Since the adoption of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, some 900 sites around the world have been given the World Heritage classification. France is home to 35 of them.
The medieval city of Albi in south-western France and the French Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean were listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO, the UN's cultural organisation, this year.
Of the total 35 World Heritage sites in France, 32 are cultural and three are natural. For more detail click on the name of the site on the map below.
So how do sites get on to the UNESCO World Heritage list?
1. A country puts forward one or more sites to the World Heritage Committee. Only countries that have ratified the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and are actively engaged in protecting their natural and cultural heritage can submit an application.
2. The country must make an ‘inventory' of its important natural and cultural heritage sites located within its boundaries. This ‘inventory' provides a forecast of the properties that a country may decide to submit for inscription in the next five to ten years and which may be updated at any time. The World Heritage Committee cannot consider a nomination unless the property has already been included on the State Party's Tentative List.
3. A nominated property is independently evaluated by two advisory bodies mandated by the World Heritage Convention: the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), which provide the World Heritage Committee with evaluations of the nominated sites. A third advisory body is the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), an intergovernmental organisation which provides the committee with expert advice on conservation of cultural sites.
4. Once a site has been nominated and evaluated, the World Heritage Committee makes its final decision. The committee meets once a year to decide which sites will be inscribed on the World Heritage List. There is no limit to the number of sites that the committee can choose each year.