China is preparing to enter four mountain lakes in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the World Heritage List, a Chinese researcher confirmed Tuesday.
The lakes would be entered as a single unit on the list.
It will be the Xinjiang region’s first entry on the World Heritage List of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) if the nomination is accepted, said Yang Zhaoping of the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The four lakes are: Kanas Lake in northern Xinjiang, Tianchi Lake to the southeast of Urumqi, the regional capital; Sayram Lake, and Karakora at the foot of Muztagata, a peak of Mount Kunlun in southern Xinjiang.
They have a combined water area of 4,600 square kilometers and are more than 1,000 meters above sea level.
“The combination is meant to showcase mixed natural scenery in an arid zone featuring glaciers, snow-capped mountains, rivers and lakes, forests, prairies and wetlands, against a backdrop of a unique nomadic lifestyle,” said Yang, who has been appointed as an expert researcher for the application to enter the lakes into the heritage list.
An introductory document to enter the four lakes into the list was completed in July this year, said Yang.
He said as the normal procedures took time, the nomination would be submitted by China to the UNESCO in 2011 or 2012.
“Xinjiang is China’s largest region in terms of land mass, and abounds in natural resources. I hope the nomination efforts will serve effectively to promote Xinjiang to the world and advance the harmonious development of economic and social life in the region,” said Yang.
China has 38 entries in the World Heritage List: 27 cultural properties, seven nature features and four mixed entries.
A document posted on the UNESCO website says the State Administration of Cultural Heritage in China in March 2008 also submitted an application to include the Karez Wells in the heritage list. The Wells are an irrigation system in Xinjiang that has been in operation for more than 2,000 years.