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    Scheduled monuments are nationally important monuments and sites. The aim of scheduling is to preserve sites and monuments as far as possible in the form in which they have come down to us today. They are legally protected through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. National importance takes account of a wide range of factors, including artistic, archaeological, architectural, historic, traditional, aesthetic, scientific and social. Guidance and criteria to assess national importance of monuments is set out by Scottish Ministers in The Scottish Historic Environment Policy. This data allows you to identify the approximate position, size and extent of scheduled monuments in Scotland.

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    World Heritage Sites are described by UNESCO as exceptional places of ‘outstanding universal value’ and ‘belonging to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located’. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to protect and preserve such sites through an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, drawn up in 1972 Scottish Ministers identify and put forward sites to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for nomination. This dataset includes both the legal designation and buffer zone boundaries of the World Heritage Sites in Scotland enscribed by UNESCO as well as non-statutory sensitive areas for planning advice. Once a World Heritage Site is inscribed, under the Convention, member states have a duty to protect, conserve and present such sites for future generations.

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    Historic Marine Protected Areas ‘Historic MPAs’ are designated under Section 67 of the Marine Scotland Act 2010 to protect marine historic assets (e.g historic shipwrecks) of national importance within Scottish territorial waters. The Scottish Government is committed to clean, healthy, safe, productive, biologically diverse marine and coastal environments, managed to meet the long-term needs of people and nature. This includes protecting and, where appropriate, enhancing our most important historic wrecks and other marine heritage sites in such a way that they can be valued and understood. One way Scottish Ministers can achieve this is by designating nationally important marine historic assets in Scottish territorial waters as Historic Marine Protected Areas under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. The data shows the boundaries of all Historic Marine Protected Areas in Scotland. You should refer to the Historic Marine Protected Area site documentation for exact locations of individual boundary points and supplementary information.