New remarkable natural and cultural sites to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List will be announced at the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Paris, June 19-29. A total of 42 sites will be considered for inscription this year.
After rigorous evaluations of this year’s nominations, IUCN, the advisory body on natural sites, will present its recommendations to the Committee for the new iconic natural areas to be added to the prestigious list. Natural sites from 13 countries will be considered for inscription.
IUCN will also be reporting back on monitoring missions it conducted to 16 World Heritage Sites in 2010 and 2011 and will recommend those under the most severe threat to be inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.
IUCN and the other Advisory Bodies recommend ways of strengthening the World Heritage Convention. “The World Heritage Convention will be turning 40 next year,” says IUCN’s Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “We see this as an opportunity to celebrate its success but also carry out some much needed reforms to strengthen its unique role in securing the conservation of these exceptional places and their contribution to sustainable development.”
Mining and oil and gas exploration
“Natural World Heritage Sites represent a commitment to future generations that the international community needs to uphold,” says Mariam Kenza Ali, World Heritage Monitoring Officer at IUCN. “In order to do this, mineral and oil and gas exploration should not be permitted within World Heritage Sites because of the serious and irreversible damage that could be caused to the Outstanding Universal Value of the world’s most important natural areas.”
Safeguarding our natural heritage.
“There have been concerns about growing politicization within the Convention,” says Tim Badman, Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “This meeting is important to both reinforce the Convention’s reputation for the highest technical standards, and to take decisions that will maximize conservation results on the ground.”
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