The World Heritage Convention, administered through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is a remarkably successful example of international cooperation. The convention recognises places that are of such outstanding universal significance that their protection is important to all humanity. Listing is reserved for the best examples of the Earth's natural and cultural treasures.
As of 2006, 184 nations had joined the World Heritage Convention. This means they agree to identify and nominate properties on their national territory to be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List. Member countries are also expected to protect the World Heritage values of the properties inscribed and are encouraged to report periodically on their condition.
By 2007, 851 places were included on the World Heritage List, covering all 184 member nations. The list includes 660 cultural, 166 natural and 25 mixed properties.
Well known World Heritage sites across the globe include the Taj Mahal (India), the Grand Canyon (USA), the Great Wall (China), Te Wahipounamu (South West New Zealand), the Acropolis (Greece), Serengeti National Park (Tanzania), Stonehenge (United Kingdom), West Norwegian Fiords, Machu Picchu (Peru), Iguazu Falls (Argentina and Brazil), Chartres Cathedral (France), Angkor (Cambodia) and Sagarmatha National Park (Mount Everest, Nepal).