UNESCO World Heritage Site
What is UNESCO World Heritage Site ?
It is a site that has been nominated for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s International World Heritage List. The list based on World Heritage Convention of 1972 aims to catalogue and preserve sites of outstanding importance, either cultural or natural, to the common heritage of humankind.
The most significant feature of the Convention is that it links together in a single document the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The Convention recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two. The Convention defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List. The Convention sets out the duties of States Parties in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them. By signing the Convention, each country pledges to conserve not only the World Heritage sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its national heritage. The States Parties are encouraged to integrate the protection of the cultural and natural heritage into regional planning programmes, set up staff and services at their sites, undertake scientific and technical conservation research and adopt measures which give this heritage a function in the day-to-day life of the community.
As of 2011, there are 7 World Heritage Sites in Tanzania, namely;
- Kondoa Rock Art Sites
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara
- Serengeti National Park
- Selous Game Reserve
- Kilimanjaro National Park
- Stone Town
Further detail can be seen in UNESCO World Heritage Center
Stone Town as World Heritage Site
Stone Town is the main city on Zanzibar. It is a city of prominent historical and artistic importance in East Africa. Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture, with a unique mixture of Moorish, Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. For this reason, the town has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2000.
Criteria of inscription Stone Town to be World Heritage Site.
Outstanding material manifestation of cultural fusion and harmonization
For many centuries there was a seaborne trade activity between Asia and Africa, and this is illustrated in exceptional manner by architecture and urban structure of the town.
Zanzibar has great symbolic importance in the suppression of slavery. Since it was main slave trade port and also base from which its opponents such as David Livingstone conducted their campaign.