World Heritage Day is celebrated each year on April 18th to raise awareness about preserving and protecting the world’s heritage monuments and sites as our valuable assets. The day aims at bringing the international community together for preserving such historical monuments and sites as they reflect our cultural and historical heritage and diversity.
“World Heritage Day” is also called “International Day for Monuments and Sites” and is being observed since 1984 under the supervision of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
World Heritage Day 2019
World Heritage Day 2019 was celebrated on Thursday, 18th April 2019.
World Heritage Day: History
The International Day for monuments and sites was first proposed by the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), in a conference held at the North African country of Tunisia on 18th April 1982.
ICOMOS is a professional body found in 1965 with the prime objective of offering advice to UNESCO on World Heritage Sites. After the ICOMOS proposed an International Day for Monuments and Sites at the 1982 conference in Tunisia, the same was approved by the UNESCO General Assembly in 1983.
World Heritage Day: Significance
A heritage site includes a man-made structure or monument of history, which reflects the glorious past as well as rich historical and cultural diversity across the world. Apart from being cultural and historical treasures, these sites also hold physical significance and there is an urgent need for preserving and protecting them.
World over there are 1092 UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, out of which 54 are declared to be under threat and rest all need a collective effort by the governments and all other interested parties.
UNESCO’s Agenda for the World Heritage Day
UNESCO’s mission on the world Heritage Day is to persuade countries to be a signatory of world heritage convention and nominate a heritage site in their soil, to be included in the world heritage list. UNESCO also looks at providing all the necessary technical support to the states that are keen on preserving their heritage.
Organize various knowledge building and awareness exercises for the local population to make them a partner in preserving the rich cultural heritage.
World Heritage Day Events in India
World Heritage Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm by the Government of India and various other stakeholders like the UNESCO cluster Office at New Delhi, Archaeological Survey of India, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), student bodies and the general public.
Symposiums are organized in schools and colleges for the students to admire the heritage sites and acknowledge their significance. Tours are even organized to nearby historical buildings or monuments to raise the awareness of the young generation regarding the heritage sites.
World Heritage Day 2019 in India was celebrated with the theme of “Rural Landscapes”. A conference was organized on 18th April by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and Chandigarh College of Architecture. The conference was titled “Celebrating the Rural Landscape of a Modern city”. The event was specifically aimed at raising awareness about preserving and protecting the rural landscape. Panel discussions and book launch events were also a part of the conference.
Other similar events are organized at the places and monuments of historical significance along with those already listed as UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
How to Celebrate World Heritage Day
There are a number of ways in which you can celebrate World Heritage Day. Some of the easiest and effective ways to spend World Heritage Day are given below-
1) Visit the Monuments
Visit the nearby historical monument and know its significance. Try to know the information related to its history like – in which era was it built? In which the king’s ruling was the monument built? Which culture has influenced the design of the monument? etc. After knowing the answers, you would be able to admire the beauty and significance of historical monuments.
2) Join a Seminar
There must be some seminar going on in a nearby college or university, on the “World Heritage Day”. Join the seminar and listen to what notable and learned personalities have to say about our diversity and our rich culture.
3) Spread the Awareness
Spread the word that how significant are our monuments. Reach out to people at ground level; educate them about historical monuments and also their importance. The more you teach the people, the more they will appreciate our cultural heritage.
4) Read a Book
Reading a good book is the best way to attain knowledge. Take a good book on historical monuments in your city or on UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Probably some new books are released on the occasion by some archaeologist; get hold of one such book and spend your time reading the book.
5) Organize School Event
Organize a talk or a seminar or a visit to a site tour, in your nearby school. Gather all the necessary resources to organize the event; you can take the help of your family and friends. Take the children to a heritage site and let them admire its beauty and historical, cultural significance.
World Heritage Day Themes
Below we have provided World Heritage Day Themes for the years 2001, 2002, 2003….2017, 2018 and World Heritage Day Theme 2019 for your information and knowledge enhancement.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2019 is – “Rural Landscapes”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2018 was – “Heritage for Generations”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2017 was – “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2016 was – “Heritage of Sports”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2015 was – “Heritage Culture: Preserving the Memory”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2014 was – “Heritage of Commemoration”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2013 was – “Heritage of Education”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2012 was – “World Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2011 was – “The Heritage of Water”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2010 was – “Agricultural Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2009 was – “Scientific Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2008 was – “Religious Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2007 was – “Cultural Landscapes and Monuments of Nature”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2006 was – “Industrial Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2005 was – N/A 40th Anniversary of ICOMOS.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2004 was – “Earthen Architecture and Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2003 was – “Underwater Cultural Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2002 was – “20th Century Heritage”.
- World Heritage Day Theme 2001 was – “Save Our Historic Villages”.