At the end of June, the World Heritage Committee held their 38th meeting at Doha in Qatar. During the ten day summit some landmark decisions were made including the announcement of UNESCO’s 1000th site and Myanmar’s first on the World Heritage List. Among the proceedings, 26 new sites were also added to UNESCO’s prestigious list to to bring the number of World Heritage Sites to 1007, in 161 different countries.
The session was opened with some fantastic news for the preservation of world cultural heritage as Qatar’s Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani announced a $10 million donation towards the maintenance of World Heritage sites affected by conflict or natural disaster.
The most noticeable of the newly welcomed World Heritage Sites include China’s Grand Canal, the world’s longest man-made waterway at 1,100 miles and Qhapaq Nan, the expansive Andean road system in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, both of which were selected for cultural purposes.
Meanwhile, the Great Himalayan National Park in India and Botswana’s Okavango Delta also feature in the list for reasons of extraordinary natural beauty.
The full list of newly introduced World Heritage sites are:
Qhapaq Nan, Andean Road System (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru), Grand Canal (China), Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís (Costa Rica), Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche (France), Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey (Germany), Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (India), Shahr-I Sokhta (Iran), Erbil Citadel (Iraq), Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands as a Microcosm of the Land of the Caves (Israel), the Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont (Italy), Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites (Japan), Silk Roads: The Routes Network of Chang’an-Tian-shan Corridor (Kyrgyzstan, China and Kazakhstan), Pyu Ancient Cities (Myanmar), Van Nellefabriek (Netherlands), Namhansanseong (Republic of Korea), Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex (Russian Federation), Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi Arabia), Bursa and Cumalikizik: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (Turkey), and Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America).