Safeguarding Heritage

UNESCO is in the vanguard of international efforts to safeguard tangible and intangible heritage.

The UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels supports the enhancement of cooperation between UNESCO and his Brussels-based partners, in all the below-mentioned fields of action.

World Cultural and Natural Heritage

© UNESCO / Ron Van Oers-Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe, inscribed in 2011 on the World Heritage List.

The Organisation seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

Intangible Heritage

©Santi Terraza, Human towers, inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The term 'cultural heritage' has changed content considerably in recent decades, partially owing to the instruments developed by UNESCO.

Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.

UNESCO stands for supporting the preservation and transmission of this heritage, according to the principles embodied in the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 2003.

Underwater Cultural Heritage

© UNESCO/E. Trainito, Pollockshields Wreck, Bermudas

Finally, UNESCO also leads international efforts in the safeguarding of important traces of human existence that lie or were lying under water and have a cultural or historical character, based on the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, approved in 2001.

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