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The following are the most important advantages of being a World Heritage Site:
- It brings international attention to the need for the preservation and conservation of the site.
- It brings tourism to the site, with its accompanying economic benefits to the host country and local area.
- It can provide funds for restoration, preservation, and training. For example, in 2001, the Taliban destroyed two 6th century, 150-ft. statues of Buddha carved into the mountainside in the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan. The site has received more than $4 million from UNESCO to help with reconstruction and to hire a sculptor to re-carve some of the damaged stone (see http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1636166,00.html). As for training funds, $971,464 has been approved since 1983 for India projects (see http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/in/assistance/).
- It promotes national and local pride in the natural and man-made wonders of the country.
- It promotes close ties with the United Nations system and the prestige and support it provides.
- It provides access to global project management resources.
- It facilitates creating partnerships between government, the private sector, and NGOs to achieve conservation goals.
- The site is protected under the Geneva Convention against destruction or misuse during wartime.