Travellers have new options with additions to World Heritage list

Those travellers that have yet to finalise a destination for their next trip now have a plethora of new sites identified under the World Heritage List.

Travellers can now enjoy visiting 26 new sites that have been added to the list. In Paris, the World Heritage Committee ended its 36th session under the chair of Eleonora Mitrofanova, the Ambassador of Russia to UNESCO. The committee added the 26 new sites at the close of two weeks of deliberations.

The new additions include five natural destinations, twenty cultural destinations and one under the mixed category. With the new additions, the UNESCO’s World Heritage List now has a total of 962 properties. The countries in which these sites are located have now increased to 157 with Chad, Congo, Palau and Palestine the latest to be granted World Heritage sites on their territories.

Another positive development was that the committee removed Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

However, five sites were added to the Danger List because of concerns about their conservation. They include Timbuktu and the Tomb of Askia (Mali), The Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Palestine), Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Panama); and Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (UK).

The committee’s next session will be held in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) from 17 to 27 of June 2013.

The new sites are:

Lakes of Ounianga (Chad);

Sangha Trinational (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo,);

Chengjiang Fossil Site (China);

Western Ghats (India);

Lena Pillars Nature Park (Russian Federation).

Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau) was inscribed as a mixed natural and cultural site.

Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy (Bahrain); Major Mining Sites of Wallonia (Belgium);

Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea (Brazil);

The Landscape of Grand-Pre (Canada);

Site of Xanadu (China);

Historic Town Grand-Bassam (Cote d’Ivoire);

Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin (France);

Margravial Opera House Bayreuth (Germany);

Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (Indonesia);

Masjed-e Jame of Isfahan (Islamic Republic of Iran),

Gonbad-e Qabus (Islamic Republic of Iran);

Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel : The Nahal Me’arot/Wadi el-Mughara Caves (Israel);

Archaelogical Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (Malaysia);

Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage (Morocco);

Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Palestine);

Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications (Portugal);

Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes (Senegal);

Heritage of Mercury Almaden and Idrija (Slovenia/Spain);

Decorated Farmhouses of Halsingland (Sweden);

Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk (Turkey).