3.1 The Lake District as World Heritage
Clearly the process of raising a World Heritage nomination is both expensive and time consuming. However, both your course book reading and the voices of those involved in the Lake District nomination mention the benefits for countries ratifying the World Heritage Convention, and for those sites themselves that are listed on the World Heritage List.
Read theon the UNESCO World Heritage Centre website.
Reviewing this, what are the key benefits for countries arising from ratification of the World Heritage Convention? And what particular benefits do you see as having particular relevance for the Lake District World Heritage nomination?
The overarching benefit of World Heritage listing, as far as I can see, is being part of a global community dedicated to conserving international cultural and natural heritage. The main rewards I can see are:
- sharing a commitment to a heritage legacy
- raising awareness about preservation in localities and regions
- access to funding via the World Heritage Centre, especially for threatened sites (they produce a list of threatened World Heritage sites, which you might like to take a look at in your revision time)
- development of management plans for sites and training in heritage conservation and promotion
- the prestige of inscription of national sites
- economic development, especially sustainable (cultural and environmental) tourism.
Once more reflecting UN principles, there is a strong element of international cooperation and goodwill reflected here, plus the obvious influence of World Heritage accolade(s) on funding, investment and, ultimately, the potential contribution to the economy through tourism.
The particular benefits that were mentioned by the contributors to ‘Lake District 1’ were:
- ‘international recognition’ of the special qualities of the place
- the promotion of more environmentally aware tourism
- a recognition of the inter-connection between people and the landscape
- the benefits that would accompany the management of the Lake District as a World Heritage site.