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New entries 2008: 4 + 8 + 13 + 2 = 27

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Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 7 Jul 2008 00:26 | Edited by: elsslots 
Le Morne Cultural Landscape, a rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain's isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne. The oral traditions associated with the maroons, have made Le Morne a symbol of the slaves' fight for freedom, their suffering, and their sacrifice, all of which have relevance to the countries from which the slaves came - the African mainland, Madagascar, India, and South-east Asia. Indeed, Mauritius, an important stopover in the eastern slave trade, also came to be known as the "Maroon republic" because of the large number of escaped slaves who lived in Le Morne.

The Archaeological Site of Al-Hijr (Madâin Sâlih) is the first World Heritage property to be inscribed in Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as Hegra it is the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan. It features well-preserved monumental tombs with decorated facades dating from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. The site also features some 50 inscriptions of the pre-Nabataean period and some cave drawings. Al-Hijr bears a unique testimony to Nabataean civilization. With its 111 monumental tombs, 94 of which are decorated, and water wells, the site is an outstanding example of the Nabataeans' architectural accomplishment and hydraulic expertise.

Fujian Tulou (China) is a property of 46 houses built between the 12th and 20th centuries over 120 km in south-west Fujian province, inland from the Taiwan Strait. Set amongst rice, tea and tobacco fields the tulou are earthen houses. Several storeys high, they are built along an inward-looking, circular or square floor plan as housing for up to 800 people each. They were built for defence purposes around a central open courtyard with few windows to the outside and only one entrance. Housing a whole clan, the houses functioned as village units and were known as "a little kingdom for the family" or "bustling small city." They feature tall fortified mud walls capped by tiled roofs with wide over-hanging eaves. The most elaborate structures date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings were divided vertically between families with each disposing of two or three rooms on each floor. In contrast with their plain exterior, the inside of the tulou were built for comfort and were often highly decorated. They are inscribed as exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization, and, in terms of their harmonious relationship with their environment, an outstanding example of human settlement.

The Armenian Monastic Ensembles in Iran, in the north-east of the country, consists of three monastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian faith: St Thaddeus and St Stepanos and the Chapel of Dzordzor. These edifices - the oldest of which, St Thaddeus, dates back to the 7th century – are examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions. They bear testimony to very important interchanges with the other regional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian. Situated on the south-eastern fringe of the main zone of the Armenian cultural space, the monasteries constituted a major centre for the dissemination of that culture into Azerbayjan and Persia. They are the last regional remains of this culture that are still in a satisfactory state of integrity and authenticity. Furthermore, as places of pilgrimage, the monastic ensembles are living witnesses of Armenian religious traditions through the centuries.

Author elsslots
#2 | Posted: 7 Jul 2008 14:28 | Edited by: elsslots 
And 8 more this afternoon (the usual suspects did it again!):
- Malacca & Georgetown (Malaysia)
- Kuk (Papua New Guinea)
- Stari Grad Plain (Croatia)
- Vauban fortifications (France)
- Berlin housing (Germany)
- Mantua and Sabbionetta (Italy)
- San Marino (San Marino)
- Wooden Carpathian churches (Slovakia, an extension to the Polish site just across the border I would think, but the Unesco website doesn't say so)
- Mountain Railways of India, Kalka Shimla (India, extension)

Author elsslots
#3 | Posted: 8 Jul 2008 00:07 
And +13 on Monday evening:

Preah Vihear Temple (Cambodia). Situated on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia, the buildings that make up the sanctuary are dedicated to Shiva. The temple dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. Nevertheless, its complex history can be traced to the 9th century, when the hermitage was founded. This site is particularly well-preserved, mainly due to its remote location near the border with Thailand. The site is exceptional for three reasons: its natural situation on a promontory, with sheer cliffs overlooking a vast plain and mountain range; the quality of its architecture adapted to the natural environment and religious function of the temple; and, finally, the exceptional quality of the carved stone ornamentation of the temple.

The Joggins Fossil Cliffs, (Canada), a 689 ha palaeontological site along the coast of Nova Scotia (eastern Canada), have been described as the "coal age Galápagos" due to their wealth of fossils from the Carboniferous period (354 to 290 million years ago). The rocks of this site are considered to be iconic for this period of the history of Earth and are the world's thickest and most comprehensive record of the Pennsylvanian strata (dating back 318 to 303 million years) with the most complete known fossil record of terrestrial life from that time. These include the remains and tracks of very early animals and the rainforest in which they lived, left in situ, intact and undisturbed. With its 14.7 km of sea cliffs, low bluffs, rock platforms and beach, the site groups remains of three ecosystems: estuarine bay, floodplain rainforest and fire prone forested alluvial plain with freshwater pools. It offers the richest assemblage known of the fossil life in these three ecosystems with 96 genera and 148 species of fossils and 20 footprint groups. The site is listed as containing outstanding examples representing major stages in the history of Earth.

Mount Sanqingshan National Park (China), a 22,950 ha property located in the west of the Huyaiyu mountain range in the northeast of Jiangxi Province (in the east of central China) has been inscribed for its exceptional scenic quality, marked by the concentration of fantastically shaped pillars and peaks: 48 granite peaks and 89 granite pillars, many of which resemble human or animal silhouettes. The natural beauty of the 1,817 metre high Mount Huaiyu is further enhanced by the juxtaposition of granite features with the vegetation and particular meteorological conditions which make for an ever-changing and arresting landscape with bright halos on clouds and white rainbows. The area is subject to a combination of subtropical monsoonal and maritime influences and forms an island of temperate forest above the surrounding subtropical landscape. It also features forests and numerous waterfalls, some of them 60 metres in height, lakes and springs.

Historic Centre of Camagüey (Cuba). One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camagüey played a prominent role as the urban centre of an inland territory dedicated to cattle breeding and the sugar industry. Settled in its current location in 1528, the town developed on the basis of an irregular urban pattern that contains a system of large and minor squares, serpentine streets, alleys and irregular urban blocks, highly exceptional for Latin American colonial towns located in plain territories. The 54 ha Historic Centre of Camagüey constitutes an exceptional example of a traditional urban settlement relatively isolated from main trade routes. The Spanish colonizers followed medieval European influences in terms of urban layout and traditional construction techniques brought to the Americas by their masons and construction masters. The property reflects the influence of numerous styles through the ages: neoclassical, eclectic, Art Deco, Neo-colonial as well as some Art Nouveau and rationalism.

The Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (France) comprise six marine clusters that represent the main diversity of coral reefs and associated ecosystems in the French Pacific Ocean archipelago of New Caledonia and one of the three most extensive reef systems in the world. The lagoons feature an exceptional diversity of coral and fish species and a continuum of habitats from mangroves to seagrasses with the world's most diverse concentration of reef structures. The Lagoons of New Caledonia display intact ecosystems, with healthy populations of large predators, and a great number and diversity of big fish. They provide habitat to a number of threatened fish, turtles, and marine mammals, including the third largest population of dugongs in the world. These Lagoons are of exceptional natural beauty, and contain reefs of varying age from living reefs to ancient fossil reefs, providing an important source of information on the natural history of Oceania.

Surtsey (Iceland), a volcanic island approximately 32 km from the south coast of Iceland, is a new island formed by volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. It is all the more outstanding for having been protected since its birth, providing the world with a pristine natural laboratory. Free from human interference, Surtsey has been producing unique long-term information on the colonisation process of new land by plant and animal life. Since they began studying the island in 1964, scientists have observed the arrival of seeds carried by ocean currents, the appearance of moulds, bacteria and fungi, followed in 1965 by the first vascular plant, of which there were 10 species by the end of the first decade. By 2004, they numbered 60 together with 75 bryophytes, 71 lichens and 24 fungi. Eighty-nine species of birds have been recorded on Surtsey, 57 of which breed elsewhere in Iceland. The 141 ha island is also home to 335 species of invertebrates.

Saryarka - Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan) comprises two protected areas: Naurzum State Nature Reserve and Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve totalling 450,344 ha. It features wetlands of outstanding importance for migratory water birds, including globally threatened species, among them the extremely rare Siberian white crane, the Dalmatian pelican, Pallas's fish eagle, to name but a few. These wetlands are key stopover points and crossroads on the Central Asian flyway of birds from Africa, Europe and South Asia to their breeding places in Western and Eastern Siberia. The 200,000 ha Central Asian steppe areas included in the property provide a valuable refuge for over half the species of the region's steppe flora, a number of threatened bird species and the critically endangered Saiga antelope, formerly an abundant species much reduced by poaching. The property includes two groups of fresh and salt water lakes situated on a watershed between rivers flowing north to the Arctic and south into the Aral-Irtysh basin.

The Mijikenda Kaya Forests (Kenya) consist of 11 separate forest sites spread over some 200 km along the coast containing the remains of numerous fortified villages, known as kayas, of the Mijikenda people. The kayas, created as of the 16th century but abandoned by the 1940s, are now regarded as the abodes of ancestors and are revered as sacred sites and, as such, are maintained as by councils of elders. The site is inscribed as bearing unique testimony to a cultural tradition and for its direct link to a living tradition.

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Mexico) The 56,259 ha biosphere lies within rugged forested mountains about 100 km northwest of Mexico City. Every autumn, millions, perhaps a billion, butterflies from wide areas of North America return to the site and cluster on small areas of the forest reserve, colouring its trees orange and literally bending their branches under their collective weight. In the spring, these butterflies begin an 8 month migration that takes them all the way to Eastern Canada and back, during which time four successive generations are born and die. How they find their way back to their overwintering site remains a mystery.

Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús de Nazareno de Atotonilco (Mexico). The fortified town, first established in the 16th century to protect the Royal Route inland, reached its apogee in the 18th century when many of its outstanding religious and civic buildings were built in the style of the Mexican Baroque. Some of these buildings are masterpieces of the style that evolved in the transition from Baroque to neoclassical. Situated 14 km from the town, the Jesuit sanctuary, also dating from the 18th century, is one of the finest examples of Baroque art and architecture in the New Spain. It consists of a large church, and several smaller chapels, all decorated with oil paintings by Rodriguez Juárez and mural paintings by Miguel Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre. Because of its location, San Miguel de Allende acted as a melting pot where Spaniards, Creoles and Amerindians exchanged cultural influences while the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco constitutes an exceptional example of the exchange between European and Latin American cultures. Its architecture and interior decoration testify to the influence of Saint Ignacio de Loyola's doctrine.

Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (Switzerland / Italy) brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the north western part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges. The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socio-economic impact on life in the mountains. It const

Author Durian
#4 | Posted: 8 Jul 2008 20:34 
For anyone who interested first report of IUCN and ICOMOS (only new nomination sites)
- Le Morne Cultural Landscape (Mauritius)    I
- Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Salih) (Saudi Arabia)    R
- Fujian Tulou (China)    I
- Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)    D
- Cultural Landscape of Bali Province (Indonesia)    D
- The Armenian Monastic Ensembles in Iranian Azarbayjan ((Islamic Republic of Iran)   I
- Hiraizumi - Cultural Landscape Associated with Pure Land Buddhist Cosmology (Japan) D
- Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca: Melaka and George Town (Malaysia)    R
- The Kuk Early Agricultural Site (Papua New Guinea)    I
- Chief Roi Mata's Domain (Vanuatu)    D
- The Stari Grad Plain (Croatia)    R
- Spa of Luha?ovice (Czech Republic)   D
- The work of Vauban (France)    I
- Housing Estates in the Berlin Modern Style (Germany)   I
- Komarno - Komarom (Hungary / Slovakia)   N
- Mantua and Sabbioneta (Italy)    I
- San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano (San Marino)    R
- Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area (Slovakia)    I
- Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Cultural Landscape (Switzerland / Italy)    I
- Sao Francisco Square in the city of Sao Cristovao (Brazil)    D
- Urban Historic Scenary Camaguey (Cuba)    I
- San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus de Nazareno de Atotonilco (Mexico)   I
- Leon Cathedral (Nicaragua)    R

Author Durian
#5 | Posted: 8 Jul 2008 20:39 
- Socotra Archipelago (Yemen)   I
- Mount Sanqingshan National Park (China)   I
- Hovsgol Lake and its Watershed (Mongolia)   N
- The Joggins Fossil Cliffs (Canada)   I
- Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (France)   I
- Surtsey (Iceland)   I
- Bradyseism in Phlegraean Area (Italy)   N
- "The Putorana Plateau" Nature Complex (Russian Federation)   D
- Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona(Switzerland)   I
- Quarry of the Fabrica Nacional de Cementos S.A. (FANCESA) (Bolivia)   N
- Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Mexico)   D

Author elsslots
#6 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 00:51 
And the final 2 inscribed were:

The Bahá'i Holy Places in Haifa and Western Galilee (Israel) are inscribed for the testimony they provide to the Bahá'i's strong tradition of pilgrimage and for their profound meaning for the faith. The property numbers 26 buildings, monuments and sites at 11 locations in Acre and Haifa, associated with the founders of the faith, among them the Shrine of the Bahá'u'lláh in Acre and the Mausoleum of the Báb in Haifa. It also includes houses, gardens, a cemetery and a large group of modern buildings in the neoclassical style that serve for administration, archives and a research centre.

Chief Roi Mata's Domain is the first site to be inscribed in Vanuatu. It consists of three early 17th century AD sites on the islands of Efate, Lelepa and Artok associated with the life and death of the last paramount chief, or Roi Mata, of what is now Central Vanuatu. The property includes Roi Mata's residence, the site of his death and Roi Mata's mass burial site. It is closely associated with the oral traditions surrounding the chief and the moral values he espoused. The site reflects the convergence between oral tradition and archaeology and bears witness to the persistence of Roi Mata's social reforms and conflict resolution, still relevant to the people of the region.

Author Solivagant
#7 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 02:50 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Hi Durian,
Could I check if my interpetation of the letters in your above posts re the IUCN/ICOMOS reports is correct?
I = Inscribe
D = Defer
R = Refer
N = No (Doesn't/can't meet the criteria)

Is this info available to view somewhere? The UNESCO site will (in its own good time) unfortunately only put up the reports for those sites which got accepted and it would be nice to know the detailed points on which referrals etc were recommended for the others!!

I note that the Buenos Aires Cultural Landscape isn't in the list - I wonder if it got withdrawn before it was made available to your source? There may be the odd other "missing" one as well from our previous list of those we thought were under consideration - Dan from Israel for instance?
If my assumptions are correct it looks as if the WHC inscribed a number of "Defer" and "Refer" recommendations but accepted all the "Noes"


Author Durian
#8 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 08:39 
Hi Solivagant,

Your intrepretation is correct. My information is come from my japanese friend who translated from one japanese news website.

Author meltwaterfalls
#9 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 08:43 
I am just wondering if anyone can fill me in on how some countries can nominate more than one site?

For example Italy has put forward 3: 2 cultural (1 with Switzerland) and 1 natural. There is also the bonus of San Marino squeezing onto the list.

France and China both have 2.

I can understand there being some leniency if there are under represented sites/ countries but none of these would certainly apply to China or Italy (the New Calodonia one perhaps would fit).

To keep it close to home for myself, does this mean that the UK is passing up opportunities to get more sites on the list? This year the proposal was only for an extension to a transboundary site.
Could it feasibly have also put forward Pont-Cysyllte Aqueduct (C) & The Cairngorm Mountains? perhaps chucked in Gibraltar or Fountain Cavern as they were overseas territories? What about mixed sites can the Lake District also be put forward just for a bit of luck?

In short what are the exceptions that allow countries to nominate more than 1 site?

Author Durian
#10 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 08:59 | Edited by: Durian 
I think this info can answer your question, it comes from Cairns Declaration of WHC website


In order to promote the effective management of the increasing size of the World Heritage List, the Committee at each ordinary session will set the maximum number of nominations to be considered. In the first instance and on an interim basis, it is proposed that at the twenty-seventh session of the Committee in 2003, the number of nominations examined by the Committee will be limited to a maximum of 30 new sites.

In order to determine which sites should be given priority for consideration, all nominations to be considered at the twenty- seventh session of the Committee must be received in full by the new due date of 1 February 2002 agreed by the Committee as part of the change of cycle of meetings. No State Parties should submit more than one nomination, except those States Parties that have no sites inscribed on the World Heritage List who will have the opportunity to propose two or three nominations.

In order to address the issue of representivity of the List the following criteria will be applied in order of priority:

In the event that the number of nominations received exceeds the maximum number set by the Committee, the following priority system will be applied each year by the World Heritage Centre before nominations are transmitted to the advisory bodies for evaluation, in determining which sites should be taken forward for consideration:

Nominations of sites submitted by a State Party with no sites inscribed on the List;
Nominations of sites from any State Party that illustrate un-represented or less represented categories of natural and cultural properties, as determined by analyses prepared by the Secretariat and the Advisory Bodies and reviewed and approved by the Committee;
Other nominations.

When applying this priority system, date of receipt of full and complete nominations by the World Heritage Centre shall be used as the secondary determining factor within the category where the number of nominations established by the Committee is reached.

In addition to the approved maximum number of sites, the Committee will also consider nominations deferred, or referred, from previous meetings and changes to the boundaries of already inscribed properties. The Committee may also decide to consider, on an emergency basis, situations falling under paragraph 67 of the Operational Guidelines."

so technically each country can nominate one cultural site and one natural site since natural site is unrepresented in the list as well as transborder site, so three sites is maximum - I think

Author david
#11 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 09:47 
Answer to Meltwaterfalls:
France, China and Italy have nominated two sites because each country can nominate every year a maximum of two sites, of which one has to be natural. A transboundary site is counted as a site proposed by only one of the countries in which is situated (in the case of the the Italian/Swiss candidature it was counted to Switzerland). The nominations referred back to the State Parties can be renominated but they are not counted as new nominations (this is why Israel has proposed two cultural sites). The extension are counted as new nominations (the case of UK's Antonine Wall). And I think that mixed sites are counted as both natural and cultural nominations.
So UK is really passing up opportunities because is not nominating any natural site.

Author meltwaterfalls
#12 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 12:01 
Ah cool thanks for the updates.

It seems I like my fellow countrymen were paying too much heed to the statement.

"No State Parties should submit more than one nomination, except those States Parties that have no sites inscribed on the World Heritage List who will have the opportunity to propose two or three nominations."

I understand the way that China, Italy and France have got around it but still it doesn't really seem to fit with the rules and I am not sure if any of the sites really represent something that was particularly unrepresented before, with the exception of the New Caledonian lagoons.

Anyway, personally I think it would be better if other well-represented countries (including the UK) should not use this 'loop hole' to get more sites on the list and should stick to the 1 a year principle.

Author david
#13 | Posted: 9 Jul 2008 13:32 
That statement is an old one. It seems that now also the states with no sites inscribed can nominate a maximum of two sites every year, of which one natural. For more updated information you should read the 2008 Operational Guideliness.

Author fr4nc1sc4
#14 | Posted: 10 Jul 2008 06:22 
I'm sorry for being a newbie here...
I wonder what's the meaning of Refer and Defer here?

I'm backing Bali (Indonesia), not only because I'm from Indonesia, but the place is outstandingly beautiful. I just want to know what 'Defer' means, since that's the status of Bali now.

thanks in advance!

Author Solivagant
#15 | Posted: 10 Jul 2008 07:31 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Hi frnc1sc4!
You are not the only one surprised that Bali didn't make it onto the list. This UNESCO link gives a resumee of its process
To quote from it re your question "It can also defer its decision and request further information on sites from the States Parties."

It doesn't actually mention "REfer" and I have often found it diffcult to diferentiate. As an example the Mijikendra Forests in Kenya which succeeded this year were REFERRED last year with this comment. The WHC "refers the nomination of the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, Kenya, to the World Heritage List back to the State Party to allow it to:
a) Carry out documentation and surveys of the cultural and natural aspects of the kayas,
and historical research from oral, written and archaeological sources, in order to reconsider and justify the inclusion of the selected sites in the nomination and to
justify the application of the criteria.
b) Designate all kayas as National Monuments. ......." etc etc

an example from last year of DEfer was
The WHC "Defers the examination of the nomination of The Dolomites, Italy, to the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (vii) and (viii) to allow the State Party to consider submitting a new nomination, more focused and coherent, that meets the conditions of integrity;...." etc etc

The difference seems to be, in each case :-
a. Deferral - examination of the nomination hasn't really been discussed as the WHC (on the advice of ICOMOS or IUCN) wants more information or changes made before it will do so
b. Referral - examination of the proposal has taken place but the WHC (on advice from ICOMOS or IUCN) wants changes or something done! The implication here is that the WHC must at least consider that the site stands a good chance if these things are done!

Beased on last year's experinece those sites "REferred" did better this year than those "DEferred" - but of course that will have depended also on how the respective governments reacted to the decision.

It is important to understand that there are a number of hurdles to be overcome before a site can be inscribed and "being good enough" (ie meeting the "criteria") is only one of them!! Sometimes indeed it seems to be the least important!! A site's documentation needs to demonstrate all the things being looked for and the management regime, boundary definition, buffer zones etc etc of the site all need to be up to the "standard" required by ICOMOS/IUCN!!
Some countries seem particularly good at all this "management speak". Others are less so and need coaching/assistance from ICOMOS/IUCN. The potential bias of the sytem is a recognised issue - see my review of Kuk from PNG for an example of the poblems faced by a developing country whose culture is very different from that of developed "Western" ones. They did succeed this time!!!

When the minutes of the WHC are put on the UNESCO Web site in a few months (??) time we should get a better understanding of what was missing from the Bali nomination. It MAY be a simple thing to put right. Alternatively it might take the Indonesian government a lot of time and effort to do so - if ever! Though, in the case of such a obviously fine site as the Bali Cultural Landscape I can't believe that would be the case! Sometimes governemtns try to inscirbe too much perhaps pandering to many different interests. The bigger the area the more the proposal is a hostage to fortune - "focus" can sometimes be the best bet.

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