WORLD HERITAGE DAY 2024 (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     19th April 2024        
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Context: Survival International recently accused UNESCO of complicity in the illegal eviction and abuse of Indigenous people, unveiling their findings in a new report released on World Heritage Day 2024.

World Heritage Day 2024

  • About: This day is celebrated annually on the 18th of April.
  • Also known as:  International Day for Monuments and Sites
  • Objective: To pay tribute to and ensure the protection of our cultural heritage.
  • Theme: ‘Discover and Experience Diversity’
  • History: The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) instituted World Heritage Day in 1982.

o The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially endorsed the date during its 22nd General Meeting in 1983.

Key Points highlighted by Survival international

  • Many UNESCO World Heritage Sites are situated on land that was once inhabited by indigenous peoples.
  • The report identifies six UNESCO World Heritage Sites occupying land stolen from indigenous communities, with three located in Africa and three in Asia.
  • The listed sites include Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex, Kaziranga National Park, and Chitwan National Park.
  • Survival International highlights that all six sites are plagued by serious and ongoing human rights violations related to conservation efforts.


o It serves to increase awareness among local communities regarding the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.

o The day fosters cultural exchange among people from various regions and backgrounds, promoting knowledge sharing about their respective histories and traditions.

o ICOMOS collaborates with UNESCO globally to mark this day, organizing events that attract tourists and enthusiasts passionate about history.