I have been through the Tentative Lists of Countries from A-I so far with a view to identifying potential "Top 50" proposals. Interestingly I came up with a few which have either already been proposed or are within the list put up by Els yesterday of possible inscriptions this year! But also some new potentials - hence I am putting up the "review to date" as a "record" and to stimulate ideas.
I hadn't previously worked my way through the T List (and I am still only about one third of the way!). There was a feeling of "deja vu" both regarding the countries with the biggest lists (China and France of course - but Iran slips into second place ahead of France!) but also the general impression of just how much of "the same" there is - huge numbers of churches, forts, mosques etc and not a great deal of "wow". That isn't to say that many are not perfectly "respectable" candidates for inscription - but NOT what I have called "Top 50" material! Now of course I can't know just how special some of the potential sites might be within their category - some I had visited, some I knew something about and some were totally unknown - this latter group took up quite a lot of time searching the Web to try to establish what they were. Often just about the only material was the T List entry itself - which doesn't augur well for anything that special I fear. 2 areas I feel particularly weak on
a. Natural Niches - Maybe I am dismissing too many of these as not being "Top 50" - I had chosen Surtsey however!
b. African Cultural Landscapes etc. There may be a tendency to dismiss all of Africa as "African" and hence "the same" but there are of course wide variations and just because there are a number of such sites on already doesn't mean that others are not "top class". Without too much knowledge I have identified a couple of potentials among this first list.
Herewith my "summary review". I have highlighted my "potential Top 50" in bold
Afghanistan (3 sites) - Blue Lake, Herat City and "Bactria". Cetnral Asian towns are pretty well represented already?
Albania (3 sites) Tombs, another amphi, Another city nothing special?
Algeria (6 sites) Lots of oases, Royal tombs, Old churches nothing special?
Andorra (2 sites) more churches. Nothing special/
Angola (11 Sites) 3 Churches, 7 fortresses . Capital of Kingdom of Kongo might be worth looking at
Antigua - (0 sites)
Argentina - (7 sites) A modernist building "according to tenets of Le Corbusier", the planned 19C town of La Plata, Puna-type Natural area, more sites from Inca road, Palaeontology site, another Andean site, cultural Buenos Aires The Puna might repay more attention?
Armenia (4 sites) more churches and monasteries plus a Sassanian arch site nothing very special?
Australia (1 site) Convict site can't get very excited? A bit surprising really how thin the Oz T list is?
Austria (10 sites) 3 more abbeys/Caths, 1 Castle, 1 medieval town , 1 Forest, 1 Nat Park (=NP), 1 Cult Landscape - mainly more of same?
Azerbaijan (10 sites) 2 geological, 2 fortress/defensive, 1 Zoroastrian, 2 medieval , 1 Caspian biosphere reserve possibly the Zoroastrian worth looking at?
Bahrain (4 sites) 3 Dilmun civilisation related , 1 marine. The Mounds might be good but the Dilmun civilisation is already represented
Bangladesh (5 sites) Buddhist and local ruler sites. I have seen most of them or similar. Nothing of great note
Barbados - (3 sites) British garrison site, sugar industry and a natural area. The Sugar site might be worth a look or another in the West Indies?.
Belarus - (10 sites) 4 churches, defence architecture, a 19C canal, a palace and Soveit designed rebuld in Minsk but not as good as the "original" in Moscow
Belgium (9 sites) mainly buildings, including 19 and early 20C, and a "continuity" town. WWI remains are worth a place in the Top 50?
Belize (0 sites)
Benin (5 sites) an African park (similar to others), 1 Slave route related, 1 Lake town and 1 Local ruler palace. I have been to Benin, seen some of these and considered others. Nothing really major?
Bhutan (0 sites) Amazing!!
Bolivia (6 sites) more Inca Road and other Inca, Andean mining, Andean Natural, Dinosaur tracks and Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is worth looking at?
Bosnia (8 sites) 5 Natural & Architectural ensembles, 1 cave, 1 medieval town and Sarajevo latter should be considered (but has been rejected before)?
Botswana (4 sites) 1 natural and 3 archaeological inc a Cultural Landscape. Nothing "major"?
Brazil (17 sites) 11 Natural sites, 2 religious, 1 Niemayer buildings, 1 colonial town, 1 Rio landscape and 1 building in Rio. I think that the Natural sites are already pretty well represented. Rio might be worth a consideration?
Bulgaria ( 14 sites) More Thracian tombs and Balkan natural parks, several monasteries, a couple of Bronze Age/Neolithic sites and the town of Plovdiv. Nothing that remarkable?
Burkina Faso (5 sites) Another wildlife park, 1 rock carvings, 1 early iron making, 2 pre colonial remains. The Boranga Necropoles might be worth looking at? Does the List have enough African Indigenous sites?
Burundi (10 sites) Southernmost source of the Nile, 6 Natural (inc lake Tanganyika), 1 royal palace, 1 vernacular Architecture (family compounds), 1 indigenous sacred countryside. There are already quite a lot of African Palace compounds nothing very special?
Cambodia (10 sites) -10 Cambodian architectural ensembles With Angkor already inscribed there can be no major case for any of these?
Cameroon (13 sites) 5 NPs (including Korup), 1 Lake Chad, 1 waterfall, 1 palace, 1 indigenous cultural landscape (Bafut), 3 megalithic/archaeological. Look at Bafut and Korup?
Canada (10 sites) The Klondike, 1 Basque Whaling Sta, 1 very early geology, 1 fossil, 1 Haida villages, 1 high Arctic, 1 Acadain and 3 "First Nations" related Some interesting ones here Klondike and Geology?
Cape Verde (6 sites) Salazar concentration camp, 1 salt works, 1 slavery, 2 towns, 1 natural. Not top 50 material?
CAR (10 sites) National parks, Megalith, Iron working, Royal Palace, Waterfalls, Rock Art, Railway, Pygmy villages and forest. Nothing "Top 50"?
Chad (9 sites) Hominid site, Rock art, Early metallurgy, NP, Lake Chad, Cultural Landscape. Nothing "Top 50"?
Chile (18 sites) - Andean road, Atacama and Andean settlements, Juan Fernandez islands, Churches, Railway related (inc what was highest bridge in world), Torres del Paine and miscellaneous archaeological/ colonial. Possibly Torres Del Paine but very similar to Los Glaciares and it is contiguous
China (67 sites!) Including Li River (Guilin), Yangtse Gorges, Silk Rd, The Grand Canal, "Early manufacture" (Pocelain and Liquor), numerous scenic "zones/areas/ spots", Archaeological sites, Traditional houses, Temples, Parks, Bridges etc etc. Perhaps the Yangtse, Grand Canal and Guilin are worth looking at The Silk road is already well represented
Columbia (6 sites) Andean Road (again), coffee, Marine, 2 Prehispanic inc "Cuidad Perdido" and an NP. Cuidad Perdido is a world class prehispanic site
Comores (4 sites) 1 Ecosystems, 1 cultural landscape and 1 Sultanate remains I was there Feb 08 nothing of great note
Congo (0 sites)
Costa Rica - (2 Sites) 1 Central American park, 1 prehispanic site. Nothing of great note
Cote d'Ivoire (4 sites) Mosques, Arch Park, Historic Town, Nat park nothing of great note
Croatia (16 sites) usual European mix of historic towns, Churches, Castles/forts, NPs and a vineyard. Nothing of great note
Cuba (4 sites) 1 NP, 1 Marine, 1 Hist Centre, 1 modern Architecture ("School of Art") no "Top 50 Material"?
Cyprus (12 sites) 5 churches, 2 bridges, 1 Rural settlement and a number relating to the Geology of the Troodos (significant geologically because it is part of the earth's ocean crust) No "Top 50" material?
Czech Rep (14 sites) usual "European" mix of "minor" interesting and repeats Hops, Spa, Paper mill, Fish ponds, TV mast, Forts, Castles, Renaissance houses etc. No "Top 50" material
DPRK 3 mountains, 2 towns with relics and 1 caves. Fascinating country but not really "Top 50"
DRC (3 sites) 2 "Grottes" and a depression! Nothing much there.
Denmark (5 sites) 2 Greenland, 2 towns and The Wadden Sea. The Eskimo/Norse culture remains might be worth considering?
Djibouti (0 sites)
Dominica (0 sites)
Dominican Rep - (14 sites) 6 "Sugar related", 4 NPs and some towns/cities. Is "Sugar Production a Top 50 Gap - but could come from a number of countries?
Ecuador (6 sites) 1 "colonial city", 2 precolumbian sites, 1 NP, 1 petrified forest and 1 cultural landscape- Not Top 50?
See next post for next countries