The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) finalized the addition of 47 new sites to its World Heritage List, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Uruq Bani Ma’arid Reserve.
Member states nominated 50 natural, cultural, and mixed sites during the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh from September 10 to 25, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The committee postponed the addition of one of the sites, rejected another site, and approved the extension of five other World Heritage sites, UNESCO said in a statement.
The new additions included two Arab sites besides the Saudi reserve — Palestine’s Ancient Jericho and Tunisia’s Djerba Island.
Mohlago Flora Mokgohloa of South Africa, who presided over the session adding the Saudi reserve, expressed gratitude for the delegations participating in the meetings and hailed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s warm hospitality.
“We feel inspired by all the developments we see in the Kingdom,” Mokgohloa said. “These are big steps towards expanding the biodiversity and environmental preservation.”