 

 

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Średniowieczne Miasto Toruń, Stare Miasto w Zamościu, Puszcza Białowieska, Kościoły Pokoju w Jaworze i Świdnicy, czy kopalnia soli w Wieliczce, zajmują honorowe miejsca obok takich osobliwości, jak paryskie wybrzeża Sekwany, Wielka Rafa Koralowa w Australii, Tadż Mahal w Indiach, czy egipskie piramidy.