The success of the World Heritage Convention in inviting all the nations of the world to collaborate on the conservation of a global heritage has been conducive to understanding links between culture and the natural world. As ideas about what constitutes the 'common heritage of humanity' evolve, the processes of international conservation continue to shape conservation practice and heritage management, not least in regard to the questions of 'whose heritage', 'who decides' and 'for what purpose'. Conservation can offer the holistic approach that is needed to safeguard natural and man-made heritage within the broader remit of sustainable development. Holistic conservation requires a re-evaluation of the uses of heritage together with the broader landscape so that, in managing the whole, the altered landscape also plays a vital role in nurturing heritage conservation. Holistic conservation raises the question of how much should humans interfere in the protection of cultural and natural heritage.