Pat Hyland - Jul 13, 2009
UNESCO World Heritage Site’s list is again a bit longer. The World Heritage Committee added two new natural sites and eleven cultural sites to the List. One site has been removed from the list and three were given the status of World Heritage in Danger.


At its 33rd session the World Heritage Committee announced 13 newcomers on the World Heritage List. With the 13 new sites, there are currently 890 properties inscribed as World Heritage Sites.

Two natural sites were newly added to the List – the Wadden Sea (Germany and the Netherlands) and the Dolomites in Italy. Three of the newly added sites are in countries that did not have any UNESCO World Heritage Site yet. These three are in Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Kyrgyzstan. The Ruins of Loropéni are located in Burkina Faso. In Cape Verde is Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande and in Kyrgyzstan they have Sulamain-Too Sacred Mountain.

The Committee was not only adding new sites, it has also removed one, the Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany, because of the construction of a four-lane bridge. Sites in France (the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains) and in the Slovak Republic (Levoča) were extended. UNESCO has also removed the Walled City of Baku in Azerbaijan from the World Heritage in Danger List. Three other sites were on the other hand added as endangered ones.

Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System made it to the Danger List because of excessive development and mangrove cutting in the area. The Committee wants the development to be more strictly controlled and the cutting stopped. The site is the largest barrier reef in the Northern hemisphere and it is a significant habitat for threatened species. Colombia requested that their Los Katios National Park was added to the Danger List as they hope it will help to mobilize international support. The site is endangered by illegal extraction of timber, hunting and fishing. The park is home to number of threatened animal species and to endemic plants. The last site added to the List of World Heritage in Danger was the Historical Monuments of Mtskheta in Georgia. The stonework and frescoes at the site are deteriorating and the Committee wants Georgia to improve the situation.




The Newest Natural UNESCO Sites (2008)

The New Cultural UNESCO Sites in Asia  (2008)

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