The inscriptions of the 1000th site and Myanmar’s first property on the World Heritage List, were among the highlights of the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee, which ended today in Doha (Qatar). During its ten-day meeting, the Committee added a total of 26 new sites the List to bring the number of World Heritage Sites to 1007, in 161 countries.
The session, chaired by Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, opened with the announcement by Qatar’s Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, of a $10 million donation to a new fund to protect World Heritage sites affected by conflict or natural disaster.
The 1000th inscription on the List was the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The other new natural sites are: Stevns Klint (Denmark), Great Himalayan National Park (India) and Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Philippines).
The new cultural 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).
The new mixed site is: Trang An Landscape Complex (Viet Nam).
Over the ten days, the Committee also added three sites to the List of World Heritage in Danger, and removed one. The inscribed sites are: Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Palestine); City of Potosi (Plurinational State of Bolivia) and Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania). The property removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger was the Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania).
In addition, extensions were approved for four properties already on the List. They are: South China Karst (Phase II) [Extension of the “South China Karst”] (China); Wadden Sea [Extension of the “Wadden Sea” (Germany/Netherlands)] (Denmark and Germany); Bialowieza Forest [extension and renomination of “Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Białowieża Forest” (Belarus/Poland); Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche (Mexico).
The 39th session of the Committee will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 28 June to 8 July, 2015.