(CNW) — World Heritage Sites are exceptional places around the world that are considered to have Outstanding Universal Value. These sites are as diverse as the Pyramids of Egypt and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, reflecting the best of cultural and natural heritage. There are 18 World Heritage Sites in Canada, including the breathtaking Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks and the Historic District of Old Québec.
Canadians and communities have until January 27, 2017 to nominate new places to be considered for inclusion on Canada’s list for inscription as World Heritage Sites, which was last updated in 2004.
The application form can be completed and submitted to Parks Canada at pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/spm-whs/sec06/f.aspx.
Before a site can be presented for inscription as a World Heritage Site, it must be included on a country’s Tentative List.
The sites remaining on Canada’s Tentative List are:
Áísínai’pi (Writing-On-Stone), Alberta
Pimachiowin Aki (Formerly known as: Atikaki/Woodland Caribou/Accord First Nations (Pimachiowin Aki), Manitoba and Ontario
Gwaii Haanas, British Columbia
Ivvavik/Vuntut/Herschel Island (Qikiqtaruk), Yukon
Tr’ondëk Klondike, Yukon
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, recently announced the members of a new Ministerial Advisory Committee charged with reviewing applications from the public for Canada’s next set of possible UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee is composed of six Canadians that are experts in natural and cultural heritage conservation and commemoration in Canada. The committee is to be chaired by Dr. Christina Cameron. She will be joined by Derek Thompson, George Greene, Dr. Lisa Prosper, Dr. Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo and Guujaaw.
The committee will review all applications submitted by the public and will recommend to the minister the sites to be included on Canada’s updated lists for World Heritage Sites, which will be announced in 2017.
“I thank Canadians and communities from across the country for taking the time to nominate unique and exceptional places for consideration as future World Heritage Sites so that we can share more of our treasures with the world,” McKenna said. “As we prepare to come together as a nation to celebrate our 150th birthday in 2017, I invite all Canadians to experience nature, learn more about our history, and visit our heritage places, including Canada’s 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.”
“The 150th anniversary of Confederation is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to preserve our natural environment,” said the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Mélanie Joly. “We want to encourage Canadians to feel a sense of attachment to magnificent cultural and natural places, and build a deeper connection to the places that make our country unique in the world. What better way to do that than by getting involved in nominating a World Heritage Site for 2017.”
Five of the 11 sites on Canada’s current list have been inscribed as World Heritage Sites. The most recent site inscribed was Mistaken Point, Newfoundland and Labrador, in July 2016.