Canada

Canada to update nomination list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites

For the first time in more than a decade, Ottawa is asking Canadians to nominate national gems as candidates for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna invites Canadians to suggest places of significance

The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, including Banff, make up 18 of Canada's existing UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The federal government is asking Canadians to nominate gems to update its tentative list of future sites. (Travel Alberta/Canadian Press)

For the first time in more than a decade, Ottawa is asking Canadians to nominate national gems as candidates for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna made the announcement Monday in Grand Pre, N.S., home to one of Canada's 18 UNESCO sites out of more than 1,000 worldwide.

McKenna invited Canadians to suggest places of cultural, historic and natural significance for Canada's list of nominees to be considered for world heritage status by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture.

Nomination list will be announced in 2017

She said the additions to the nomination list, last updated in 2004, will be revealed in 2017 in honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

The minister is putting together a committee of heritage experts, including indigenous representatives, to review submissions for Canada's next world heritage bid.

Five of the 11 sites on Canada's current nomination list have been inscribed as world heritage sites — most recently Mistaken Point, N.L., which was recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Turkey last month.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of cultural or natural significance that members of the global community have committed to preserve for future generations, sometimes through financial assistance or expert advice.

18 sites in Canada

The existing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada are:

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