Cultural and natural heritage are national assets that are considered valuable because they are irreplaceable. They may very well be declared as assets within a particular nation or heritage of profound value to all humanity and they may be natural or manmade.
It is considered a great loss when some of these assets disappear or deteriorate, affecting negatively the memory of humanity or life on the planet. So when one of these assets is declared a world heritage for humanity, or heritage of a particular nation, it is meant to be preserved so it can be enjoyed and admired by many generations to come.
The entity responsible for creating a list of World Heritage Sites is the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Countries seeking to enroll the assets must postulate their candidates to be included in the World Heritage List. If the committee accepts the inclusion in the list, then the site will become a part of the list of assets considered worth the economic effort and resources needed to preserve the same.
There is also a list of endangered heritage. They are sites that are likely to disappear or suffer alterations, either naturally or by the destructive action of mankind. Moreover, when an asset is registered on the list of cultural heritage, but has been artificially altered to meet the requirements needed to be considered world or national heritage, the committee can evaluate the possibility of divestiture.
When a state has signed the convention that regulates the induction of a site to cultural heritage, it is committed to a series of actions that are supposed to ensure the protection and preservation of the assets in their territory. Among these commitments are, for example, incorporating protection policies and to encourage and promote the creation of foundations for donations towards the conservation of natural resources.