About World Heritage

About World Heritage

World Heritage refers to mankind’s shared treasures, which we have a duty to pass on to future generations, and is divided into three categories: Cultural Heritage, Natural Heritage and Mixed Heritage. Kintaikyo Bridge is aiming for World Heritage registered status in the category of World Cultural Heritage.

In order to gain registered status as a World Heritage Site, it is necessary for the “outstanding universal value” of a site to be recognized. For that purpose, based on guidelines specified by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the site must meet at least one of the selection criteria, as well as fulfilling the conditions of integrity and authenticity, and conservation measures must be sufficiently carried out domestically.

World Heritage was defined within the World Heritage Convention (in full, the “Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage”), which was adopted at the 17th General Conference of UNESCO in 1972.

About Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)

Outstanding universal value means cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity (citation from the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention).

Cultural Heritage Selection Criteria

  1. To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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).

Process of World Cultural Heritage Selection

Work towards entering the “World Heritage Tentative List”
A municipality or the like aiming for registration advances research on the value of the property.

Enter the “World Heritage Tentative List”
The national government submits a “World Heritage Tentative List” listing candidates for World Heritage sites to the World Heritage Committee.

Submit “Nomination” from national government to the World Heritage Committee
The national government selects a property that is well-prepared for nomination, and submits the nomination form to the World Heritage Committee.

Evaluation by Advisory Bodies
An international non-governmental organization made up of specialists (ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites) carries out an inspection of the nominated property, and prepares an evaluation report to submit to the World Heritage Committee.

World Heritage Committee decides whether or not to select
The World Heritage Committee holds deliberations in regard to the nominated properties, and decides on whether nominated properties should be included in the World Heritage List.