The committee of the UNESCO added eleven new sites to the World Heritage List today during its annual convention in Riyadh, among which includes one from Argentina and another from Portugal, and tomorrow it will end with the examination of the candidatures for the registration of the last sites on this list.
The committee members decided to include the museum and memorial site of ancient Navy Mechanics School (ESMA) of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, and the historic center of Guimarães and the Couros area, in Portugal.
Among the other nine new sites are the former Si Thep village and its monuments Dvaravati associates (Thailand), the planetarium Franeker Eisinga (Netherlands), the wooden hypostyle mosques of the Anatolia medieval (Turkey), and the Hopewell ceremonial earthworks in the United States.
Likewise, the karst and evaporitic caves of the Northern Apennines (Italy), the archaeological site of Jodensavanne and the cemetery of Cassipora Creek (Suriname), the cultural landscape of Zagori (Greece), Anticosti Island (Canada), and the Nyungwe national park (Rwanda).
A total of 41 countries, including seven African ones, have submitted candidatures for 50 sites to be inscribed on this list, whose candidatures are still being examined until tomorrow, with Africa as a priority as it is a continent that UNESCO considers “underrepresented” in this listing.
The committee also added the Bale Mountains National Park in central Ethiopia, which is home to dozens of endemic plant and animal species, to its World Heritage List.
The Bale Mountains, with peaks over 4,300 meters high, are one of the areas 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 distribution areas, such as the montane niala (a large-horned antelope) or the Ethiopian wolf, considered one of the rarest and most endangered canids in the world.
Today’s approval of the ESMA candidacy is the first of three presented this year for places of memory linked to recent conflicts and UNESCO is expected to discuss on the last day the funeral and memory center of the Western Front of the First World War in France and Belgium, in addition to the places that remember the Rwanda genocide.
Since the annual convention began on September 10, the Unesco committee has included the Saint Sophia Cathedral of kyiv, the set of related monastic buildings and Monastery of kyiv-Petchersk Cavesas well as the historic center of Lviv on the list of world heritage sites in danger due to threats derived from the Russian invasion, the only two properties to be inscribed on that list of the six proposed, among them Venice.
On the other hand, UNESCO decided to remove the Tombs of the Buganda Kings in Kasubi, in Uganda, from the list of heritage in danger after having been inscribed thirteen years ago following a devastating fire.
In the coming days, the committee will review the budget for the years 2024-2025, analyze the periodic reports from the sites of the different continents, elect the representatives of the next edition and establish the provisional agenda of the 46th UNESCO convention.
(With information from EFE)