Friday, June 28, 2013

New World Heritage sites 2013

Congratulations to the 19 newly inscribed World Heritage sites and three site extensions as this year's World Heritage Committee meeting wraps up in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Among the new sites is another for Canada this year: Red Bay Basque Whaling Station. It was founded in the 1530s and is an archaeological site providing the earliest, most complete and best preserved testimony of the European whaling tradition.

Another Canadian site was up for nomination. Pimachiowin Aki is a large stretch of pristine boreal forests in Northern Central Canada that includes the ancestral lands of several indigenous people. The site was being nominated in the "Mixed" category, meaning that it had both outstanding "Natural" and "Cultural" features. Of the almost 1,000 sites now on the list, only 29 are mixed sites. The World Heritage Committee decided to defer listing for Pimachiowin Aki until next year to give the nominators time to improve certain aspects of the bid, while also saying that the Committee needed to improve the nomination process for mixed sites as there were currently structural problems in the process that made approving mixed nominations very difficult. So hopefully another new site for Canada after next year's meeting in Qatar!

A big congratulations also going out to Fiji, Lesotho and Qatar for having their first sites added to the list!

New sites 2013
Al Zubarah Archaeological Site (Qatar)
Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora (Ukraine)
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (Germany)
Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (China)
Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration (Japan)
Golestan Palace (Iran)
Hill Forts of Rajasthan (India)
Historic Centre of Agadez (Niger)
Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong (North Korea)
Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji)
Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (Italy)
Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (Canada)
University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (Portugal)
Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine (Poland/Ukraine)
El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve (Mexico)
Mount Etna (Italy)
Namib Sand Sea (Namibia)
Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs) (Tajikistan)
Xinjiang Tianshan (China)

New site extensions 2013
Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines (Poland)
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)
Maloti Drakensberg Tranboundary World Heritage Site (Lesotho/South Africa)

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