About World Heritage Site status

On 13th July 2006 select mining landscapes across Cornwall and west Devon were inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. This was achieved under the auspices of the World Heritage Convention, adopted by UNESCO in 1972, which provides for the identification, protection and conservation of natural and cultural Sites deemed of Outstanding Universal Value.1

Currently 911 such Sites can be found across the world and these include 704 Cultural, 180 Natural and 27 Mixed properties in 151 States Parties (as of August 2010). Cultural examples on the UNESCO list alongside the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site include the Taj Mahal, the Tower of London and the Great Wall of China.

World Heritage status gives recognition to 'Cornish Mining’s' excellence as a world class cultural heritage site and recognises the importance of 'Cornish Mining’s' historic landscapes, its outstanding mine buildings and other features, in addition to its important role in technological innovation and scientific research.

 1 Outstanding Universal Value means cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity. As such, the permanent protection of this heritage is of the highest importance to the international community as a whole.’

(From the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention [2005] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - Intergovernmental Committee for the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Paris: World Heritage Centre, para.49, p.14)