Dambulla heritage site and UNESCO’s double standards; Susantha Goonatilake; The Sunday Times Sri Lanka


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Sri Lanka – Golden Temple of Dambulla

There is confusion, downright lies, and kowtowing to the West in the recent public discussions on Dambulla temple and its Pin Pettiya. The culprits are various uninformed personnel in the tourist and archaeological authorities. And the politicians, current and former, are not to blame.

The battle was for the collections from tourists at Dambulla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Dambulla complex was started around the 3rdand 2nd centuries BCE and restored and enlarged upon many times by ancient kings and their dayakas. The last restoration was by Kirti Sri Rajasinha in the 18th century.

A report a few days back of the oldest habitation of Australia 80,000 years ago makes my position clear. The Australian aborigines are not heir to a written tradition or a sophisticated system of thought, like Buddhist Sri Lanka.

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Great Barrier Reef Protection Plan Won’t Work; Alexander Haro; The Inertia


Australia – Great Barrier Reef

Although the results of the meeting of the Reef 2050 advisory committee are in, government officials aren’t willing to make any changes to the Reef 2050 plan.

Back in 2015, the Queensland government released something called the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan. They did it because the Unesco World Heritage Centre let them know that they were considering adding the Great Barrier Reef to the list of world heritage sites that were under severe threat. Now, though, in a meeting of the Reef 2050 advisory committee, at least two groups of experts said the battle to “ensure the Great Barrier Reef continues to improve on its outstanding universal values” has already been lost.

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London’s Big Ben Will Be Silent Until 2021 — and Some Brits Are Furious; Alexander Smith; NBC News


UK – Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church

London’s Big Ben was built 158 years ago, two years before the American Civil War. This week it is at the center of a nationwide storm over its famous chimes.

LONDON — Who knew repairing a clock could provoke such outrage?

But this isn’t just a case of winding up an antique timepiece gathering dust in the hall. This is the 315-foot tower commonly known as Big Ben, the iconic landmark synonymous with London’s skyline.

Built 158 years ago, Big Ben has this week found itself at the center of a nationwide storm.

Politicians fumed and newspapers seethed after it came to light the Great Bell would fall silent on Monday, dinging its last dong until 2021 while construction workers carry out £29 million of repairs (around $37 million).

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Win a three-day break in the Lake District at Storrs Hall; Justin Connolly; Manchester Evening News


UK – The English Lake District

Enter now for a chance to win an autumn break close to the shores of Lake Windermere.

We’re offering one lucky reader the chance to win an autumn getaway to the Lake District, which has recently received UNESCO World Heritage status.

Historic hotel Storrs Hall is offering a three-night stay in one of their self-catering lodges, perfect for a family or small group of friends looking to escape to the countryside this October or November.

The cosy lodges sit close to the shores of Lake Windermere with stunning views over the lake and fells beyond and come complete with two bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, lounge and dining areas.

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11 Locations From Around The World Where Game Of Thrones Has Been Shot; Sampada Sharma; Scoop Whoop


Morocco – Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

Game of Thrones is set in the medieval ages and while there are some elements of fantasy on the show, the power struggle and the politics is as real as it can get. With a plot line that delivers a twist every few minutes, the show has had us on the edge of our seats for almost seven years now and we’re still loving every bit of it.

The various locations of the show add the much-needed authenticity to make the GoT universe as real as possible. In fact, most places that we’ve seen on the show exist in real life and are not just sets.

Here are 11 locations from all over the world where Game of Thrones has been shot.

1. Dragonstone – Zumaia, Spain

Dragonstone is one of the most important locations this season.

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Most Amazing Islands In Canada In 2017-2018, Top 10 Best & Famous Islands List; Daily Records


Canada – SGang Gwaay

You might not know this but Canada is the country that has more lakes than any other country in the world with an average of 3 million lakes. Canada is also famous for cold weather sports and the country is a prime location for film makers. This country has also one of the largest coastline measuring around 200,000 km which tells you that Canada naturally has lots of islands. If you love beach vacations, high end shopping, captivating cultures, best of Canada cuisines, skiing, authentic outdoor vacation, endless shorelines and much more Canada islands offers you all this. These impressive islands will inspire your spirit and renew your soul if you’re planning a vacation in this country.

Here are the top 10 amazing islands from the hundred’s that are located in Canada.

10. Prince Edward Island

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Japanese professor blames pollution from China for build-up of mercury on Unesco island; Julian Ryall; South China Morning Post


Japan – Yakushima

A Japanese professor has blamed high levels of mercury in frost in forests in southern Japan on pollution from China.

The study, by Osamu Nagafuchi, a visiting professor at the Fukuoka Institute of Technology, coincides with a United Nations treaty on the use of and trade in mercury going into effect, but will also raise new fears in part of Japan that has become synonymous with one of the worst cases of mercury poisoning.

Nagafuchi has been monitoring pollution in Kyushu and the surrounding islands for nearly three decades and has previously blamed the die-off of the primeval forests on the Unesco World Heritage island of Yakushima on airborne pollutants from China.

As far back as 1992, Nagafuchi began monitoring patches of blackened snow in remote areas of the island.

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Valparaíso: Chile’s Oceanside Gem; Marilyn Jones; GRIT Magazine


Chile – Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso

Valparaíso is a vibrant port city with a rich history and interesting areas to explore.

The city is a kaleidoscope of color; brightly painted houses clinging to the hillsides like the sides of a trowel with the city’s busy port at its tip. Valparaíso is Chile’s second largest metropolitan area after Santiago and one of the South Pacific’s most important seaports.

Upscape tour guide Manuel Garcia wants me to have this view before we start to explore neighborhoods and the historic quarter designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. As I take in the breathtaking view, Manuel explains that during the second half of the 19th century, the city served as a major stopover for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by crossing the Straits of Magellan.

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Best Latin American Cities to Visit For Vacation; Thrillist


Peru – Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa

Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve; Unesco


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Russia – Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve

On 12 August 2017, a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission arrived on Wrangel Island (Russian Federation). Together with Herald Island and a vast ocean territory, Wrangel Island forms part of the World Heritage property “Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve”, which is the northernmost site inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO headed the mission at the invitation of the Russian Federation. In line with the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016 (Decision  40 COM 7B.98), the mission’s task was to assess the state of conservation of the property, as well as potential threats to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

The mission consulted the relevant Russian authorities and will prepare recommendations for review by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and IUCN.

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