UNESCO has over 1,000 locations that are included on its esteemed World Heritage list. This time, it is adding more to the roster.
The World Heritage List is a collection of places considered to be of high value to humanity. It may be American national parks, endangered wonders that are at risk of vanishing, Bavarian churches, and many more.
In a session in Manama, Bahrain, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO is currently deliberating which sites will be part of its prestigious catalog.
New Additions To The List
So far, the Ancient City of Qalhat located in Oman has already been added to the list. It is known for its impressive archaeological remains. Also recently included is Saudi Arabia's ever-changing cultural landscape, Al-Ahsa Oasis, and the Thimlich Ohinga archaeological site in Kenya.
Other nominees that are still being debated are the memorial and funeral sites of World War I situated in France and Belguim, and the picturesque Prosecco Hills of Italy's Conegliano and Valdobbiadene areas.
The World Heritage Committee, comprised of representatives from 21 countries, meet every year to review more additions to the list which need to be considered to have "outstanding universal value" in order to be included.
The first World Heritage List included United States' Yellowstone National Park, a 3,500-square mile wilderness recreation area which sits atop a volcanic hotspot, and the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, a volcanic archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean that is considered as one of the planet's best destinations for wildlife-viewing.
Four decades after its first list was published in 1978, the UNESCO World Heritage status is something tourist spots are aiming for since it is credited for bringing in more visitors.
The nominees this year fall into many categories. Others fall into cultural properties such as the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara, a palatial city that was built near Cordoba, Spain during the10thth century. The said one-time Arab Muslim medieval town now boasts its vast collection of beautiful ruins.
Other natural sites are also nominated such as the Fanjingshan mountain, a mountain range located in Central China, and the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains also known as the Barberton Greenstone Belt, a range of small mountains and hills in South Africa.
The committee is expected to end its deliberation by July 4. In the meantime, there has been other news that came out of Bahrain.
The committee decided to remove the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve system from the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger. The world's second largest coral reef has been on the list for the past nine years. After the government of Belize issued a "visionary" plan, the committee has no longer deemed it to be in extreme peril.