In all, a small but interesting crop of sites - not your standard WH material.
this is certainly an interesting batch, but like what i wrote last year, it is still a lean batch. and lean not just in terms of number. there is no iconic site that crosses cultural, national and demographic recognition like 2006's giant panda sanctuaries, or 2007's sydney opera house. 2008 list also had no iconic sites, but it managed to create buzz with how the media portrayed the new natural sites as "wonders of the world"--lol, some of my friends even thought that that was the voting result of the new 7 natural wonders list. i thought the shaolin monastery would be iconic, but that wasn't even nominated as "shaolin monastery", but in terms of a lesser known (but more appropriate, i think) name of mount song. and that nomination wasn't even successful. the le corbusier collection also didn't make it.
also, in past years, owing to the large size of at least one or two natural sites, the total area of world heritage listed properties has grown by more than 1M ha. this year, growth was significantly less. i'm also curious about the case of wadden sea. the area inscribed is quite small, or is it just a case of typographical error, similar to some other sites? this is quite peculiar considering that its description includes such lines as "66% of the whole area" and we are also led to believe that it's one of the largest of such property types in the world. is this due to excessive "carving out" of the area to remove those heavily affected by human activities? after all, no buffer zone area was indicated.