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Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is said to be a clone of India's Sri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya, under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.
© Balou46 / Wikimedia Foundation

Step 2: Why is Our Site Inscribed?

Each UNESCO World Heritage site is recognized for having Outstanding Universal Value, that is to say, cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional that it transcends national boundaries and is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity. But what is so special about the World Heritage site near you?

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria:

  1. Represents a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. Exhibits an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. Bears a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. Outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. Outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. Directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. Contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. Outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. Outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. Contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Which of these criteria does your World Heritage site meet?

Click each link below to understand why that World Heritage Site was inscribed: