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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.No Site Name Place
1 The Great Spa Towns of Europe Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom
2 Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Danube Limes (Western Segment) Austria, Germany, Slovakia
3 Colonies of Benevolence Belgium, Netherlands
4 Sítio Roberto Burle Marx Brazil
5 Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China China
6 Cordouan Lighthouse France
7 Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt Germany
8 Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple Telangana, India
9 Trans-Iranian Railway     Iran
10 Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles Italy
11 Dutch Water Defence Lines, inscribed as an extension to the World Heritage site of Defence Line of Amsterdam Netherlands
12 Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex Peru
13 Roșia Montană Mining Landscape Romania
14 Himā Cultural Area Saudi Arabia
15 Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and Sciences Spain
16 Arslantepe Mound Turkey
17 The work of engineer Eladio Dieste: Church of Atlántida Uruguay

Newly inscribed natural sites, 2020 nominations

S.No Site Name Place
1 Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands Georgia
2 Amami-Oshima Island, Tokunoshima Island, Northern part of Okinawa Island, and Iriomote Island Japan
3 Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats  South Korea
4 Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex Thailand

Newly inscribed cultural sites, 2021 nominations

S.No Site Name Place
1 Settlement and Artificial Mummification of the Chinchorro Culture in the Arica and Parinacota Region Chile
2 Sudanese style mosques in northern Côte d’Ivoire Ivory Coast
3 Nice, Winter Resort Town of the Riviera France
4 ShUM Sites of Speyer, Worms and Mainz  

Germany

5 Frontiers of the Roman Empire – The Lower German Limes Germany, Netherlands
6 Dholavira: a Harappan City Gujarat, India
7 Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat Iran
8 The Porticoes of Bologna Italy
9 Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan Japan
10 As-Salt – The Place of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality Jordan
11 The 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 Popocatepetl Mexico
12 Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White Sea Russia
13 The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centred Urban Design  Slovenia
14 The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales UK &Northern Ireland)

Inscribed natural property and extension, 2021 nominations:

S.No Site Name Place
1 Ivindo National Park Gabon
2 Extension to Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe Bosnia 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