New sites on Unesco World Heritage list
The list of World Heritage sites, which brings an endorsement that can boost tourism and environmental protection for those on it, has swelled with 21 additions decided at a Unesco meeting in Brasilia which finished Monday.
The new additions bring the World Heritage List to 911 entries, each considered unique on cultural or environmental merits.
The sites include national parks in the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion and in Tanzania, an imperial palace in Vietnam, temples and rugged red terrain in China, an Australian penal colony, a historic bazaar in Iran, archipelagos off Hawaii and in the South Pacific, 14th-century villages in South Korea and an 18th-century astronomical observatory in India.
Three countries - Tajikistan, the Marshall Islands and the South Pacific nation of Kiribati - earned their first World Heritage sites.
There was a concerted effort during the Unesco committee's meeting to redress a perceived bias towards Europe's well-documented cultural hotspots and recognize unique areas in developing countries hitherto overlooked.
"There is a sort of imbalance that means the cultural assets of Africa, Latin America and part of Asia are not as well represented" as European culture, said Brazilian Culture Minister Juca Ferreira, who chaired the meeting.
Unesco's assistant director general for culture, Francesco Bandarin, said that during the Brasilia gathering, "the countries from the south were very present" during the deliberations.
The full list of Unesco World Heritage Sites can be found at: whc.unesco.org/en/list