01.06.2012 - UNESCOPRESS

World Heritage Committee to consider inscription of 33 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List at forthcoming session (St Petersburg 24 June – 6 July)

© UNESCO/F. Bandarin - Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg

The World Heritage Committee will consider the inscription of 33 sites on the World Heritage List during its next meeting from 24 June to 6 July, in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.

The forthcoming 36th session of the Committee, an independent body of 21 States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention, will be chaired by. Eleonora Mitrofanova, Ambassador Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO. For the first time in its 40-year history, members of the public and the media will be able to follow the debates of the Committee through live streaming on the internet.

Some of the working documents of the Committee are already available to the public online in English and French and the rest will be made available early next month.

Five natural sites are to be considered for inscription: Chad, Lakes of Ounianga; China, Chengjian Fossil Site; Congo, Cameroon and Central African Republic, Sangha Trinational; India, Western Ghats; Russian Federation, Lena Pillars Nature Park.

Two “mixed sites” are to be considered for inscription for their natural and cultural values: Israel, Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara caves; Palau, Rock islands Southern Lagoon.

Twenty-six cultural sites are to be considered:

  • Bahrain, Pearling, testimony of an island economy;
  • Belgium, Major Mining Sites of Wallonia;
  • Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea;
  • Canada, Landscape of Grand Pré;
  • China, Site of Xanadu;
  • Côte d’Ivoire, Historic Town of Grand-Bassam;
  • Croatia, Sacral Complex on the remains of the Roman Forum in Zadar;
  • France, Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin;
  • Germany, Margravial Opera House Bayreuth;
  • Germany, Schwetzingen: A Prince Elector’s Summer Residence;
  • India, Hill Forts of Rajasthan;
  • Indonesia, Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: The Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy;
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan;
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Gonbad-e Qābus;
  • Italy, Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato;
  • Malaysia, Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley;
  • Morocco, Rabat, modern capital and historic city: a shared heritage;
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem;
  • Portugal, Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications;
  • Qatar, Al Zubarah Archaeological Site;
  • Russian Federation, Russian Kremlins;
  • Senegal, Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes;
  • Slovenia and Spain; Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija;
  • Sweden, Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland;
  • Turkey, Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük;
  • Ukraine, Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral with related Monastic Buildings, St. Cyril’s and St. Andrew’s Churches (extension).

The Church of the Nativity and pilgrimage route, Bethlehem (Palestine) will be processed on an emergency basis and the documents that concern it are not yet available.

Chad, Congo, Palau, Palestine and Qatar stand to enter the World Heritage List with their first inscriptions.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is one of the advisory bodies that help the World Heritage Committee decide on the inscription of cultural properties. Its evaluation serves as the basis for the Committee’s decisions.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the advisory body that assesses the nomination of natural sites and its evaluations are used by Committee for its decisions.

“Mixed” properties claiming a place on the World Heritage List for both their natural and cultural merits are assessed by both advisory bodies and are analysed in the evaluations submitted by both ICOMOS and IUCN.

Palestine, which became a member of UNESCO in October 2011 and subsequently ratified the World Heritage Convention, will be presenting its first site for inscription on the World Heritage List.

During the session, the World Heritage Committee will examine progress in the conservation of the 35 properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Reports on the state of conservation of 105 properties already inscribed on the World Heritage List will also be reviewed by the Committee during the session.

A number of side events will take place, notably an international Youth Forum, organized by the Russian Federation in Kazan (Tatarstan, Russian Federation) from 1 to 9 July.

Journalists wishing to attend the meeting of the Committee should register online. Press releases will be issued during the session to announce additions and possible changes to the World Heritage List.

The World Heritage List, created under the terms of the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage numbers 936 properties forming part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers to be of outstanding universal value. Sites inscribed include 725 cultural, 183 natural and 28 mixed properties in 153 States Parties. One-hundred-eighty-nine States Parties have ratified the World Heritage Convention to date.

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                           See also: whc.unesco.org

                      Media contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Press Service,

                       r.amelan(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 16 50




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