On Monday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which cares about special places in the world, decided to add 27 new places to its important list of special heritage sites. One of these places is Shantiniketan in India, and this makes India very happy and proud.
For a site to make it to this prestigious list, it must hold exceptional universal value, meeting at least one of ten specified criteria. This includes being a significant human achievement or having exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic significance. This means that it could be a place made by people that shows how smart and creative humans are, or it could be a place in nature that is incredibly beautiful and important.
This decision was made on a day called Monday, and UNESCO told everyone about these new special places. Some of these places are ancient temples in Cambodia, old tea forests in China, and important towns in Europe.
Before this, the committee had to put some places in Ukraine on a special “Endangered” list because there’s a war going on there. UNESCO said these places are at risk of being harmed by the fighting.
The ongoing meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, involves careful consideration of potential additions to the World Heritage list. Committee members are currently reviewing nominations from around the world, submitted between 2022 and 2023.
The committee meeting is scheduled to go on until September 25, and more sites might still be added. Below is an ongoing list of the latest UNESCO World Heritage Sites included in 2023:
- Koh Ker Archaeological Site in Cambodia
- Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India
- Old Tea Forests of the Jingmai Mountain in Pu’er, China
- Mongolia’s Deer Stone Monuments
- Korea’s Gaya Tumuli burial mounds
- Türkiye’s archaeological site of Gordion
- Germany’s Jewish medieval historic center of Erfurt
- Architecture of the town of Kaunas, Lithuania
- Guatemala’s National Archaeological Park Tak’alik Ab’aj
- Old town of Kuldīga, Latvia
- Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca
- The Zarafshan-Karakum Corridor of the Silk Road
- Ethiopia’s Gedeo Cultural Landscape
- Iran’s Persian Caravanserai
- Canada’s Tr’ondëk-Klondike region
- The Czech town of Žatec and its tradition of Saaz Hops
- Ancient Jericho/Tell es-Sultan
- “Köç Yolu” Transhumance Route in Azerbaijan
- Djerba in Tunisia
- India’s Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas
- Indonesia’s Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta
- Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia
- The Forest Massif of Odzala-Kokoua in Congo
- Volcanoes and forests of Mount Pelée and pitons of Martinique
- Viking-age ring fortresses in Denmark
- The Maison Carrée of Nîmes, France
- Russia’s Astronomical Observatories of Kazan Federal University