The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization added 12 archaeological and natural sites to its World Heritage List.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee’s list grants legal protection under international treaties to sites across the world.
Among those added at this year’s committee meeting was the Lake Turkana National Parks in Kenya, citing the impact of a dam on the site.
Kenya’s Thimlich Ohinga archeological site, which is the largest and best preserved traditional enclosure in the country, was also added to the list.
“It is an exceptional example of the tradition of massive dry-stone walled enclosures, typical of the first pastoral communities in the Lake Victoria Basin, which persisted unitl the mid-20th century,” the committee said.
The committee also added the Ancient City of Qalhat in Oman for its archaeological testimony to the trade links between the east coast of Arabia, East Africa, India, China and Southeast Asia, and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahsa Oasis for its “unique geocultural landscape.”
Another group of four sites was added Saturday, including the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai, eight archeological sites in Iran making up the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars, Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki region of Japan and the Sansa — Buddhist mountain monasteries in South Korea.
These sites were largely chosen for protection due to their cultural and religious significance to the region.
The Aasivissuit-Nipisat — an Inuit hunting ground in Denmark — and an archeological border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke in Germany were also added to the list Saturday.
The sites were chosen due to insight on the development of cultures in the regions due to well preserved archaeological aspects in the areas.
On Sunday the committee inscribed the industrial city of Ivrea in Italy and the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara in Spain.
Ivrea was protected for its depiction of “a modern vision of the relationship between industrial production and architecture” while Medina provides knowledge of the Western Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus, which has since vanished.
The committee also removed the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger after it was added to the danger list in 2009.
By Daniel Uria