World heritage day 2019: Theme, history, and significance of the day

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New Delhi | Published: April 18, 2019 2:14:19 PM

UNESCO has listed over 30 sites in India as part of its World Heritage Sites in the world. However, many of us aren’t too familiar with all.

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April 18 is annually observed as the International Day for Monuments and Sites (IDMS), also known as World Heritage Day. This day is celebrated to remind the citizens about beautiful places or heritage sites in our country. Also, to give importance and recognition to architects, engineers, geographers, civil engineers, artists and archaeologists dealing with the site. It aims to bring global attention to conserve monuments and sites. The day is supported by the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO has listed over 30 sites in India as part of its World Heritage Sites in the world. However, many of us aren’t too familiar with all.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a non-governmental organization that works on preserving and conserving historical and archaeological heritage sites worldwide. On April 18, 1982, ICOMOS suggested that the day be celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites and UNESCO approved the proposal the next year during its 22nd General Conference. Every year, ICOMOS proposes a theme for the celebrations and activities to do on World Heritage Day. This year’s theme is Rural Landscapes. This theme is linked to the ICOMOS Scientific Symposium on Rural heritage which is to take place in October in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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Rural landscapes are multifunctional resources. ICOMOS defined rural landscapes as terrestrial and aquatic areas co-produced by human-nature interaction. These areas are used for the production of food and other renewable natural resources, via agriculture, animal husbandry and pastoralism, fishing and aquaculture, forestry, wild food gathering, hunting, and extraction of other resources, such as salt.

Meanwhile, the theme of the World Heritage Day 2018 was “Heritage for Generations” which emphasis on inter-generational transfer of knowledge. As of 2018, India has 36 World Heritage Sites including Western Ghats, Sundarbans National Park, Historic City of Ahmadabad, Taj Mahal in Agra, Nalanda University, Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.

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