Mount Fuji named as UNESCO World Heritage site – update 1

Mount Fuji and its surrounding cultural sites have been added to the UNESCO list
Mount Fuji and its surrounding cultural sites have been added to the UNESCO list

UNESCO has inscribed Japan’s Mount Fuji on its World Heritage List.

The 3,776-metre volcano and its surrounding area were given the protected status during the 37th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC), which is currently being held in Phnom Penh.

According to UNESCO, ‘Fujisan, Sacred Place and Source of Artistic Inspiration’ was been added to the list due to its importance to Japanese culture, including art and poetry.

The inscribed area consists of 25 sites which, according to the UN, “reflect the essence of Fujisan’s sacred landscape”. These include pilgrimmage routes and shrines on the mountain’s upper slopes, as well as lodging houses, lakes, springs and waterfalls.

It is joined on the list by two sites in China: the Tianshan Mountains in the northwest region of Xinjiang and Honghe Hani rice terraces in Yunnan province.

The Xinjiang Tianshan heritage area is a vast site covering more than 606,000 hectares across in the Tianshan Mountains, which mark the border between Western China and Central Asia. Four key components — Tomur, Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbukuke and Bogda — have been protected due to their “unique physical geographic features and scenically beautiful areas”, according to UNESCO. The site also extends into the Taklimakan Desert – one of the world’s highest deserts.

The ‘Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces’ covers 16,603 hectares in southern Yunnan, and features the rice terracing which descends down the slopes of the Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. It was developed by the Hani people over the past 1,300 years.

Meanwhile in India, the Hill Forts of Rajasthan includes six forts in Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jhalawar, Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Built between the 8th to the 18th centuries, the forts are huge, with some of the structures measure up to 20km in circumference, and containing temples and other sacred buildings.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC) is meeting in Phnom Penh until 27 June.

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