Canadians invited to propose sites to UNESCO

For the first time in over a decade, Canadians are invited to propose national treasures as candidates for inclusion in World Heritage of UNESCO.

The environment minister, Catherine McKenna, made the announcement Monday in the Scotian village of Grand-Pre – one of 18 Canadian sites already included in the World Heritage of UNESCO.

Canadians can suggest places of cultural, historical or natural; helping to draw up the country’s list of candidates. A ministerial advisory committee on equal distribution of men and women will study these suggestions. Ottawa also ensures that include representatives of First Nations.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will then determine whether the World Heritage status will be granted.

Minister McKenna said the list of candidates – whose last update was in 2004 – will be revealed in 2017, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Five of the 11 sites currently enrolled in the Canadian list have already achieved World Heritage status. The reserve Mistaken Point in Newfoundland and Labrador in particular added last month.

Once included in the World Heritage of UNESCO, a site has the commitment of the international community to preserve it for future generations, sometimes through financial assistance or expert advice. More than a thousand sites currently enjoy this status.

The selection of experts to form the Ministerial Advisory Committee also wants an open process. Canadians have until September 23 to signal their interest.

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