Responsible for the content: Lena Johansson, Karlskrona kommun. Photo: Lena Johansson unless otherwise stated 

The World Heritage List


To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria have been set by UNESCO and are regularly revised by the World Heritage Committee.

The nomination process is a long one and it takes a great amount of preparation work that may lead to the first step of the process meaning that the property is put on the so called tentative list. This list, describing the potential World Heritage Properties, is prepared by the State Party. The property must be on this list in order to be considered by the World Heritage Committee as a nomination for inscription on the World Heritage List.
After that a nomination file will be prepared by the State Party which will be evaluated and then, later in the process, the final decision about inscription will be made by the World Heritage Committee. Once a year the World Heritage Committee meets to decide which properties to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. Every year new properties add to the list, in 2009 13 properties were included, among them The Ruins of Loropéni (Burkina Faso), Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System (Iran) and The Dolomites (Italy).
The opposite – a property being deleted from the World Heritage List – can happen but is not very common. This can happen if the nomination qualities are dramatically changing or threatened, for example by new buildings that affect the property severely.

At this moment almost 900 properties are inscribed on the List. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Website to see all of them.

The World Heritage emblem

The World Heritage emblem is designed by Michel Olyff and is the official emblem of World Heritage since 1978. The central square symbolizes the results of human skill and inspiration, that is culture, while the circle celebrates and represents the gifts of nature. The emblem is round, like the world, a symbol of global protection for the heritage of all humankind.