In November 1972, the General Assembly of the UNESCO adopted the World Heritage Convention for the protection and conservation of natural and cultural property of all types and of all times.
In 2019 1121 heritage properties in 167 countries have been placed under protection. Of these there are: 869 cultural properties, 213 natural properties and 39 properties belonging to both cultural and natural heritage. With cautious optimism, it can be stated that the protection of the heritage of humanity has become a concern for all peoples.
The global recognition of the Convention was accompanied by demands for international and innovative standards for protection concepts, which also had to withstand an increased use of heritage sites through tourism. The faster the idea of World Heritage as a unique, protection-worthy asset spread, the more attractive it became for tourism.
Modern protection concepts must therefore include use concepts, and use concepts must be tested in terms of sustainability. Alongside the identification, protection and preservation of World Heritage, its utilisation plays an important role for the future. The IHS has made the protection and use of World Heritage its mission.