The U.S. may have withdrawn from UNESCO, but the organization tasked with overseeing cultural, scientific, and educational efforts, continues to pursue those efforts nonetheless. One of the major parts of the program is to designate UNESCO Heritage Sites around the world, spotlighting locations that hold significant historical, cultural, or natural importance. Recently, the committee tasked with naming those sites met in Manama, Bahrain for their 42nd conference where they designated 19 new additions to the list, bringing the total number to more than a thousand across the globe.
National Geographic has a rundown of each of these 19 new World Heritage Sites, with photos included of course. Some of the new sites include a chain of volcanic peaks in France, a 4200-year old archaeological site in Greenland, and a series of Buddhist monasteries found in Korea. Other locations include Fanjingshan – the highest peak in the Wuling Mountains of China – and a spectacular national park in Colombia, as well as Germany’s Naumburg Cathedral and hidden Christian sites in the Nagasaki region of Japan.
As usual, these places are all fascinating in their own right. Many are spectacularly beautiful, while others offer stunning insights into our past. Protecting these places for future generations seems like a no-brainer and it is always interesting to see what new locations earn the UNESCO designation. Many of these places are unknown to most of the rest of the world, so when recognized by the organization they often receive a level of protection that they wouldn’t have otherwise. They also tend to become popular destinations for travelers, which can help generate income for local communities as well.
Check out Nat Geo’s coverage of the new World Heritage Sites here.