Mount Etna, the famous active volcano in Italy, was named one of the World Heritage Sites at the World Heritage Committee's 37th session.
Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, who was also the Chairman of this WHC session was the first to congratulate Italy on gaining another World Heritage Site.
According to IUCN (International Union for Conservation Nature) press release, Mount Etna, that is situated on the coast of Sicily, is famous for its high level of ongoing volcanic activity. IUCN, who is also advisory on World Heritage Sites for UNESCO, said that since this February alone, 13 eruptions have taken place.
The oldest documentation of Mount Etna dates back over 2,700 years. Now it is probably one of the most studied and watched volcanoes on the planet. It has a strong influence on geophysics, volcanology, and other sciences.
Director of the IUCN World Heritage Program, Tim Badman, said that researches have always been intrigued about Mount Etna and that its cultural, scientific and educational values are very important to the whole world. He also hoped that the status of being a World Heritage site would bring more protection to the mountain, especially now that tourism in the area has been leaving its mark.
Mount Etna with its 3,329 meters of height is a great example of volcanic landforms and active geological processes. The eruptive activity is almost continuous, lava flows and eruptions from fissures and craters are common. Thanks to diverse features such as cinder cones, summit craters, lava caved, lava flows and the depression of Valle de Bove, both researchers and students have made Mount Etna their main destination for different studies.