Cultural sites rejected for Natural criteria

Cultural sites for which UNESCO has, so far, declined also to inscribe on Natural criteria as requested by the state Party.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Cilento and Vallo di Diano Initially nominated as a mixed site but rejected for natural values (1998 Bureau Ordinary Session).
Coro and its Port Coro Dunes National Park was part of the Original nomination, but not inscribed
Curonian Spit "Concerning natural values, the Committee noted that the Curonian Spit is an important site at the European scale and very significant within the Baltic Region as a whole. However, it was not considered to meet the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List as a natural property."
Fertö/Neusiedlersee "Although the site was originally nominated as a mixed site, the Committee did not inscribe Fert?/Neusiedlersee on the World Heritage List under natural criteria. "
Incense Route of the Negev The site was originally proposed as Makhteshim Country (mixed). After a deferral in 2001 the site was separated into a cultural nomination (Incense Route) and a natural nomination (Makhteshim Country). In 2005 the natural nomination was withdrawn and the cultural accepted
Lushan National Park In 1996 China asked for a "mixed" inscription but the site was only inscribed on cultural criteria
Masada There was an attempt for Masada to be nominated for natural values as part of the Great Rift Valley.
Matobo Hills The minutes of the Bureau of 1984 state that the site had been reviewed by both ICOMOS AND IUCN (which seems to imply that it must have been nominated on both Natural and Culturla ciriteria -the concept of "Cultural Landscape" wasn't then accepted by UNESCO). ICOMOS had been positive regarding the rock art and Zimbabwe was asked to resubmit with greater clarity regarding both the natural and cultural criteria. See page 16
Mount Carmel Caves Rejected for natural criterium 8 (was proposed as a mixed site, went on to be inscribed as a cultural site)
Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan "The Committee discussed the question of inscription under natural criteria, a proposal for the construction of a dam by the water conservancy project and the issue of sacred mountains in China. The Committee noted that Mt Qingcheng is considered to meet natural criteria (ii) and (iv). However, it decided to defer the nomination under natural criteria...."
Mount Wutai
Pico Island Portugal's Pico Island was initially submitted as a mixed site in 2003, before being revised and nominated as a cultural landscape in 2004.
Qadisha Valley
Richtersveld In 2007 S Africa asked for inscription under natural criteria ix and x as well as cultural iv and v but this aspect was deferred as IUCN was concerned that the site wasn't large enough to meet the conditions of integrity and biodiversity
Saint Catherine Area In 2002 Egypt originally asked for a "mixed" inscription but the site was only inscribed on cultural criteria. In 2003 it submitted a larger area in an attempt to gain inscription under natural criteria as well but this was again rejected
Saloum Delta
Serra da Capivara Rejected in 2003
Viñales Valley
Zagori Cultural Landscape


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Cultural sites rejected for Natural criteria?

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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source