UNESCO meet on new World Heritage List begins

July 26th, 2010 - 6:25 am ICT by IANS  

Brasilia, July 26 (DPA) The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO started meetings Sunday in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, to consider new sites for inclusion on the coveted World Heritage List.
The meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is to last 10 days, during which the status of sites on the World Heritage List can also be downgraded.

This year the committee will consider 32 fresh nominations, which include six natural, 24 cultural and two mixed (both natural and cultural) sites.

The natural properties nominated include Pirin National Park in Bulgaria; pitons, cirques and ramparts of Reunion Island, France; Putorana Plateau, Russia; Tajik national park, mountains of the Pamirs, Tajikistan.

The cultural sites being considered include the city of Graz, Austria; major mining sites of Wallonia, Belgium; SÃ&poundo Francisco square in historic SÃ&poundo CristóvÃ&poundo town, Brazil; Upper Harz water management system, Germany; Jantar Mantar and Matheran railway, India; Tabriz historic bazaar complex, Iran; Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, the site for numerous US nuclear tests in the 1940s-50s.

The committee will also review the state of conservation of 31 properties on the list that are threatened by pollution, urban development, poorly managed mass tourism, wars or natural disasters.

In 2009, UNESCO added 13 new locations to the World Heritage list, which now numbers a total 890 sites.

Three of the new sites were in countries that had no previous World Heritage treasures: The historic town centre of Cidade Velha in the Cape Verde Islands, the millennium-old Loropeni ruins in Burkina Faso, and the Sulamain-Too Sacred Mountain in Kyrgyzstan.

Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley became the first cultural site to be removed from the list, because of the construction of a traffic bridge that was seen as destroying a part of its landscape.

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