From the Summary: "The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the World Heritage Convention) identifies and helps protect international sites of such exceptional ecological, scientific, or cultural importance that their preservation is considered a global responsibility. Under the Convention, which entered into force in 1975, participating countries nominate sites to be included on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger (Danger List). Countries that are party to the Convention agree to protect listed sites within their borders and refrain from actions that might harm such sites in other countries. Currently, the World Heritage List is composed of 936 natural and cultural sites in 153 countries, and the Danger List includes 35 sites from 28 countries. One hundred and eighty-seven countries, including the United States, are party to the Convention. […] This report provides background information on the World Heritage Convention, outlines U.S. participation and funding, and highlights criteria for adding and removing sites from the World Heritage Lists. It discusses possible issues for the 112th Congress, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, the role of the legislative branch in designating sites, and the potential implications for a site's inclusion on the Lists. The report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, R40164