UNESCO Adds Sites in Africa, East Asia to World Heritage List

Posted June 24th, 2011 at 6:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations' cultural body has named five sites from across Africa and East Asia to become World Heritage properties.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced Friday it has added sites from Kenya, Senegal, Australia, Japan and China. UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is meeting in Paris through next week to examine 37 sites nominated for inclusion to its heritage list.

The first site added Friday was Kenya's Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, which covers over 30,000 acres and is home to rhinos, giraffes, flamingos, and pelicans.

Also included was Senegal's Saloum Delta which includes over 200 islands marked by huge shellfish mounds.

Australia's remote Ningaloo coast was chosen for its large reefs as well as for being a gathering place of sea turtles and white whales.

In addition, the committee selected Japan's Ogasawara Islands, home to nearly 200 endangered bird species as well as China's Hangzhou landscape. It said the Chinese site, comprised of temples, pagodas and gardens, reflects an idealized fusion between humans and nature.