World Heritage as a universal value is well recognized on the international level. A World Heritage site represents the dedication of a group of people who endeavor to conserve natural resources and ecological environment, or to preserve cultural and historical artifacts. Most importantly, they have achieved remarkable accomplishment in these areas, so the site is identified and recognized by UNESCO as “common heritage of humanity", shared by all of mankind. World Heritage listing is a form of branding, through which people can be attracted to visit a particular site for its name. In this way, cultural tourism and associated industries in the region can all benefit from World Heritage listing, resulting in economic prosperity. Subsequently, local residents in the region can identify with their own culture and also expand their world view when dealing with tourists from different parts of the world. Preparing a submission for World Heritage nomination also provides a chance for systematic reform. In the process, government authorities need to inspect and re-examine the current condition of all natural and cultural properties; they also need to amend laws and regulations (such as those dealing with conservation, preservation, repair, operation, and management) in order to comply with international standards.

The Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by UNESCO in 1972. Almost 200 nations have joined in the work of protecting and preserving cultural properties, and as of July, 2012, 962 heritage sites have been listed.

Preparing a nomination for World Heritage status is a long drawn-out process, not something that can be done overnight. The competent authorities must invest a great of time, money and energy to identify established cultural values, examine preservation mechanisms and relevant laws and regulations, and bring about community participation and the sharing of resources. During the nomination process, all of these must be systematically discussed, revised or reestablished. After all of this is done, a nomination dossier must be drawn up according to the "Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention." If the formal application submitted to the World Heritage Committee is accepted, the final step is inscription on the list of World Heritage sites, which will lead to public recognition of the importance of World Heritage status.

Council for Cultural Affairs (now the Ministry of Culture) held selection meeting and selected 12 Potential World Heritage Sites. Kinmen was one of them, named "Kinmen and Lieyu", and invited foreign experts to do infield investigation.

The first meeting of the Taiwan World Heritage Committee was held by the Council for Cultural Affairs on Feb. 18. Comprising representatives of relevant organizations and experts, “Kinmen and Lieyu” and Matsu were combined into "Kinmen and Matsu Battlefield Culture" by the Committee, with five additional sites, 17 potential sites spanning 18 regions altogether. Kinmen County government also commissioned China University of Technology to execute Kinmen World Heritage submission program and proposed six-year eight medium-range projects.

The meeting of the Taiwan World Heritage Committee was held on Oct. 15.Owing to the different cultural characteristics of Kinmen and Matsu, the Committee decided to divide Kinmen and Matsu Battlefield Culture into two separate sites, namely "Kinmen Battlefield Culture" and "Matsu Battlefield Culture," bringing the total number of potential World Heritage Sites to 18.
In the same year, the Kinmen County Government, in response to the importance of tangible and intangible heritage, revised the six-year 8 medium-term program to six years 9 medium-term program (the 9 th for the preservation and sustention of intangible heritage) and continued to promote the submission. In February 2011, Li Wushi, governor of Kinmen County set up "Kinmen County Application for World Heritage Execution Committee" and held a meeting. In April, commissioner Huang Huangxiong and Liu Xingshan visited Kinmen and suggested the committee revise the six-year plan to four-year and the project was approved by the Ombudsman in May. In July, the deputy Wu Youqin establishment the " Kinmen County Application for World Heritage Execution Committee Working Group" and held the first time meeting under governor’s instruction.

Kinmen County government has kept doing World Heritage submission program and continues the relevant works of 4-year medium-range projects


18 potential World Heritage Sites of Taiwan

No. 18 potential World Heritage Sites of Taiwan Year
01 Taroko National Park 2003
02 Cilan Mountain Cypress Forest 2003
03 Beinan Archaeological Site and Mt. Dulan 2003
04 Alishan Forest Railway 2003
05 Kinmen and Lieyu Kinmen and Matsu Battlefield Culture Kinmen Battlefield Culture 2003 2009 2010
06 Datun Volcano Group 2003
07 Orchid Island and The Tao (Yami) 2003
08 Fort San Domingo and Surrounding Historical Buildings, Tamsui 2003
09 Jinguashi Settlement 2003
10 Penghu Columnar Basalt Nature Reserve 2003
11 Old Mountain Line Railway 2003
12 Yushan National Park 2003
13 Lo-sheng Sanatorium 2009
14 Taoyuan Tableland Mesa and Ponds 2009
15 Wushantou Reservoir and Jianan Irrigation Waterways 2009
16 Paiwan Settlements of Slate Constructions in Pingtung 2009
17 Penghu Stone Fish Weirs 2009
18 Matsu Battlefield Culture 2010
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