Kafu, Azerbaijan, July 1st, 2019. The 43rd meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is slated to meet in Kafu, Azerbaijan between June 30th and July 10th to discuss the additions to the World Heritage List. 36 sites have been nominated this time around for World Heritage status.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of outstanding historic and cultural value and are graded on a number of criteria such as their representation of one or multiple distinct human cultures, their example of a particular style of art, architecture, or city planning, outstanding value as centers of international faiths, and level of achievement they represented for the civilization in the time they were completed.
There are also Natural Heritage Sites, and while far fewer in number, they contain some of the most important natural wonders on earth.
Some very well known UNESCO Natural and World Heritage Sites are, Paris, Machu Picchu, the Forbidden City, the Easter Island Moai, the Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, and Yellowstone National Park.
Class of 2019
Of the 36 nominations for World Heritage status this year, 22 have been recommended for inscription on the list, though the open discussions to be held may change some of those rulings. These are some of the sites among the World Heritage class of 2019.
Babylon, Iraq. “The property represents the tangible remains of a multifaceted myth that has functioned as a model, parable, scapegoat and symbol for over two thousand years,” details the report. An ever-stalwart member of the rotating cast of ancient near-eastern empires in all the millennia of recorded civilization until the time of Alexander, Babylon has left behind a taste of such a legacy in the wondrous palatial, religious, and military monuments which still stand today.
Amazingly, the property is more than 85% unexcavated, so the inscription of Babylon on the World Heritage List will likely represent a gift which will continue to give. On a sour note, Babylon is also recommended to be inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle-East.
Bagan, Myanmar. “Bagan contains an extraordinary ensemble of Buddhist monumental architecture, reflecting the strength of religious devotion of an early major Buddhist empire,” details the report. Once Burma became Myanmar, and tourists began to visit the secluded South Asian country, computer desktops and offices around the world became studded with pictures of sunrise over Bagan, its countless temples marching off into the distance to meet the horizon.
Above all this drama, the sky is filled with hot air balloons of all imaginable colors. So it’s no surprise that Bagan should have found its way onto the list.
Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland. Containing the Vatnajökull ice cap as well as 10 active volcanoes, Iceland truly owns up to the name of “Land of Fire and Ice”. These two powerful natural forces, coupled with the tectonic activity of the rapidly-expanding mid-atlantic shelf, means the park is the prenniel staging-ground for bizarre morphing of the landscape.
“Geothermal heat and subglacial eruptions produce meltwater and jökulhlaups that maintain globally unique sandur plains, to the north and south of the Vatnajökull ice cap, as well as rapidly evolving canyons. In addition, the property contains a dynamic array of glacial and geomorphological features, created by expanding or retreating glaciers,” details the report.
You can find all the other proposed sites here.