New Inscribed Properties – 2011

Meeting at its 35th session, held from 19-29 June 2011 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, the World Heritage Committee is currently adding sites to the World Heritage List.

The following cultural properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List:

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, Barbados

Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados), an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well-preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which testifies to the spread of Great Britain’s Atlantic colonial empire. The property also includes a nearby military garrison which consists of numerous historic buildings. With its serpentine urban lay-out the property testifies to a different approach to colonial town-planning compared to the Spanish and Dutch colonial cities of the region which were built along a grid plan

Saloum Delta, Senegal

Criteria: (iii)(iv)(v)

Fishing and shellfish gathering have sustained human life in the 5,000 km2 property, which is formed by the arms of three rivers. The site comprises brackish channels encompassing over 200 islands and islets, mangrove forest, an Atlantic marine environment, and dry forest.

The site is marked by 218 shellfish mounds, some of them several hundreds metres long, produced by its human inhabitants over the ages. Burial sites on 28 of the mounds take the form of tumuli where remarkable artefacts have been found. They are important for our understanding of cultures from the various periods of the delta’s occupation and testify to the history of human settlement along the coast of West Africa.

West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, China

Criteria: (ii)(iii)(vi)

The West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, comprising the West Lake and the hills surrounding its three sides, has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. It comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.
These additions have been made to improve the landscape west of the city of Hangzhou to the south of the Yangtze river.

The West Lake has influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries and bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of vistas reflecting an idealised fusion between humans and nature.

The following natural properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List:

Ningaloo Coast, Australia

Criteria: (vii)(x)

The 604,500 hectare marine and terrestrial property of Ningaloo Coast, on the remote western coast of Australia, includes one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world. On land the site features an extensive karst system and network of underground caves and water courses. Annual gatherings of whale sharks occur at Ningaloo Coast, which is home to numerous marine species, among them a wealth of sea turtles. The terrestrial part of the site features subterranean water bodies with a substantial network of caves, conduits, and groundwater streams. They support a variety of rare species that contribute to the exceptional biodiversity of the marine and terrestrial site

Ogasawara Islands, Japan

Criteria: (ix)

The property numbers more than 30 islands clustered in three groups and covers surface area of 7,393 hectares. The islands offer a variety of landscapes and are home to a wealth of fauna, including the Bonin Flying Fox, a critically endangered bat, and 195 endangered bird species. Four-hundred and forty-one native plant taxa have been documented on the islands whose waters support numerous species of fish, cetaceans and corals. Ogasawara Islands’ ecosystems reflect a range of evolutionary processes illustrated through its assemblage of plant species from both southeast and northwest Asia, alongside many endemic species.

The following cultural properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List:

Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land, Japan

Criteria: (ii)(vi)

Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land (Japan) comprises five sites, including the sacred Mount Kinkeisan. It features vestiges of government offices dating from the 11th and 12th centuries when Hiraizumi was the administrative centre of the northern realm of Japan and rivalled Kyoto. The realm was based on the cosmology of Pure Land Buddhism, which spread to Japan in the 8th century. It represented the pure land of Buddha that people aspire to after death, as well as peace of mind in this life. In combination with indigenous Japanese nature worship and Shintoism, Pure Land Buddhism developed a concept of planning and garden design that was unique to Japan.
The following natural properties have been inscribed on the World Heritage List:

Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya

Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)

The Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley , a natural property of outstanding beauty, comprises three inter-linked relatively shallow lakes (Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita) in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya and covers a total area of 32,034 hectares.

The property is home to 13 globally threatened bird species and some of the highest bird diversities in the world. It is the single most important foraging site for the lesser flamingo anywhere, and a major nesting and breeding ground for great white pelicans. The property features sizeable mammal populations, including black rhino, Rothschild’s giraffe, greater kudu, lion, cheetah and wild dogs and is valuable for the study of ecological processes of major importance.

The Committee also approved extensions for the following sites:

Natural properties

Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany

Germany , Slovakia , Ukraine

Criteria: (ix)

The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany, represent examples of on-going post-glacial biological and ecological evolution of terrestrial ecosystems and are indispensable to understanding the spread of the Fagus beech in the Northern Hemisphere across a variety of environments. The new inscription represents the addition of five forests totaling 4,391 hectares that are added to the 29,278 hectares of Slovakian and Ukranian beech forests inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2007. The tri-national property is now to be known as the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany).