Yesterday, Tuesday, September 19, the UNESCO committee added eleven new sites to the World Heritage list at its annual convention in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and will today complete the review of nominations for inscription of last sites on this list.
In total, 41 countries, including seven Africans, have submitted applications for the 50 sites to be included on this list, whose applications are still being examined with Africa as a priority because it is a continent that UNESCO considered “underrepresented” on this list.
In Africa, specifically, the committee added Nyungwe National Park (Rwanda), as well as Bale Mountains National Park, in central Ethiopia, which is home to dozens of endemic plant and animal species.
The Bale Mountains, with peaks exceeding 4,300 meters above sea level, are one of the regions in Africa with the highest number of endemisms, including six species of birds and 23 species of plants.
It is also home to endangered species with very restricted ranges, such as the mountain niala (a big-horned antelope) or the Ethiopian wolf, considered one of the rarest and most endangered canids in the world.
Among other registrations…
Other new sites include the ancient village of Si Thep and its associated monuments of Dvaravati (Thailand), the Franeker Eisinga Planetarium (Netherlands), the wooden hypostyle mosques of medieval Anatolia (Turkey) and the Ceremonial Grounds from Hopewell, United States.
Also included are the Karst and Evaporite Caves of the Northern Apennines (Italy), the Jodensavanne Archaeological Site and Cassipora Creek Cemetery (Suriname), the Zagori Cultural Landscape (Greece), and Anticosti Island (Canada) .
Since the start of the annual congress on September 10, the UNESCO committee has listed Kiev’s St. Sophia Cathedral, the complex of associated monastic buildings and the Kiev-Pechersk Cave Monastery, as well as the historic center of Lviv, on the world heritage list of danger due to threats arising from the Russian invasion, the only two properties to be included on this list of the six proposed, which also includes Venice.
On the other hand, UNESCO has decided to remove the tombs of the kings of Buganda in Kasubi, Uganda, from the list of heritage in danger after being inscribed thirteen years ago following a devastating fire.
Who were the decision-makers?
The Committee that approved the new incorporations is made up of 21 rotating representations from the 194 countries and 12 associated states that make up the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Currently, the members of the Committee are Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Qatar, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mali, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the South. Africa, Thailand and Zambia.
The list updated at: https://www.unesco.org/fr/world-heritage/committee-2023