Thursday, March 01, 2007

Friends of World Heritage

The mission of Friends of World Heritage is:
to foster a constituency of World Heritage supporters and travelers to ensure the protection of World Heritage sites for today’s travelers and future generations.
Expedia, Inc., UNESCO’s World Heritage Center, and the UN Foundation are working together to support this mission.

The World Heritage program is, in my opinion, the flagship of UNESCO -- its most visible as well as its most cost-effective program. JAD
World Heritage sites are places around the world that have been internationally recognized for their outstanding value as natural and cultural treasures. Sites currently on the World Heritage List include Independence Hall, Stonehenge, the Galapagos Islands, the parks, forests and wildlife reserves of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the historic Centre of Prague, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Great Wall of China.

All sites are protected by the 1972 World Heritage Convention, signed to date by 180 countries and administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), making it one of the most universal international legal instruments for the protection of cultural and natural heritage. While fully respecting the national sovereignty, the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention recognize that the protection of our World Heritage is the duty of the international community as a whole. There are currently 830 World Heritage sites (644 cultural, 162 natural and 24 mixed properties in 138 States Parties) in 138 countries.

Friends of World Heritage also manages a Fund, Donations to the Fund go to World Heritage projects and priorities, mainly in the developing world -- where money is so scarce. Furthermore, contributions from individuals may be matched twice over - turning every $1 into $3 - by the support of Expedia, Inc. and the UN Foundation.

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