The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage ('World Heritage Convention') has arguably become one of the most successful instruments of the United Nations (UN) in promoting cultural diplomacy, dialogue and international cooperation on heritage conservation. The global growth in tourism is increasingly associated with World Heritage. The use and promotion of World Heritage sites as key tourism destinations have highlighted the dual effects of heritage tourism, i.e. having both positive and negative impacts on conservation and sustainable development. The rise of a global heritage has contributed to the emergence of World Heritage Conservation as an interdisciplinary field of study creating new opportunities for inclusive heritage debate and dialogue both locally and globally, requiring common tools and understanding. The growing global understanding of the interlinkages between culture and nature and the prominent role of the convention reinforce the role of World Heritage Conservation and the need for stimulating interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability.