Asom's famous Majuri island, the largest riverine island in the world and the cultural capital of the north-eastern state for past 500 years, is among 39 new sites from 30 countries, which will be considered for inclusion in the World Heritage List by the UNESCO at its 30th annual meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, beginning tomorrow.
So far, 21 cultural and five natural sites have been inscribed from India on the Heritage List.
The 39 new sites, which will be considered for inscribing on the UNESCO World Heritage List, comprise 27 cultural sites, eight natural sites, two mixed sites and three trans-boundary sites presented by 30 countries, including Azerbaijan, Austria, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mauritius, Poland, Spain, England and Syria.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will also examine the extension of three sites already inscribed in Nepal, Serbia and Sweden.
In addition, the Committee will review the 34 sites currently on the List of World Heritage in Danger. These are sites that face serious threat from a variety of causes such as pollution, pillaging, war, poorly managed tourism and poaching.
Till date, UNESCO's 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage protects 812 properties of "outstanding universal value'. These include 628 cultural, 160 natural and 24 mixed properties in 137 countries.
The Convention encourages international cooperation to safeguard this common heritage. With 182 signatories, it is one of the most widely ratified international legal instruments.
By signing the Convention, its member-countries commit to preserving sites on the World Heritage List as well as sites of national and regional importance, by providing an appropriate legal and regulatory framework.
Among the Indian sites which have already been inscribed on the Heritage List are the Agra Fort, Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, the Taj Mahal, Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Sun Temple Konârak, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Churches and Convents of Goa, Fatehpur Sikri, Monuments at Hampi, Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Elephanta Caves, Chola Temples, Sundarbans National Park, Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Sanchi monument, Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar at Delhi, Mountain Railways of India amd Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus).
Culture Ministry sources said the government would also propose to submit the nomination dossiers for the famous Red Fort to be considered for inclusion in the list.