World Heritage Committee Closes Fuzhou Session, Adds 34 New Heritage Sites

Beijing: The 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of Unesco has wrapped in Fuzhou, capital of China’s Fujian province, with a total of 34 new sites inscribed on the World Heritage List.

AS the session ended on Saturday, the latest inscriptions, which include 29 cultural sites and five natural ones, bring the total number of sites on Unesco’s World Heritage to 1,154, reports Xinhua news agency.

Among the newly added sites is “Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China” in Fujian, which brings the number of world heritage sites in the country to 56.

The Chongqing Wulipo National Nature Reserve officially became part of the Hubei Shennongjia World Heritage Site after a minor modification to Shennongjia’s boundaries during the session.

The Committee reviewed over 200 state of conservation reports of world heritage properties, and recognised three properties, namely the Great Wall of China, and Tai National Park and Comoe National Park, both in Cote d’Ivoire, as the model cases of conservation and management, said Tian Xuejun, chair of the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee.

The Committee decided to remove the Liverpool — Maritime Mercantile City of Britain from the world heritage list.

It was the first world heritage site deleted in the past 10 years.

The Fuzhou Declaration was adopted during the session, reiterating the principle of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and calling for scaling up support to developing countries, especially to African countries and Small Island Developing States.

Tian said the session implemented Unesco’s global strategy of Priority Africa, as two properties from Africa were newly inscribed on the list.

The Committee also fully recognised the achievements and progress made by the Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in eliminating threats of war and illegal poaching, and unanimously agreed to remove it from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Tian said the session has made significant headway in the reform of application procedures of properties.

Starting in September 2023, pre-evaluation will be required to facilitate the communication between the committee and advisory bodies at an early stage of a nomination.