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World Heritage

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 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.

From 8th to 16th of July 2006, the 30th meeting period of the World Heritage committee took place. It was chaired by Lithuania and proceeded in Vilnius. 18 sites of 18 countries were accepted for the Heritage List - 16 cultural heritages and 2 natural heritages.

The World Heritage List comprises altogether 830 heritages in 138 countries. Thereof 644 are cultural heritages and 162 natural heritages. Other 24 heritages belong both to the cultural and to the natural heritages.

Cultural heritage refers to monuments, groups of buildings and properties with historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value.

Natural heritage refers to outstanding physical, biological and geological formations, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants and areas with scientific, conservation or aesthetic value.

China's share in the World Heritage List (until July 2006)

1. Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang (1987,    2004)
2. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (1987)
3. Mogao Caves (1987)
4 .Mount Taishan (1987)
5. Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (1987)
6. The Great Wall (1987)
7. Mount Huangshan (1990)
8. Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area (1992)
9. Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area (1992)
10. Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area (1992)
11. Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains (1994)
12. Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa (1994, 2000, 2001)
13. Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde (1994)
14. Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu (1994)
15. Lushan National Park (1996)
16. Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area (1996)
17. Ancient City of Ping Yao (1997)
18. Classical Gardens of Suzhou (1997, 2000)
19. Old Town of Lijiang (1997)
20. Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing (1998)
21. Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing (1998)
22. Dazu Rock Carvings (1999)
23. Mount Wuyi (1999)
24. Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun (2000)
25. Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (2000, 2003, 2004)
26. Longmen Grottoes (2000)
27. Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System (2000)
28. Yungang Grottoes (2001)
29. Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (2003)
30. Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom (2004)
31. Historic Centre of Macao (2005)
32. Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries (2006)
33. Yin Xu (2006)

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