Associated Press
Nabataean tombs, Saudi Arabia

UNESCO Names 27 New Landmarks for Preservation

July 15, 2008 05:00 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The UN agency that protects natural and man-made treasures has announced additions to its list of World Heritage Sites.

30-Second Summary

A collection of tombs in Saudi Arabia, a monarch butterfly reserve in Mexico, and an island off the coast of Iceland were among the sites chosen last week during a meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Quebec City, Canada.

According to UNESCO, in order to be included on the World Heritage list, a site "must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria."

So far the list includes 878 protected sites, including the Statue of Liberty, the Great Wall of China and Mount Kenya National Park in Africa.

While inclusion on the list can bring sites funding for restoration and preservation, the designation can sometimes do more harm than good, as increased visibility and popularity often attracts an influx of tourists that many sites cannot handle.

The Galapagos Islands is one landmark that has been harmed by a rapid flow of tourists, increased immigration and invasive species due to its popularity. Last year, it was added to UNESCO's other list, the List of World Heritage in Danger, which includes 30 sites.

"We've been inscribing new sites for 30 years," said Stephen Morris of the National Park Service to MSNBC. "That needs to shift to how do we manage and protect them and make sure they remain in good condition. It's a challenge for everyone."

Headline Link: 'Dozens of New World Heritage Sites Named'

Photo Link: '8 Natural Wonders Added to UN Heritage List'

Background: 'The Oscars of the Environment'

Related Topics: Cambodians celebrate temple's status

Reference: World Heritage Centre


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