Help Canada Nominate New World Heritage Sites!
So this is a pretty cool concept. Just yesterday, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, for the first time in 10 years, has announced that Canadians can take part in helping determine what the next set of UNESCO World Heritage Sites will be within Canadian borders.
This is being done as a way to celebrate Canada’s diverse natural and cultural heritage. Nominations by Canadian communities will be considered for inclusion as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and finalists will be announced next year (2017) in time to celebrate 150 years of Confederation of Canada.
Currently, there are 18 locations within Canada’s borders that are dubbed World Heritage Sites (click to explore).
Having just recently taken my first trip up to British Columbia, I was almost instantaneously stunned at the raw natural beauty present throughout the region. So much so that I’m already planning my next trip back, hopefully to explore more of the Alberta region, especially Banff National Park.
“The designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is reserved for humanity’s most outstanding achievements and nature’s most inspiring creations. This is an opportunity for all Canadians to think about the natural, historic and cultural wonders in their communities. As we prepare to come together as a nation to celebrate our 150th birthday in 2017, I invite Canadians and communities from across the country to nominate their unique and exceptional places for consideration as future World Heritage Sites, so we can share more of our treasures with the world.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
What Location(s) Within Canada Do You Consider to be Worthy of UNESCO World Heritage Designation?
That being said, we wanted to get some of our reader’s thoughts on what they believe should be designated World Heritage Sites. Please review the general criteria below, and please leave a comment at the end of this post with your pick! Note that for the purposes of this particular blog post, you do not need to be a Canadian citizen in order to nominate a site. We just wanted to have some fun and hear some opinions :).
Here is the Current List of Canadian World Heritage Sites
Cultural Sites (8)
- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (1981)
- Historic District of Old Québec (1985)
- Landscape of Grand Pré (2012)
- L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (1978)
- Old Town Lunenburg (1995)
- Red Bay Basque Whaling Station (2013)
- Rideau Canal (2007)
- SGang Gwaay (1981)
Natural Sites (10)
- Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks – Includes Moraine Lake (1984)
- Dinosaur Provincial Park (1979)
- Gros Morne National Park (1987)
- Joggins Fossil Cliffs (2008)
- Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek (1979)
- Miguasha National Park (1999)
- Mistaken Point (2016)
- Nahanni National Park (1978)
- Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (1995)
- Wood Buffalo National Park (1983)
What is a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
World Heritage sites are exceptional places around the world that are considered to have Outstanding Universal Value — these sites are as diverse as the Pyramids of Egypt and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
There are 18 World Heritage Sites in Canada and Parks Canada is responsible, in whole or in part, for the conservation and protection of 12 of those sites.
Parks Canada is the Government of Canada’s representative for the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Only two nominations per year can be submitted by each country for consideration by the World Heritage Committee.
Canada’s nomination list, called the Tentative List for World Heritage Sites, was last updated in 2004. Five of the 11 sites on the current list have since been inscribed as World Heritage Sites. The most recent site inscribed was Mistaken Point, NL, recognized just a few weeks ago in July 2016.
July 23, 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of Canada’s ratification of the World Heritage Convention.
Are you a Canadian citizen? For information on how to nominate a site, please visit: www.pc.gc.ca
What’s My Nomination?
Easy choice! The Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is not only beautiful, but it yields some of the most delicious Pinot Noir I’ve ever tasted! I’d say that knocks off both the natural and cultural aspect criteria.
Is there a place in Canada you’ve been to that isn’t on the current or tentative list of World Heritage Sites that meets the above criteria? Let us know in the comments!