Brasilia: A region of mountainous forests in
Sri Lanka and an isolated archipelago off Hawaii have been
added to UNESCO's World Heritage list, officials of the UN
cultural and scientific body said on Saturday.
The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation decided to
add the two sites yesterday as it held a 10-day meeting to
revise the list in Brasilia.
The additions brought to 892 the number of
environmentally or culturally unique sites considered
important to our planet and civilisations.
Sri Lanka's highland region, situated in the south
central part of the island, was added because of its
"extraordinary range of flora and fauna," which includes
endangered species such as the langur and loris primates and
the Sri Lankan leopard, a UNESCO statement said.
The United States' Papahanaumokuakea archipelago, located
250 kilometres northwest of the main group of Hawaiian
islands, was included because of its "deep cosmological and
traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture...
as the place where it is believed that life originates and to
where the spirits return after death."
During its meeting in the Brazilian capital, which wraps
up Tuesday, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee also went over
its list of endangered sites.
Yesterday, it added Florida's Everglades and Madagascar's
tropical forest to that roll, which is meant to ring alarm
bells and encourage protective measures.
Earlier, it removed the Galapagos Islands from the same
list, despite protests from its consulting body, the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which said
declaring the islands out of danger was "premature."
First Published: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 22:27