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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the United Nations international treaty on World Heritage, which has contributed much to protecting natural and cultural heritages from development, natural disasters or armed conflicts. However, the treaty now faces a key turning point amid confrontations between some developing and developed countries.

The treaty, formally called the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, was adopted at UNESCO’s general meeting in Paris in November 1972 and took effect in 1975.

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