The 45th session of the World Heritage Committee, which was held from September 10 to 25, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as every year ensured equitable geographical distribution. Thus, of the 42 new sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, five are on the African continent, which now exceeds the mark of 100 sites inscribed.
Among the five, Rwanda has its first two inscriptions: the Nyungwe National Park – an important site for the conservation of Central Africa’s rainforests – and the Genocide Memorial Sites (Nyamata, Murambi, Gisozi and Bisesero). While the forest massif of Odzala-Kokoua (Republic of Congo), the cultural landscape of Gedeo country (Ethiopia) and the island of Djerba (Tunisia) have also been added, the site of the dry forests of Andrefana (Madagascar) and the Koutammakou site (Togo) were extended.
The 45th session of the Committee was also marked by the removal of the Tombs of the Kings of Buganda at Kasubi from the List of World Heritage in Danger, thanks to a restoration program led by Uganda and local communities. The site was included on the List of Heritage in Danger in 2010, after a violent fire devastated the tombs.
In France, the Maison Carrée of Nîmes, a Roman temple completed in the early 1st century AD, as well as the volcanoes and forests of Montagne Pelée and the Pitons of northern Martinique, were added to the List . As places of memory are now eligible, the 139 funeral and memorial sites from the First World War (Western Front) located between northern Belgium and eastern France have also been registered.
Two Ukrainian sites, the Saint Sophia Cathedral and the complex of monastic buildings and Lavra of Kiev, as well as the historic center of Lviv, joined the historic center of Odessa – inscribed in January 2023 – on the World Heritage List in danger, due to threats linked to Russian bombings.
In total, 33 new cultural sites and 9 natural sites were inscribed, bringing the overall list to 1,199 inscribed sites (993 cultural, 227 natural, 39 mixed).
Six World Heritage sites, located in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Egypt, Haiti, Marshall Islands and Sri Lanka, have received international funds totaling $336,000 (approximately €318,000). ) to support local conservation projects. These funds are in addition to those already granted to more than thirty sites in 2022 and 2023, for a total of more than one million dollars.