UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites

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UNESCO has named new World Heritage Sites around the world

China, India and Spain all have new sites on the exclusive list

CNN  — 

To explore a site inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List is to see a place of outstanding universal value.

A series of 99 artificial islets built off the the southeast coast of the Micronesian island of Pohnpei sometime between 1200 and 1500 AD were also added to the list. The ruins on the islets were the ceremonial center of the Saudeleur dynasty, and the structures are evidence of the religious and social practices of the period.

Since Friday, the United Nations’ cultural body has named natural, cultural and combination sites around the world to its prestigious preservation list. The World Heritage List now includes 1,031 natural and cultural wonders that are considered to be places of “outstanding universal value.”

The committee cut short its session because of the United Nations security protocol put in place following the coup attempt in Turkey. It will meet in Paris in October to discuss the rest of its agenda.

The United Nations’ cultural body meets annually to name natural, cultural and sites of mixed significance around the world to its prestigious preservation list, which now has 1,052 sites considered to be places of “outstanding universal value.”

In addition to being of “outstanding universal value,” an inscribed site must also meet at least one of 10 criteria such as “representing a masterpiece of human creative genius,” containing “exceptional natural beauty” or being an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement.

UNESCO has been adding sites to the World Heritage List since 1978.

Nations often spend years developing pitches for inclusion on the list because of its significant cultural cachet and the fame and resources it can attract to sites in need of restoration and protection. They must convince the UNESCO committee that they will protect their sites and support them financially.

Libya’s sites added to ‘in danger’ list

The hills where Battir’s ancient terraces are located date back some 2,000 years to Roman times. Some of the terraces are irrigated for market garden production and others are planted with grapevines and olive trees. The landscape is in danger of being damaged by Israel’s plans to build a barrier through the area. The wall “may isolate farmers from fields they have cultivated for centuries,” according to a UNESCO press statement.

The new Micronesian World Heritage site was also added to the list in danger because of nature’s impact on the stone structures.

All five Libyan World Heritage sites were added to the list “because of damage caused by the conflict affecting the country and the threat of further damage it poses,” according to a UNESCO press statement.

The five sites are the Archaeological Site of Cyrene, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna, Archaeological Site of Sabratha, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus and the Old Town of Ghadamès.

The World Heritage Committee also added Old Towns of Djenné in Mali due to insecurity in the country and Uzbekistan’s Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz to the list in danger, because of “the over-development of tourist infrastructure in the site.”

At the same time, Tanzania’s ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and ruins of Songo Mnara were removed from the danger list due to improved management and safeguards.

The site includes three Medieval churches, the Holy Cross Monastery of Jvari, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Samtavro Monastery and major archaeological remains.

The United States doesn’t have much sway over UNESCO decisions anymore. That’s because the U.S. government withdrew its dues and other financial contributions to UNESCO in 2011 after the agency admitted the Palestinian government as a full member representing a country. After failing to pay its dues for two years, the United States lost UNESCO voting rights in 2013 per the agency’s rules.

The United States doesn’t have much sway over UNESCO decisions anymore; the government withdrew its dues and other financial contributions to UNESCO in 2011. That’s because the agency admitted the Palestinian government as a full member representing a country.

After failing to pay its dues for two years, the United States lost UNESCO voting rights in 2013, per the agency’s rules.

Go to whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties to learn more about the newly named sites.

New World Heritage List sites

Here’s this year’s full list of newly inscribed sites:

Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua naval dockyard and related archaeological sites

Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland: The architectural work of Le Corbusier, an outstanding contribution to the modern movement

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia: Stećci – medieval tombstones

Brazil: Pampulha Modern Ensemble

Canada: Mistaken Point

Chad: Ennedi Massif natural and cultural landscape

China: Hubei Shennongjia

China: Zuojiang Huashan rock art cultural landscape

Greece: Archaeological site of Philippi

India: Archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanada University) at Nalanda, Bihar

India: Khangchendzonga National Park

Iran: Lut Desert

Iran: Persian Qanat

Iraq: The Ahwar of southern Iraq: Refuge of biodiversity and the relict landscape of the Mesopotamian cities

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan: Western Tien-Shan

UNESCO’s newly inscribed World Heritage List sites

Micronesia: Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia

Spain: Antequera dolmens site

Sudan: Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park

Turkey: Archaeological site of Ani

United Kingdom: Gorham’s Cave complex

UNESCO’s new List of World Heritage in Danger sites

Libya: Archaeological site of Cyrene

Libya: Archaeological site of Leptis Magna

Libya: Archaeological site of Sabratha

Libya: Rock-art sites of Tadrart Acacus

Libya: Old Town of Ghadamès

Mali: Old Town of Djenné

Micronesia: Nan Madol: Ceremonial center of Eastern Micronesia

Uzbekistan: Historic center of Shakhrisyabz

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