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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Criteria to be selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Find out the reasons behind the acclaimed title
Joanna James Joanna James
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Criteria to be selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Find out the reasons behind the acclaimed title

Gaining the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site is not easy. The location has to meet up to six cultural criteria as well as four other natural criteria to gain the acclaimed title.


Outstanding Universal Value

The location should be able to demonstrate a significance on the international stage and must transcend national boundaries. It should also be a location of importance to both the past era as well as the future of the country.



The site must prove to be an extraordinarily creative human construction.


Should hold a deep significance in the human history

The building or site should play a major role in the country's history and the architecture or the technological advances in the site should illustrate the particular stage in history. An example of such a place is the Temple of the Tooth, one of the top places to visit in Kandy. Only a short distance from hotels such as Earl's Regency, a visit here is highly recommended.


A reflection of the culture and tradition

It should have a unique place or at the very least be an incomparable testament to the country's culture and tradition or to the civilization of a bygone era.


Traditional settlements for humans

Should be a fine example of old age settlements, land use and other related usages that represent a culture or humans and how they interact with the environment, especially when they have become susceptible due to unalterable change.


It has a heritage that closely associates with other events that carry a major implication

This means the location must be closely associated to events in the country's history or some form of living tradition. The location must carry ideas, beliefs, artistic and literary of great universal value. The Committee has decided that this criterion should ideally be used along with the other points on this list.


Should hold a great natural beauty or should be a rare phenomena

The site must have a natural beauty to it or have a rare natural phenomenon to it that sets it apart from the rest.


Should reflect large scale changes in the planet's history

The site should be a fine example of the large scale changes that occur on the planet. This could be records of living existence, noticeable geological occurrences or other major geomorphic and physiographic occurrences.


Reflect ecological or biological occurrences

The site in question must be able to represent and showcase the constant ecological and biological changes that occur in the world. These could be the process of evolution. It could also be the developing of land dwelling, fresh water, sea water and other water eco systems as well as habitats of flora and fauna.


Must be a natural habitat for bio diversity

The location must an important natural habitat that aids in conservation of biological diversity. These include threatened, endangered and critically endangered species, both land and marine species that hold an outstanding universal value from a scientific or conversation point of view.