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45 sites nominated this year for inclusion on UNESCO World Heritage List

UN News - June 1, 2007

45 sites nominated this year for inclusion on UNESCO World Heritage List

Te Wahipounamu (New Zealand)
Te Wahipounamu (New Zealand)
1 June 2007 The committee that oversees requests for inscription on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage List will have 45 nominated sites to choose from when it meets for its annual session next month in New Zealand, UNESCO has announced.

The nominated sites this year include 11 natural sites (one of which is an extension to a site already listed), 32 cultural sites and two mixed sites, according to a press release issued by UNESCO yesterday. Some 39 countries are presenting sites for inscription, while two of the nominated sites cross national boundaries.

The 21-member World Heritage Committee, comprised of representatives of the 184 States Parties to UNESCO's 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, is holding its annual session in Christchurch from 23 June to 2 July.

Each year the committee adds new sites to the World Heritage List, and there are now 830 sites of "outstanding universal value" that have been inscribed - including 644 cultural sites, 162 natural sites and 24 mixed sites.

Under the nominating process, States Parties propose sites, and their applications are reviewed by either the International Council on Monuments and Sites or the World Conservation Union before the committee decides whether to inscribe the sites on the World Heritage List.

This year's nominated sites come from the following countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Greece, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Viet Nam.

During the session in Christchurch, the committee will examine the state of conservation of 31 World Heritage sites which have been inscribed on a separate list of World Heritage in Danger because of threats from natural disasters, pillaging, pollution, poorly managed mass tourism or other problems.

That list includes the cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

A working session will be devoted to the state of conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, UNESCO said, adding the session would focus in particular on the recent archaeological excavations at the Mughrabi ascent.

The committee will also examine a strategy to reduce the risks to World Heritage sites posed by disasters, the impact of climate change and the definition of the concept of "outstanding universal value," which serves as the basis for inscription on the list.

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