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 Organizations Protecting or Interpreting Heritage Sites Minimize

The organizations in this list are active in protecting and/or interpreting heritage sites.


UNESCO World Heritage Program
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. The program maintains the World Heritage List.

US World Heritage Sites
Information about the US sites on the World Heritage List.

US World Heritage Tentative List Project
Information on how to submit a US site to the US World Heritage Tentative List.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
The International Council on Monuments and Sites is a network of experts that benefits from the interdisciplinary exchange of its members, among which are architects, historians, archaeologists, art historians, geographers, anthropologists, engineers and town planners. ICOMOS works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is the only global non-government organisation of this kind, which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage. Its work is based on the principles enshrined in the 1964 International Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (the Venice Charter).

U.S. National Committee of ICOMOS
The U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS) fosters heritage conservation and historic preservation at the national and international levels through education and training, international exchange of people and information, technical assistance, documentation, advocacy and other activities consistent with the goals of ICOMOS and through collaboration with other organizations. US/ICOMOS membership includes professionals, practitioners, supporters and organizations committed to the protection, preservation and conservation of the world's cultural heritage.

National Historic Landmarks Program
National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction.

National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources.

National Association for Interpretation
The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) is a professional organization dedicated to advancing the profession of heritage interpretation, currently serving about 5000 members in the United States, Canada, and over thirty other nations. Interpretation is a mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource.

Alliance of National Heritage Areas
The Alliance of National Heritage Areas advocates, facilitates and celebrates excellence in cooperative initiatives that enhance quality of life for citizens and their communities, create opportunities for cultural heritage tourism, and provide distinguished examples of sustainable heritage development for the nation.

Civic Tourism
This relatively new organization provides a forum for communities, and promotes civic tourism as a "place based" concept for community identity and as an extension of cultural heritage tourism.

Partners in Tourism
Partners in Tourism is a coalition of national associations and federal agencies that are building a common agenda for cultural tourism.

World Tourism Organization
The World Tourism Organization appears to be the only intergovernmental organization that offers a global forum for tourism policy and issues. They promote a global code of ethics for tourism, and their publication Tourism and World Heritage Cultural Sites focuses on archaeological resources.

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation: Heritage Tourism
Link to Advisory Council on Historic Preservation reports and articles on heritage tourism, including the most recent summit on Heritage Tourism and the Federal Government. Read about the ACHP ArcheologyTask Force's strategies to promote archaeology in Heritage Tourism and Public Education here...

Cultural Heritage Tourism
Appears to be under the umbrella of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, but serves as a resource for organizations and individuals who are developing, marketing or managing cultural heritage tourism attractions or programs. Good links to toolkits and studies of economic impacts of heritage tourism for quite a few states.

Virtual Heritage Network
Virtual Heritage is the oldest and largest repository of documents, news and information relating to heritage and technology. Operating since 1997, it has been designed to be an authoritative information portal for the utilization of technology for the education, interpretation, conservation and preservation of Natural, Cultural and World Heritage.


Canada World Heritage Sites

Canadian Heritage Rivers Systems

Historic Sites & Monuments Board of Canada

Canada Aboriginal Cultural Landscapes

See Also: Advocacy -- Helping Preserve Our Archaeological Heritage