Misleading WHS Names

WHS whose official full name is misleading to the extent that a prospective visitor might "miss the point", by not recognizing its core zone and/or its OUV.

It includes, but is not limited to, sites:
- that are significantly smaller than they seem / where the name implies a grander scope than is inscribed.
- where a Natural focus is implied, via the use of solely natural attributes (such as Archipelago, Caves, Valley) in its name, while it is a cultural WHS.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Anticosti The included areas only cover 14% of the total area of Anticosti Island (its coastline and the channels of its two principal rivers).
Belize Barrier Reef The reef is a well-distinguishable feature that can be seen all along Belize’s coast. But only seven protected sites (covering 12% of the surface) have been selected to reflect the whole. While the addition of 'Reserve System' to the name is an indicator of there being limitations, it could be made more clear that it excludes the popular Cayes ('Protected areas of Belize Barrier Reef')
Frontiers of the Roman Empire This WHS only covers a tiny part of the frontiers of the Roman Empire, which stretch all around Europe and the Mediterranean. Also, other Roman Frontiers have been inscribed as separate WHS. 'Limes of the British Isles' could have been a good alternative here, however, a stretch in Germany is included as well which is known as the Upper German-Raetian Limes.
Gorham's Cave Complex This is not a natural WHS and the area of interest also goes beyond Gorham's Cave. The original name 'Gibraltar Neanderthal Caves and Environments' (or without 'and Environments') would have been much better, but Spain objected.
Great Wall Remains of the Great Wall can be seen at numerous places along its 6,000km long northern stretch. However, the WHS is limited to the beginning and the end, plus the popular Badaling section near Beijing. This discrepancy was noted by ICOMOS before inscription ("the present proposal may, in fact, be taken in various ways. This will inevitably bring about conflicts in the short term as to the definition of the property") China answered that the Great Wall "has to be considered and protected as a whole" - but this has never lead to a boundary change.
Lake Malawi The WHS uses the same scoping as the National Park, but both cover only the southern part of the lake; so Southern Lake Malawi might have been a better name.
Land of Frankincense Both grandiose and vague. An alternative name could be "Frankincense sites of Dhofar", to reflect the regional limit and that these are mostly archeological sites.
Lower Valley of the Awash The geographical scope is unclear due to the lack of an official map, and the site is cultural while natural is implied by focus on the Valley. Suggestion for an alternative name: ‘Hominid fossil sites in the Lower Valley of the Awash’.
Lower Valley of the Omo The geographical scope is unclear due to lack of official map, and site is cultural while natural is implied by focus on the Valley. Suggestion for an alternative name: ‘Hominid fossil sites in the Lower Omo Valley’.
Pantanal This site covers much less than the region that is known as the Pantanal in Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay (only 1.3% of Brazil's Pantanal!). Four adjacent nature reserves/parks that are seen as representative of the whole have been chosen. Although 'Conservation Zone' in the full name is an indicator of limitations, a more precise name like 'Pantanal Matogrossense National Park and adjoining reserves' would be welcome.
Rio de Janeiro The majority of Rio’s built environment is excluded - the core zone is limited to natural elements that have seen human intervention, resulting in a 'cultural landscape'. The flowery subtitle 'Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea' isn't of help. An alternative name could be like 'Cultural landscape of Tijuca National Park and the Sugarloaf Mountain'.
Sundarbans National Park This only includes the Indian side of the area, and focuses on the mangroves. A better name, as suggested by IUCN in its evaluation, could have been 'The Sundarbans Mangrove Reserves of India'.
The Sundarbans This only includes the Bangladeshi side of the area, and focuses on the mangroves. A better name, as suggested by IUCN in its evaluation, could have been 'The Sundarbans Mangrove Reserves of Bangladesh'.
Upper Svaneti Upper Svaneti is a historic region centered around the town of Mestia, but this site covers only one village some 2 hours drive away. An alternative WHS name could be: "Chazhashi" (= the name of the village).
Val di Noto Only very small parts of Modica and Scicli towns and Catania are included, so the name 'Baroque Towns' seems to be overstating it. An alternative could be 'Baroque heritage of the Val di Noto'.
Vegaøyan This does not cover the full archipelago, especially large parts of the main Vega island (where you will arrive) are excluded. Also, the title has a ‘natural’ feel, while it is a cultural landscape focusing on the local lifestyle of fishing and eider down harvesting. Suggestion for alternative name: "Cultural landscape of Vegaøyan".
Western Ghats The Western Ghats is a huge mountain range; however, the WHS is limited to 37 very specific parks and reserves which require some effort and formal entry. Suggestion for alternative name: 'Western Ghats (Strictly) Protected Areas'.
Yakushima The protected area only covers the higher altitude center of the island plus some outlying portions. A better name would be something like 'Yakushima Forest Reserve'.


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Misleading WHS Names?

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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