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44th Session of WHC: 34 Cultural, Natural sites added to UNESCO Heritage List 

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The Extended 44th Session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) was held in Fuzhou, China from July 16-31, 2021. It was organized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in cooperation with China.

  • The 44th session was chaired by Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education and Chairperson of the National Commission of China for UNESCO.
  • During the session, 34 properties (29 Cultural & 5 Natural sites) were inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List.  3 properties were extended.
  • The current session’s inscriptions bring the total number of sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage to 1154.
  • The 45th session of the WHC has been scheduled to take place in Kazan, Russia from June 19-30, 2022, under the Chair of Alexander Kuznetsov.

Indian Sites

i.From India, 2 sites were added to the World Heritage List. They are

ii.With the addition of 2 sites, India now has 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (32 Cultural, 7 Natural & 1 Mixed Property).

  • With this, India now enters the Super-40 club for World Heritage Site inscriptions. Apart from India, Italy, Spain, Germany, China and France have 40 or more World Heritage Sites.
  • Maharashtra has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites (5).

Dholavira: a Harappan City

Dholavira (locally known as Kotada timba), which was the Southern Centre of the Harappan Civilization, was added to the list.

i.It is located on Khadir bet island in the Kachchh Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in the Great Rann of Kachchh.

  •  It is one of the best preserved urban settlements from the period 3000-1500 BCE in Southeast Asia, consisting of a Fortified city and a cemetery.
  • The site was discovered in 1967-68 by J.P. Joshi, of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It is the 5th largest of 8 major Harappan sites.
  • It is the 4th UNESCO World Heritage Site in Gujarat. The other 3 are Historic City of Ahmedabad; Rani ki Vav, Patan; Champaner & Pavagadh Archaeological Park.

Newly Inscribed Cultural Inscriptions, 2020 Nominations

S.NoSite NamePlace
1The Great Spa Towns of EuropeAustria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom
2Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Danube Limes (Western Segment)Austria, Germany, Slovakia
3Colonies of BenevolenceBelgium, Netherlands
4Sítio Roberto Burle MarxBrazil
5Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan ChinaChina
6Cordouan LighthouseFrance
7Mathildenhöhe DarmstadtGermany
8Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) TempleTelangana, India
9Trans-Iranian Railway    Iran
10Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cyclesItaly
11Dutch Water Defence Lines, inscribed as an extension to the World Heritage site of Defence Line of AmsterdamNetherlands
12Chankillo Archaeoastronomical ComplexPeru
13Roșia Montană Mining LandscapeRomania
14Himā Cultural AreaSaudi Arabia
15Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and SciencesSpain
16Arslantepe MoundTurkey
17The work of engineer Eladio Dieste: Church of AtlántidaUruguay

Newly inscribed natural sites, 2020 nominations

S.NoSite NamePlace
1Colchic Rainforests and WetlandsGeorgia
2Amami-Oshima Island, Tokunoshima Island, Northern part of Okinawa Island, and Iriomote IslandJapan
3Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats South Korea
4Kaeng Krachan Forest ComplexThailand

Newly inscribed cultural sites, 2021 nominations

S.NoSite NamePlace
1Settlement and Artificial Mummification of the Chinchorro Culture in the Arica and Parinacota RegionChile
2Sudanese style mosques in northern Côte d’IvoireIvory Coast
3Nice, Winter Resort Town of the RivieraFrance
4ShUM Sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz 


5Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Lower German LimesGermany, Netherlands
6Dholavira: a Harappan CityGujarat, India
7Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/UramanatIran
8The Porticoes of BolognaItaly
9Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern JapanJapan
10As-Salt – The Place of Tolerance and Urban HospitalityJordan
11The Franciscan Ensemble of the Monastery and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Tlaxcala , inscribed as an extension of the World Heritage property of Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of PopocatepetlMexico
12Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White SeaRussia
13The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centred Urban Design Slovenia
14The Slate Landscape of Northwest WalesUK &Northern Ireland)

Inscribed natural property and extension, 2021 nominations:

S.NoSite NamePlace
1Ivindo National ParkGabon
2Extension to Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of EuropeBosnia Herzegovina, Czechia, France, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland

Key Highlights

i.Salonga National Park (Congo) was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

ii.Rosia Montana Mining Landscape (Romania) was simultaneously added on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

iii.The World Heritage Committee delisted Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (UK) from the World Heritage List, due to irreversible loss of the attributes for which it was inscribed.

Recent Related News:

December 8, 2020, UNESCO has inscribed the fort cities of Gwalior and Orchha in Madhya Pradesh (MP) in its world heritage cities under urban landscape city programme

About World Heritage Committee (WHC)
Chairperson – Tian Xuejun

About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Director-General – Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters – Paris, France