Five new natural wonders declared UNESCO World Heritage sites

Mount Etna, Italy.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 21 June 2013 — Namib Sand Sea in Namibia, Xinjiang Tianshan in China, Tajik National Park in Tajikistan, Mount Etna in Italy and El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve in Mexico have been declared World Heritage sites, following expert recommendations of IUCN. In addition, the World Heritage Committee approved the extension of Mount Kenya National Park to include the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve, also following IUCN’s recommendation. “From vast deserts in Namibia and Mexico to high mountain ranges in China…

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Entire Maldives to become UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by 2017

The Maalhosmadulu Atolls seen from space. The Southern Maalhosmadulu Atoll and Fasdūtherē Atoll (centre) make up Baa Atoll.

Montreal, 18 February 2013 – In response to the call for champions in support of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Republic of Maldives has pledged to become the first nation where the entire country and its Exclusive Economic Zone will be a Biosphere Reserve. “The whole country of Maldives will be a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by 2017 – where public support for conservation of the country’s remarkable environment secures a vibrant green economy and a good quality of life for all Maldivians,” said Dr Mariyam Shakeela, Minister of Environment and…

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