UNESCO works to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding universal value to humanity. This is embodied in the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO, 1972).
World Heritage (WH) is a unique concept, because it has a universal application, trhoughout the countries of the world. WH sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.
The World Heritage List includes 936 properties which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. Viet Nam lays claim to seven of these properties.
For outstanding universal cultural value:
- Citadel of the Ho Dynasty (inscribed into the WH list in 2011)
- Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Ha Noi (2010)
- Complex of Hué Monuments (1993)
- Hoi An Ancient Town (1999)
- My Son Sanctuary (1999)
For outstanding universal natural value:
- Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (2003)
- Ha Long Bay (1994)
Additionally, there are several sites submitted for consideration for future entry into the list:
- Ba Be Lake (1997)
- The Area of Old Carved Stone in Sapa (1997)
- Huong Son Complex of Natural Beauty and Historical Monuments (1991)
- Cat Tien National Park (2006)
- Con Moong Cave (2006)
In the face of rapid development, including a growing tourist influx, preservation of these sites is increasingly urgent. UNESCO Viet Nam continues to implement UNESCO's strategies for improving awareness and protection of these sites.