Tag Archive | "world heritage sites"

New Pacific sites gain World Heritage status from UNESCO


Three Pacific sites have been awarded World Heritage status by the cultural arm of the United Nations, UNESCO.

Those sites are Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Kiribati’ s Phoenix Islands and Hawaii’s Papahanaumokuakea.

Bikini was the site of U.S. nuclear bomb testing in the 1940s and 1950s.

UNESCO said the tests had major consequences on the geology and environment of the atoll symbolized the dawn of nuclear age.

The Phoenix Islands conserve one of the world’s largest intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, together with 14 known underwater sea mounts thought to be extinct volcanoes, complete with a staggering variety of marine species.

Bikini Atoll
Bikini Atoll

The Papahanaumokuakea chain of tiny islands and atolls, stretches nearly 2,000 km north-west of the main Hawaiian Islands.

It was declared both a natural and cultural heritage site. Read the full story

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World Heritage Committee inscribes seven cultural sites on World Heritage List


The World Heritage Committee meeting in Brasilia has inscribed sites in Saudi Arabia, Australia, India, Islamic Republic of Iran and, for the first time, a site in the Marshall Islands, as well as the Republic of Korea on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The latest sites inscribed include (in order of inscription):

At-Turaif District in Ad-Dir’Iyah
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

At Turaif District in ad-Dir’iyah (Saudi Arabia)

This property was the first capital of the Saudi Dynasty, in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, north-west of Riyadh. Founded in the 15th century, it bears witness to the Najdi architectural style, which is specific to the center of the Arabian peninsula. In the 18th and early 19th century, its political and religious role increased, and the citadel at at-Turaif became the center of the temporal power of the House of Saud and the spread of the Wahhabi reform inside the Muslim religion. The property includes the remains of many palaces and an urban ensemble built on the edge of the ad-Dir’iyah oasis. Read the full story

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