Spain's Caliphate city of Medina Azahara, Colombia's Chiribiquete National Park and Mexico's Tehuacán-Cuicatalán Valley have been proposed as additions to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) World Heritage Site list.
The sites were selected from a list of nearly 30 proposals and will be examined at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, which will be held between June 24 and July 4 in the city of Manama, Bahrain, Unesco said in a statement.
The sites have passed the first round, which consisted of 21 countries-elected by the general assembly, among which Spain, Cuba, Guatemala, and Brazil were also chosen.
The city of Medina Azahara on the outskirts of the Spanish city of Cordoba is among the proposals to be part of the World Heritage cultural sites. The Serranía de Chiribiquete National Natural Park with 2.78 million hectares is the largest protected area in Colombia (between the departments of Guaviare and Caquetá) and was chosen as the natural and cultural interest. The same applies to the Tehuacán-Cuicatalán Biosphere Reserve, which is presented as an original Mesoamerican habitat with the presence of indigenous groups.
Each member country of the Unesco can submit up to two sites to be considered.
In Bahrain, the committee will debate if each of the 30 proposals that have passed the first round can meet the 10-point criteria set by the organization, which currently has 1,073 sites marked as historical sites. Unesco also has a list of "endangered" places for which preservation and/or management efforts are requested so that they can continue to be preserved in their state.
This year, the committee members will also assess if Belize's coral reef should be taken off the Endangered World Heritage site list.