UNESCO to mull inclusion of dozens of new sites for World Heritage List

6 July 2010 – For the first time, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tajikistan have put forward sites for possible inscription on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati, the nuclear testing site at the Marshall Islands’ Bikini Atoll, and Mountains of the Pamirs of the Tajik National Park are three of the dozens of sites to be considered when the World Heritage Committee meets later this month in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia.

Thirty-five nations will present 41 properties for inscription at this year’s session, where the Committee will also review the state of conservation of 31 sites on the List of World Heritage sites in danger.

That list features properties threatened by problems including pollution, urban development, poorly managed mass tourism, wars and natural disasters.

Last year, UNESCO removed Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley from its World Heritage List due to the building of a four-lane bridge in the heart of the cultural landscape, as well as the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman, de-listed for the country’s failure to fulfil its conservation obligations for the site.

Currently, the World Heritage List recognizes 890 properties in 148 countries to be of “outstanding universal value.”

This year’s session of the World Heritage Committee runs from 25 July to 3 August.

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