This Caribbean Location Is Newest UNESCO World Heritage Site

Blue Mountain, Jamaica is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Blue Mountain, Jamaica is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. July 9, 2015: Only one exotic location in the Caribbean has made it onto the exclusive UNESCO World Heritage site list year.

Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow mountains have made it on to the list of the 27 newest members of the UNESCO World Heritage List, the only location across the Caribbean chosen this year.

The Blue and John Crow mountains, located in the south-east of Jamaica, made the list as a ‘New Inscribed Properties/Mixed property.’

The site according to UNESCO, “encompasses a rugged and extensively forested mountainous region … which provided refuge first for the indigenous Tainos fleeing slavery and then for Maroons (escaped African slaves).”

“They resisted the European colonial system in this isolated region by establishing a network of trails, hiding places and settlements, which form the Nanny Town Heritage Route,” the description added. “The forests offered the Maroons everything they needed for their survival. They developed strong spiritual connections with the mountains, still manifest through the intangible cultural legacy of, for example, religious rites, traditional medicine and dances.”

The site is also a biodiversity hotspot for the Caribbean Islands with a high proportion of endemic plant species, especially lichens, mosses and certain flowering plants, added the listing.

Meanwhile, UNESCO’s other newly inscribed World Heritage List sites are as follows:

1. China: Tusi sites

2. Denmark: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church settlement

3. Denmark: Par Force hunting landscape in North Zealand

4. France: Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars

5. France: Climats, terroirs of Burgundy

6. Germany: Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus

7. Iran: Cultural landscape of Maymand

8. Iran: Susa

9. Israel: Necropolis of Bet She’arim, a landmark of Jewish renewal

10. Italy: Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedral churches of Cefalú and Monreale

11. Japan: Sites of Japan’s Meiji industrial revolution

12. Jordan: Baptism site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas)

13. Republic of Korea: Baekje historic areas

14. Mexico: Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque hydraulic system

15. Mongolia: Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape

16. Norway: Notodden industrial heritage site in Rjukan

17. Saudi Arabia: Rock art in the Hail Region of Saudi Arabia

18. Singapore: Singapore Botanical Gardens

19. South Africa: Cape Floral Region protected areas (significant extension of “Cape Floral Region protected areas” site)

20. Spain: Routes of Santiago in Northern Spain (significant extension of “Routes of Santiago de Compostela” site)

212. Turkey: Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens cultural landscape

22. Turkey: Ephesus

23. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: The Forth Bridge

24. United States: San Antonio Missions

25. Uruguay: Fray Bentos cultural-industrial landscape

26. Viet Nam: Ke Bang National Park (significant extension of “Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park” site)

The World Heritage List now includes 1,031 natural and cultural wonders that are considered to be places of “outstanding universal value.”

UNESCO has been adding sites to the World Heritage List since 1978.