so this means that whereas the whc is busy creating a representative, balanced world heritage list, some state parties are also concerned with such with respect to their collection of sites on the list. aside from incorporating a rotation policy in their nomination programs, it is also interesting to look at the trends of nominations for the countries with high number of sites, especially during those times when multiple nominations per state were still allowed.
among interesting trends during the mid-1990s to early 2000s were the greater number of natural sites being nominated by russia and brazil. in the case of russia, most of these natural sites are in the siberian/asian russia/russian far east region. so whereas most of its high number of cultural sites are densely concentrated on the european section, significant portion of the trademark siberian landscape (especially famous ones) make up most of the state's natural sites and of course, dominate the list in terms of land area. for brazil, note that before the 1990s, it only had one natural site (iguacu), despite the fact that the when you mention the country, it automatically conjures images of the amazon rainforests and amazon river. it was only in the mid-1990s that it started to nominate natural sites. note also that the natural sites nominations came in pairs per year with a "theme", like the atlantic forest in 1999, ecosystems in the brazilian interior in 2000 (one was given the name "conservation area", and the other "conservation complex" after an extension), other significant regions/ecosystems in 2001 (both followed a certain syntax in terms of the nomination names). in the case of canada, excluding sites it shares with usa, i noticed that it tends to keep a balance between the number of cultural and natural sites on the list, although this might just be due to chance. other interesting data: despite having a high number of cultural sites (excluding the pyrenees shared w/ spain), france still has not had a site qualify on the basis of criterion v. germany also shared the same problem until the inclusion of some of its river valley cultural landscapes in early 2000s.
there are many other ways to seek a representative collection of sites, aside from geography and minority representation. for example, how about historical representation? like presenting a country's different historical stages/dynasties/periods. this allows for a full spectrum of sites to represent a country on the list, ranging from prehistoric ones (archaeological sites/primitive dwellings/rock art/hominids) to classical/ancient to middle ages down to industrial and modern. note that the recent tentative list of japan focuses more on the industrialization of the country in the late 19th century-early 20th century, as well as some archaeological sites (e.g. jomon) dating from its beginnings. it has also inscribed sites located in okinawa (ryukyu kingdom) and hokkaido (shiretoko) starting in 2000, thereby, allowing representation of some other regions beyond the main island.
among the countries with high number of sites on the list, i think the most imbalanced representation comes from china. most sites are found on the eastern region. the most westerly sites are the mogao caves and potala palace. and to think that when the whc instituted a policy of allowing the nomination of at least one natural site per year, i thought that they would do a russia in terms of representing a large portion of its land beyond the populated region. but then again, so far, the natural sites being nominated are still located within the more populous western china region (within the han chinese sphere of influence). note that in terms of its cultural nominations though, in 2004, its nominations leaned more on sites from the manchurian region (new sites and extension), while recently, the focus is more on the southern region (including minority/vernacular dwellings). but overall, if you look at the map of china to see the distribution of sites, they reflect the population density of china, as well as level of economic development (major industrial areas in the southern and central eastern parts, while those in the manchurian, western regions tend to lag behind, hence, they also have fewer sites on the list). in terms of cultural sites, the geographical bias is logical considering that the heartland of the chinese empire is the eastern region, so of course it will contain the most sites. but historically speaking, only the tang, yuan, ming and qing dynasties have contributed the most sites on the list. the recent tentative list of china also address these issues, with the inclusion of the silk road nomination that, with a collection of hundreds of sites, will more than make up for the current lack of representation of the cultural treasures of western china/xinjiang region. there are also the grand canal (industrial site and sung dynasty) as well as archaeological sites from the early period of chinese history.
thus, aside from the trends that we can get from the current world heritage list, we can also check the collection of sites on the tentative list just to see that given the myriad of programs by the whc to ensure greater representativity, that state parties are heeding this call and putting this into action.