News for the week ending June 23rd, 2013.
The biggest news last week that the World Heritage Committee started its annual session. This will go on till 27th June in Cambodia and with decisions taken on the list of sites to inscribe as a world heritage site. Till now the 19 new sites below have been inscribed –
- Al Zubarah Archaeological Site
- Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora
- Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
- Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces
- Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration
- Golestan Palace
- Hill Forts of Rajasthan
- Historic Centre of Agadez
- Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong
- Levuka Historical Port Town
- Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany
- Red Bay Basque Whaling Station
- University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia
- Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine
- El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve
- Mount Etna
- Namib Sand Sea
- Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs)
- Xinjiang Tianshan
- Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
- Mount Kenya-Lewa Wildlife conservancy
- Maloti Drakensberg Tranboundary World Heritage Site
Progress in the conservation efforts at Iran’s Bam Citadel have convinced the WHC to strike it off the endangered list. It is always good to hear about conservation efforts bearing fruit.
The WHC has been active in trying to minimize damage caused by humans though. Last week, it called for a ban on drilling for oil in Virunga national park and expressed its concerns over fracking in the Gros Morne national park It also added the sites in Syria to the endangered list considering the heavy damage two years of civil war has caused to them.
The WHC also added two manuscripts – an ancient sacred Jain text and the war-time diary of a Korean war hero to the heritage list. The Jain manuscript has moreover been described as of ‘lasting value to humankind’.