This years UNESCO World Heritage Site committee has come to a close with the finally site announce being the Lena Pillars Nature Park in Russia. This brings the total number of nature sites listed this year to 5.
The Lena Pillars Nature Park is known for its spectacular rock pillars that were formed by the regions extreme climate. The pillars are located along the banks of the Lena River in the central part of the Sakha Republic. They can reach up to 100 meters in height.
Apart from the geological value of the site the rocks of the region also host a range of fossils from the Cambrian period.
The announcement made as the meeting came to a close means that of the 20 sites newly listed a quarter were valued for their natural history. The five new nature sites were:
- Lakes of Ounianga (Chad);
- Sangha Trinational (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo,);
- Chengjiang Fossil Site (China);
- Western Ghats (India);
- Lena Pillars Nature Park (Russian Federation).
In addition to the 5 sites another site - Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau) – was added to the list as a mixed natural and cultural site.
This year also saw some good news for 2 established natural World Heritage Sites. Following conservation projects two sites were removed from the ‘at danger’ list. These were:
- Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan),
- and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines).