World Heritage meeting to consider new sites nominations

UPDATED: 14:12, June 23, 2007

The 31st World Heritage Committee's annual meeting started Saturday to consider and approve over 40 new World Heritage site nominations.

The 10-day conference will also review sites in danger, site management and protection, and will acknowledge national tentative lists for possible future World Heritage sites.

The opening session is chaired by Tumu te Heuheu, Paramount Chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, New Zealand's World Heritage representative for the last 10 years.

Forty nominations for new world heritage sites will be debated during this meeting.

Australia is nominating the Sydney Opera House. Japan will forward its sacred Mount Fuji for the list of tentative candidates for heritage status.

India is pushing for listing of the Red Fort, a magnificent 17th-century red stone structure in Delhi where mutinous soldiers proclaimed the frail Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar as ruler of India in May 1857.

The Diaolou (watchtower house) of Kaiping, Guangdong province, and the Karsts in southern China, which is made up of the stone forest in Yunnan province, Libo County in Guizhou province and Wulong county in Chongqing city, are nominated by China for heritage status.

New Zealand will not be putting forward any sites for nomination but will be submitting a tentative list with eight sites.

Over 600 international delegates are expected to attend the meeting.

In 1972, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the World Heritage Convention as a way to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of the world's most outstanding cultural and natural heritage sites.

With 183 member countries and more than 800 sites, it is one of the most widely supported United Nations' conventions.

Source: Xinhua

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