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UNESCO adds 19 sites to World Heritage List

By CNN Travel staff
June 24, 2013 -- Updated 0826 GMT (1626 HKT)
A 16,603-hectare site in Southern Yunnan, the Honghe Hani rice terraces stretch from the slopes of the Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. "Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces," says UNESCO's Honghe Hani inscription. <!-- -->
</br> A 16,603-hectare site in Southern Yunnan, the Honghe Hani rice terraces stretch from the slopes of the Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. "Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces," says UNESCO's Honghe Hani inscription.
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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (China)
Xinjiang Tianshan (China)
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (Kenya)
Namib Sand Sea (Namibia)
Mount Etna (Italy)
Tajik National Park (Tajikistan)
El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar (Mexico)
Hill Forts of Rajashtan (India)
Wooden Tserkvas (Poland/Ukraine)
Al Zubarah Archaeological Site (Qatar)
Fujisan (Japan)
Kaesong (North Korea)
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (Germany)
Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (Italy)
Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese (Ukraine)
Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (Canada)
University of Coimbra (Portugal)
Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji)
Golestan Palace (Iran)
Syrian Arab Republic
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • UNESCO Committee gives 19 sites World Heritage status
  • Japan's Mount Fuji, North Korea's Kaeson Fortress added to list
  • First inscriptions for Fiji, Qatar

(CNN) -- Nineteen new sites have been added to UNESCO's World Heritage list -- the top honor for monuments, buildings, sites or natural features "of outstanding universal value."

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Committee is meeting in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh for its 37th annual session.

A reported 34 sites were up for consideration. Though Italy and China lead the pack with two new inscriptions apiece, it's been a particularly exciting year for Qatar and Fiji, which are now celebrating the addition of their first World Heritage sites.

Qatar's walled coastal town of Al Zubarah in the Gulf and Fiji's Levuka Historical Port Town were both announced as new additions on Saturday.

Other notable new inscriptions include Japan's Mount Fuji, Namibia's Namib Sand Sea, the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station in Canada and North Korea's Kaesong Fortress.

Here's the full list of 19 sites granted UNESCO World Heritage status by the committee:

1. Xinjiang Tianshan (China)

2. Mount Etna (Italy)

3. El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve (Mexico)

4. Namib Sand Sea (Namibia)

5. Tajik National Park (Tajikistan)

6. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (Canada)

7. Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (China)

8. Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong (North Korea)

9. Levuka Historical Port Town (Fiji)

10. Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe (Germany)

11. Hill Forts of Rajashtan (India)

12. Golestan Palace (Iran)

13. Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany (Italy)

14. Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration (Japan)

15. Historic Centre of Agadez (Niger)

16. Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine (Poland / Ukraine)

17. University of Coimbra -- Alta and Sofia (Portugal)

18. Al Zubarah Archaeological Site (Qatar)

19. Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora (Ukraine)

The UNESCO World Heritage List features 981 sites from 160 countries that are party to the World Heritage Convention.

Of these, 759 are cultural, 193 natural and 29 mixed properties.

Meanwhile, the UNESCO committee made a few changes to its "List of World Heritage in Danger."

Iran's Bam citadel was removed from the danger list while East Rennell of the Solomon Island was added, along with the six World Heritage sites of Syria.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee has put off its decision on whether to place the Great Barrier Reef on the in danger list until 2014.

More on CNN:

20 of the world's most beautiful World Heritage Sites
World's best unknown hike: Japan's Kumano Kodo
What's the big deal about having a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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