Types of Heritage



Natural heritage is rather under-represented in the portfolio of World Heritage, at least if raw data on the UNESCO website are taken as a measure. While the scale and environmental or scientific qualities of many natural sites are such that it is difficult to say whether we are comparing like with like, there are other explanations for the imbalance. The first is the relative under-representation of natural heritage specialists on international NGOs; the second, is that some countries have a long tradition of national parks or reserves along with legislative frameworks for environmental conservation, sometimes enacted long before it began to be addressed as a serious global issue.

In the UK, the Dorset and East Devon Coast has been a World Heritage site since 2001. This site comprises more than 200 miles of undeveloped coastline and countryside, with cliff exposures and rock formations of international geological significance. Its status has had a number of valuable outcomes.

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