Two new Chinese sites have been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The forested area of Hubei Shennongjia in central China and Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape in the southwest of the country have both been added to the global protection list. They are among 21 new global sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in its latest round of inscriptions.
China now has 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites – the second highest of any country in the world, after Italy (51).
Located in Hubei province, Hubei Shennongjia consists of two components: Shennongding/Badong to the west and Laojunshan to the east. It protects large tracts of primary forest that are home to many rare animal species, such as the Chinese giant salamander, golden snub-nosed monkey, clouded leopard and Asian black bear.
Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (pictured inset) comprises 38 sites of ancient rock art dating back between 1,800 and 2,500 years. They depict the life of the ancient Luoyue people.
Elsewhere in Asia, the Western Tienshan mountain range, which covers parts of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, has been listed by UNESCO for its biodiversity.
While the purpose of a UNESCO listing its conversation, they can also lead to increased tourism traffic.