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New sites to be listed in UNESCO World Heritage List

New Delhi, Sat, 21 Jun 2008 NI Wire

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO is going to add nearby 50 new sites including natural, cultural and hybrid in its World Heritage List in its next meeting, which is scheduled to begin by July 02, 2008. UNESCO in this regard released a press release on Friday.

UNESCO is considering to present the request of enlisting 47 nominations including 13 natural and 34 cultural among the selected sites before the considering committee of World Heritage in its 32nd session meet scheduled to begin in Quebec, Canada, from July 02.

Among the 34 proposed cultural sites, the committee would also consider to add two transboundary sites and five extensions to already listed properties in the list, as UNESCO stated in the release statement. The World Heritage Committee (WHC) each year adds new sites in World heritage List.

In the nine-day long (July 02-July 10) meeting, the WHC would analyse all the phases of proposed list and approve 47 sites that would be enlisted in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list and since then, those will have ‘outstanding universal value’ properties and World Heritage Committee of UNESCO will share the responsibility of those conservation and protection with the state parties, UNESCO stated in the release.

The WHC will provide funds and all necessary recourses required for protecting and conserving the sites. It also scrutinizes the utility of distributed funds and conservation, protection work as well as commitment of the states’ in account of World Heritage Site (WHS). In case, it becomes, unsatisfied with the conservation and protection work or the lack of commitment of the states, the committee can delist that site from the world heritage sites’ list.

At, present the cultural landscape of Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley is in the danger list of UNESCO and in this meeting, the committee will decide the fate of this landscape.

Any site, according to UNESCO, “which is threatened by a variety of problems such as natural disasters, pillaging, pollution, and poorly managed mass tourism, that may have a negative impact on the universal values for which they were inscribed on the World Heritage List”, can be fall in the danger list.

In the forthcoming meeting, the committee will consider to add two Indian sites including one natural site, the River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam in its WHS list. The other nomination is: Mountain Railways of India (serial extension to include Kalka Shimla Railway (KSR)).

In another Asian nomination, China has one natural and one cultural site: Mount Sanqingshan National Park (natural) and Fujian Tulou (cultural), while Yemen has one natural site, Socotra Archipelago and Israel has two cultural site nominations: The Triple-arch Gate at Dan, Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and Western Galilee.

The other nominations from Asia are: Cultural Landscape of Bali Province (Indonesia), The Armenian Monastic Ensembles in Iranian Azarbayjan ((Islamic Republic of Iran), Hiraizumi - Cultural Landscape Associated with Pure Land Buddhist Cosmology (Japan), Hiraizumi - Cultural Landscape Associated with Pure Land Buddhist Cosmology (Japan), Sulamain-Too Sacred Mountain (Kyrgyzstan), Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca: Melaka and George Town (Malaysia) and Le Morne Cultural Landscape (Mauritius).

In the nomination list, five countries (Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea, San Marino, Saudi Arabia and Vanuatu) have no sites inscribed on WHS list.

At present, UNESCO has 851 properties of ‘outstanding universal value’ including 660 cultural, 166 natural and 25 mixed properties in 141 States Parties.

The Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, Christina Cameron (Canada), representatives of the governments of Canada and Quebec, the Director General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, the President of UNESCO’s General Conference, George N. Anastassopoulos (Greece), and the Chairman of UNESCO’s Executive Board, Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï (Benin) will participate in the meeting.

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