There are many historical sites and places in the world that give us insight and evidence of the past civilizations. These sites help us learn about our ancestors, their living and culture. These sites can be called common or universal heritage of humankind and our World Heritage.
World Heritage Sites:
Any site, building, monument, city of physical, natural or cultural significance that can be called common heritage of all the humans on earth is World Heritage. As these places belong to all humans, the past, present and future generations equally so they must be conserved and protected.
Importance of these sites:
They can be called a legacy, for all humans, from the past civilizations. We must live in them today and also pass them on to future generations. These sites teach us about our past. They represent the great achievements of our ancestors and make us proud.
World heritage is universal heritage, and has religious, cultural and economic significance. They have exceptional value and importance for humankind from history, science and arts point of view and must be cared for.
Need To Protect:
Many UNESCO sites that stand today countenance threats, both human and natural. There is a list of thirty sites by UNESCO that are endangered. Some of the sites are facing deterioration, corrosion or destruction due to human made as well as natural causes.
There are many external factors responsible for damaging the world's heritage. Some of the external factors are climate change, nuclear weapons, armed conflicts, natural disasters, over-development / urbanization and unchecked tourism etc.
With the growing strength of these external factors it is becoming more and more important to take proper measures to save and preserve these timeless achievements of humankind.
Protecting World Heritage Sites:
Importance of this cannot be denied. It is not only the duty of the government or the local population to look after these sites but it is the responsibility of every human. We must play our part through several means in protecting these sites.
1. Join a Community:
There are many communities and organizations in the world which are working to preserve and protect these sites. We can work with these organizations, travel agencies, government groups and local communities.
Important Communities for protecting world heritage include UNESCO and World Heritage Alliance for Sustainable Tourism. We should join these communities to support their cause. We can also donate to different community funds that will help them protect world heritage sites.
2. Sustainable Tourism:
Another way to play our part is to pledge travel responsibility. Tourism can generate funds for the restoration of UNESCO sites but at the same time unchecked tourism can damage them seriously. We should not trash around at these places and visit world heritage sites in a responsible and sustainable way.
3. Increase Awareness:
We should communicate the importance of saving and protecting heritage sites. We should pass on the information we have and join hands to minimize the effects of different external forces on the world heritage sites.
4. Personal Efforts:
Local people are the first and best stewards of these sites. They must respond responsibly and efficiently towards preservation of world heritage sites in their area.
The listing of an endangered site increase awareness among people. If a site is facing danger of destruction or deterioration then the local people should increase awareness about it by drawing attention of individuals, groups and different communities towards it.
No matter what is our reach, we should help protect these sites through several means like financial contribution, raising awareness, advocating the importance of UNESCO sites or drawing attention of the government institutions. Our Every step would count and help in protecting the world heritage sites.