What factors could/should we use in determining which "mountains" get selected for the 400 from among the 31? If we are to hit the "average" 40% then we need to reduce to 12 at max.
a. Height/size - overall or regional? I suppose we have to recognise the significance of the "Highest mountain on Earth" in presenting our World to the "Little Green Man" - but beyond that - is there anything particularly special about e.g "The highest in N America" etc? There may be some value in Highest Waterfall but only with other factors?
b. Regional or mountain chain representation? There are surely just too many ranges even to try to have one from e.g each continent if we are ever to get down to a total list of around 400. But how to choose between? I don't really see "sharing the spoils" across continents as being a very useful factor so I am not going to try too hard to endure representation of each major range
c. Beauty/"spectacularness"? The most subjective but it should be taken into account I guess
d. Geological specialism? OK - but we need to ensure that we don't grind too small into more and more specialist "geological niches". But we should certainly try to cover the main different types of mountains - wherever they might be situated AND try to avoid merely duplicating simply in order to represent anther region
e. Natural "specialities"? We need to consider the relative importance of these as well as their number. Also to ensure not covered in a site not categorized as "Mountain"
f. A "balanced score card" of all of the above? - If one were optimising some range of business objectives that might be a good approach but my worry about it (for this or any other category) is that it will tend to lead to the selection of sites which aren't outstanding on anything but which tick the most boxes! I would rather pick a mountain which is outstanding for "X" alone rather than another which is average on 4 aspects!
So, to look at some specifics
a. From the above list I exclude Bandiagara, Meteora, Mt Taishan and Macchu Picchu on the grounds that they should (and some do!) stand or fall on their cultural merits and not as mountains.
b. I am not too sure that the Alps and the Pyrenees are so important in world terms as to be "given" a representation just to ensure that they are represented as "mountain ranges". Ok - if a WHS from these ranges were to score very highly on something else then it should get in on that rather than as a representative of , say, "The Alps" per se. So Mont Perdu, Jungfrau and Dolomites need to have something extra than just their range
c. There are a fair number of "minor" mountains/mountain ranges included. All very "worthy" of protection - but do they really justify selection here? I think of Pirin, Durmitor, Simien, W Caucasus, Golden Mountains, Tajik NP, Rwenzori, Drakensburg) it would have to be because of the Natural rather than "mountainous" attributes - but again I conclude "worthy" to be preserved but not outstanding enough
d. There are some "close duplicates" albeit that each will be able to make some sort of case for uniqueness we surely don't need more than 1 of them at most? Waterton and Canadian Rocky , Kili and Mt Kenya
e. Because of the difficulty of achieving a "perfect" categorisation there are some included here as "mountains" whilst very similar WHS are categorised elsewhere – again do we need both? E.g Huascaran and Sangay ("Natural Landscape").
Here is the list with a summary of what is supposed to be special about each taken from the AB Evaluation. Followed by my assessment and suggestion
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks – continental divide range, fossils (Burgess), lakes/glaciers etc. Because of range of aspects - YES
Canaima National Park – Highest W'fall, "unique" formations and biota. "Special" enough! YES
(Cliff of Bandiagara. – African cultural landscape on cliff site. Decide on Cultural values)
Dolomites –geological interest , beauty of shapes etc. Either this or Jungfrau for the Alps? MAYBE
Durmitor National Park – Canyon, Karst, European fauna. Too regional and not special enough? - NO
Golden Mountains of Altai – plant diversity, snow leopard. NO?
Great Himalayan National Park – W Himalayan flora and fauna. Too similar to Nanda Devi? NO?
Huanglong – Travertine – IUCN say far superior to Yellowstone and Pamukkale (assume Pamukk doesn't get chosen on basis of also having Heirapolis?) YES
Huangshan – scenic beauty plus cultural aspects. Let it stand or fall on its Cultural criteria - NO
Huascaran National Park – High Andes and S American flora/fauna. Compare with Sangay MAYBE
Kilimanjaro National Park – highest in Africa, strato volcano, giant flora etc. YES
(Macchu Picchu – Inca ruins in spectacular site. Decide on cultural values)
Maloti Drakensberg – highest in S Africa, some endemics – plus cultural. Too regional - NO
(Meterora – Monasteries in spectacular site – decide on Cultural values)
Mount Kenya - strato volcano, giant flora etc. Too similar to Kili which just beats it - NO
Mount Sanqingshan – granite peaks. Not special enough, single criterion only. NO
(Mt Taishan – Sacred mountain – decide on Cultural values)
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers -2nd highest in India, alpine flora. Too similar to Sagarmartha? MAYBE?
Pirin National Park - limestone, Balkan endemics. Mainly "regional" - NO
Putorana Plateau – Arctic/sub Arctic ecosystems and eroded canyons. Mountains not really the issue – but we need some Arctic/Sub-Arctic sites – need to look at range of these before deciding - MAYBE
Pyrénées/Mont Perdu – visually dramatic landscape, alpine flora. Too similar to Alps? NO
Rwenzori Mountains – snow capped in Africa plus giant flora etc. Too similar to Kili? – NO
Sagarmatha National Park –highest in world and many other high peaks, glaciers etc. Primacy on basis of height/extent etc. (but does it have enough variety to cover all the other ranges in/around the Himalaya?) YES
Simien National Park – spectacular volcanic/eroded landscape plus Ethiopian endemics. Not special enough. NO
Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch – Impressive high alpine scenery, largest glacier in Eurasia. Either this or Dolomites for the Alps? MAYBE
Tajik National Park – High mountains at "Pamir knot" close to Himalaya/Tian Shan. Overlaps Tianshan - NO?
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park – mountain scenery, Overthrust. Weak nomination case and too similar to Can Rockies - NO
Western Caucasus – Untouched European mountain habitats. Not special enough? NO
Western Ghats – High plant and animal diversity plus "rare" species. Many of the species e.g Gaur, Elephant are elsewhere. NO?
Wulingyuan – sandstone karst. Not special enough? NO
Xinjiang Tianshan – Own Udvardy biome. Too similar to Altai? NO?
So 5 YES and 5 "MAYBE" – of which some are "either/or" choices. I am a little "unhappy" about the Central Asian sites - Tianshan (N), Altai (N), Tajik (N), Gt Himalayan (N), Nanda Devi (MAYBE). Too harsh?