New UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mexico: Archipiélago de Revillagigedo

This week the UNESCO World Heritage Committee gathered in Istanbul, Turkey for the 40th Session of their annual committee meeting. In this meeting the representatives inscribed 21 sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The new sites come from all corners of the globe with Mexico included naming Archipiélago de Revillagigedo (Revillagigedo Islands) to be recognized for having outstanding universal value to mankind.

The Archipiélago de Revillagigedo is located to the east of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean and is made up of the volcanic islands of San Benedicto Island, Socorro Island, Roca Partida,  Clarión Island, and their surrounding waters. The four islands span an area of 420km (261mi) and are uninhibited with the exception of a naval station on Socorro.The islands provide a habitat for an array of wildlife including manta rays, whales, dolphins, and sharks, and are especially important for sea birds.

It was selected as a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site based on the criteria that it contains outstanding natural phenomena and areas of exceptional natural beauty (vii); is a great example representing the evolution and development of ecosystems (ix); and because it contains important and significant natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity(x).

This is the second year in a row UNESCO World Heritage added a new site to Mexico. Last year, they recognized  The Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System in Hidalgo and Mexico City. Mexico now has a total of 34 Cultural and Natural World Heritage Sites – more than any other country in the Americas, and 7th worldwide behind Italy (51), China (50), Spain (45), France (42), Germany (41), and India (35).

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