About World Heritage Datasheets
The natural World Heritage Datasheets have an illustrious past under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. They were part of the initial evaluation process when large printed nomination dossiers presented major challenges. Back in the days, for every nomination a fully condensed, unbiased and digested information sheet was requested by the Operational Guidelines, and meticulously compiled for field evaluators and desktop reviewers. Datasheets therefore played a central role in the official evaluation process.
Over the years, thanks to the digital revolution in the 1990s, nomination dossiers have become increasingly easier to access via the internet. As a result, the usefulness of the datasheets in the evaluation process was reduced and their main purpose shifted to providing a snapshot at the time of inscription or after major changes such as re-nominations, extensions or boundary modifications. Despite these changes, a wide range of stakeholders continued to value the datasheets as concise, impartial and authoritative records.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) are custodians of these datasheets. UNEP-WCMC undertakes the task of compiling newly inscribed natural World Heritage sites each year.
Despite the high quality of the datasheets, the difficulty in accessing them has been an important impediment to making them more widely used.. Until now, datasheets were indeed only available as zipped packages containing all the PDF documents for each existing site. This project significantly improved the datasheets by making them available in an interactive and searchable HTML format. These new interactive datasheets can be found in this Github repository.
It is important to note that the datasheets presented here have not been and are not intended to be regularly updated and should only be seen as a static snapshot at the time of inscription or after a major modification of the site.
Finally this initiative is part of the new thinking to deliver information digitally through the World Heritage Knowledge Lab, a central hub for prototypes and working-in-progress analyses.
Many people have contributed to the making and maintenance of the datasheets over the years.
Here is a list of people (in alphabetical order) who have contributed to them:
Alice Haughan, Bastian Bertzky, Edward Lewis, Elise Belle, Marine Deguignet, Jerry Harrison, Tilman Jaeger and Yichuan Shi. [THE LONG LIST OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED]
Special thanks go to John Ady, for his passion and unrelenting dedication to the World Heritage Datasheets.
We would also like to thank other contributors who have helped us develop, improve and maintain the datasheets, inter alia, IUCN mission teams, IUCN, UNEP-WCMC and UNESCO staff, as well as countless local experts and NGO practitioners.