Adsense

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Philippine : Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras


For 2,000 years, the high rice fields of the Ifugao have followed the contours of the mountains. The fruit of knowledge handed down from one generation to the next, and the expression of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between humankind and the environment.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Brazil : Pantanal Conservation Area (2000)


The Pantanal Conservation Complex consists of a cluster of four protected areas with a total area of 187,818 ha. Located in western central Brazil at the south-west corner of the State of Mato Grosso, the site represents 1.3% of Brazil's Pantanal region, one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems. The headwaters of the region's two major river systems, the Cuiabá and the Paraguay rivers, are located here, and the abundance and diversity of its vegetation and animal life are spectacular.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Twenty-six new sites inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List this year


The World Heritage Committee on Monday morning inscribed Lena Pillars Nature Park of the Russian Federation, the last site to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List during this year’s session. Chad, Congo, Palau and Palestine had World Heritage sites inscribed on the List for the first time.
Lena Pillars Nature Park is marked by spectacular rock pillars that reach a height of approximately 100 metres along the banks of the Lena River in the central part of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). They were produced by the region’s extreme continental climate with an annual temperature range of almost 100 degrees Centigrade (from -60°C in winter to +40°C in summer). The pillars form rocky buttresses isolated from each other by deep and steep gullies developed by frost shattering directed along intervening joints. Penetration of water from the surface has facilitated cryogenic processes (freeze-thaw action), which have widened gullies between pillars leading to their isolation. Fluvial processes are also critical to the pillars. The site also contains a wealth of Cambrian fossil remains of numerous species, some of them unique.
A total of five natural World Heritage Sites were inscribed during the present session of the World Heritage Committee:
  • Lakes of Ounianga (Chad);
  • Sangha Trinational (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo,);
  • Chengjiang Fossil Site (China);
  • Western Ghats (India);
  • Lena Pillars Nature Park (Russian Federation).
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau) was inscribed as a mixed natural and cultural site.
A total of 20 cultural sites were inscribed during the session:
  • Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy (Bahrain); Major Mining Sites of Wallonia (Belgium);
  • Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea (Brazil);
  • The Landscape of Grand-Pré (Canada);
  • Site of Xanadu (China);
  • Historic Town Grand-Bassam (Côte d’Ivoire);
  • Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin (France);
  • Margravial Opera House Bayreuth (Germany);
  • Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (Indonesia);
  • Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan (Islamic Republic of Iran),
  • Gonbad-e Qābus (Islamic Republic of Iran);
  • Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel : The Nahal Me’arot/Wadi el-Mughara Caves (Israel);
  • Archaelogical Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (Malaysia);
  • Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage (Morocco);
  • Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Palestine);
  • Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications (Portugal);
  • Bassari Country: Bassari, Fula and Bedik Cultural Landscapes (Senegal);
  • Heritage of Mercury Almadén and Idrija (Slovenia/Spain);
  • Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland (Sweden);
  • Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük (Turkey).
Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Palestine) was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger, as it was added to the List of World Heritage. Two of Mali’s World Heritage sites, Timbuktu and the Tomb of Askia, were also added to the List of World Heritage in Danger, as were Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City (UK) and the Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Panama).
Two conservation success stories were recognized by the World Heritage Committee allowing for them to be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger: Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Belgium / France : Belfries of Belgium and France



Twenty-three belfries in the north of France and the belfry of Gembloux in Belgium were inscribed as a group, an extension to the 32 Belgian belfries inscribed in 1999 as Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia. Built between the 11th and 17th centuries, they showcase the Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of architecture. They are highly significant tokens of the winning of civil liberties. While Italian, German and English towns mainly opted to build town halls, in part of north-western Europe, greater emphasis was placed on building belfries. Compared with the keep (symbol of the seigneurs) and the bell-tower (symbol of the Church), the belfry, the third tower in the urban landscape, symbolizes the power of the aldermen. Over the centuries, they came to represent the influence and wealth of the towns.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Western Ghats is now a UN World Heritage Site

India's 1600-km long Western Ghats mountain chain, which has forests older than the Himalaya mountains, has been added to list of world heritage sites by the United Nations.
The Western Ghats mountain chain is recognised as one of the world's eight "hottest hotspots" of biological diversity.

The chain's forests, which are older than the Himalaya mountains influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern.

The ghats, which start at the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra and runs through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, was added to the World Heritage list by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

A historic opera house in Germany, a border town and its fortifications in Portugal, and 18 interconnected lakes in Chad are some other sites that have been added to the list. The Margravial Opera House Bayreuth in Germany, which was built in the 18th century, is considered a masterpiece of Baroque theatre architecture. It is the only entirely preserved example of its type where an audience of 500 can experience Baroque court opera culture and acoustics authentically, as its auditorium retains its original materials.

The border town of Elvas and its fortifications in Portugal, was also added to the list, as the site represents the largest bulwarked dry ditch system in the world. While Elvas contains remains dating back to the 10th century, its fortification began when Portugal regained independence in 1640.

The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and is responsible for the implementation of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Uzbekistan : Itchan Kala


Itchan Kala is the inner town (protected by brick walls some 10 m high) of the old Khiva oasis, which was the last resting-place of caravans before crossing the desert to Iran. Although few very old monuments still remain, it is a coherent and well-preserved example of the Muslim architecture of Central Asia. There are several outstanding structures such as the Djuma Mosque, the mausoleums and the madrasas and the two magnificent palaces built at the beginning of the 19th century by Alla-Kulli-Khan.