By Humphrey Carter

THE Council of Mallorca's application for the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range to be declared a UNESCO Heritage Site is still being considered, UNESCO sources confirmed yesterday.

UNESCO has accepted all the documentation supplied by the Council of Majorca to date and, through the Ministry for Culture, yesterday said that the information, images, maps and management plan received is “very complete” suggesting that the Council of Majorca's bid may prove successful.

However, the 1'000-page package of documents submitted will now have to be studied by UNESCO, and its various collaborating consultancies, and a UNESCO team is expected to travel to Majorca within the next couple of months on a site visit to the mountain range which runs along the north of the island.

To become a World Heritage Site, a site must be put forward for nomination by its government and demonstrate that it meets one or more of the ten criteria laid down by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. These criteria are used to assess the Outstanding Universal Value of a site and identify if the site can be regarded as having made a unique contribution to our shared global heritage.

By inscribing a property as a World Heritage Site, the responsibility for preservation and conservation of that site becomes the responsibility of not just the country that holds it, but of the whole world.

The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on November 16, 1972. Since then, 186 state parties have ratified the convention.

As of 2009, 890 sites are listed: 689 cultural, 176 natural, and 25 mixed properties, in 148 states.
Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites to date with 44 sites inscribed on the list. UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with an identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions. As a result, the identification numbers exceed 1200 even though there are fewer on the list.

Each World Heritage Site is the property of the state on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.