Qatar announces $10m donation for new heritage protection initiative.

Doha, 15 June —The Prime Minister of Qatar, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, today announced a $10 million donation to a new fund to protect World Heritage sites affected by conflict or natural disaster. The Prime Minister made the announcement during the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee, being hosted by Qatar in the capital, Doha, and chaired by H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani..

During her address to the opening ceremony, Sheikha Mayassa highlighted the multiple threats facing World Heritage today, and called on “all of the States of the big World Heritage family” to support Qatar’s initiative  by “contributing to this newly created fund.”

“This year we will be very close to reaching 1000 World Heritage properties inscribed in the List,” said Sheikha Mayassa. “What an achievement in terms of success of the World Heritage Convention. But it also underlines the full commitment of the international community to the principle that lies at the heart of the Convention: a shared responsibility for humanity’s heritage of outstanding universal value.”

During this session, the Committee will consider the inscription of 36 sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and examine will also examine the state of conservation of more than 100 of the 981existing World Heritage properties 

The sites nominated for this session include: 
Natural sites

Okavango Delta (Botswana), South China Karst (Phase II) [Extension of the “South China Karst”] (China), Stevns Klint (Denmark), Wadden Sea  [Extension of the “Wadden Sea” (Germany/Netherlands)] (Denmark and Germany), Tectono-volcanic Ensemble of the Chaine des Puys and Limagne Fault (France), Great Himalayan National Park (India), Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Philippines), Bialowieza Forest [extension and renomination of “Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest” (Belarus/Poland).

Mixed natural and cultural sites

Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche [extension of the “Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche”] (Mexico), Trang An Landscape Complex (Viet Nam).

Cultural sites

Qhapaq Nan, Andean Road System (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru), The 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), Tongo-Tengzuk Tallensi Cultural Landscape (Ghana), Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (India), Sharhr-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: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (Italy), Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites (Japan), Silk Roads: Initial Section of the Silk Roads, the Routes Network of Tian-shan Corridor (Kyrgyzstan, China and  Kazakhstan), Mount Mulanje Cultural Landscape (Malawi), 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), Silk Roads: Penjikent-Samarkand-Poykent Corridor, (Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), Bursa and Cumalikizik: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape (Turkey), Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) (United Arab Emirates), Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (United States of America), Barotse Cultural Landscape (Zambia).

The proposed inscription of Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir, will be reviewed by the Committee under the emergency procedure applied to sites facing serious dangers (see items 161 and 162 in the World Heritage Convention’s Operational Guidelines).

A number of side events will be held during the session, notably an African Ministers’ Round Table discussion on World Heritage in Africa (21 June, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.). Another side event will be devoted to World Heritage partnerships highlighting successful preservation projects supported by private sector companies and foundations (22 June, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.).

UNESCO Media Contact in Doha
Sue Williams,
+33(0)6 15 92 93 62 or +974 503 16609

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