What is a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

“World Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage Sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.”

Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site

In 1986, Stonehenge was designated by UNESCO, together with Avebury and Associated Sites such as Silbury and West Kennet Long Barrow known as the “Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site”. The description of the World Heritage Site (WHS) includes a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) which explains why the WHS is considered to be of such importance to mankind.

The UK Government is signatory to the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Article 4 of the Convention states that:

“Each State Party to this Convention recognizes that the duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage referred to in Articles 1 and 2 and situated on its territory, belongs primarily to that State. It will do all it can to this end, to the utmost of its own resources and, where appropriate, with any international assistance and co-operation, in particular, financial, artistic, scientific and technical, which it may be able to obtain.”

UNESCO requires State Parties to the Convention to produce management plans for their WHSs. Until 2015, Stonehenge and Avebury had separate management plans but a joint management plan for the whole WHS has been published. The new Management Plan includes a set of maps showing different aspects and characteristics of the WHS.

ACT NOW!

You can email UNESCO today to lend support to its advice that the Government should explore options for a widened A303 that would not cause further damage to Stonehenge World Heritage Site.


UNESCO & Stonehenge WHS Reports

2018

  • The World Heritage Committee noted the concerns of the Mission report and urged the Government to explore ways of avoiding impact on the OUV of the WHS. Read WH Committee Decision 2018 in full.
  • Stonehenge, UNESCO and the Spanish amendments: Our blog about our statement to the WH Committee and its decision-making.
  • Mission report concluded that if the current length of the tunnel is pursued the damage inflicted by the dual carriageway cuttings would impact adversely on the integrity and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Stonehenge WHS.  Report here.
  • The UNESCO/ICOMOS Mission interviewed stakeholders including The Stonehenge Alliance in March 2018.

2017

2016

2015

  • In response to our campaign UNESCO made the following statement on 19 May 2015:
UNESCO-response-19May2015

Click on image to see statement.

 

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