Japan’s Mt Fuji, Niger’s Agadez among new UNESCO sites

PHNOM PENH (AFP) – Japan’s Mount Fuji, a series of ancient terraced rice paddies China, and the desert city of Agardaz in Niger were among the cultural jewels granted World Heritage status by UNESCO at its annual meeting on Saturday.

On Saturday, UNESCO also inscribed the landscapes of terraced rice fields of Honghe Hani, south of the Chinese province of Yunnan, which reflect “in an exceptional way a specific interaction with the environment mediated by integrated farming and water management systems.”

“Carved out of dense forest over the past 1,300 years by Hani people… the irrigated terraces support paddy fields overlooking narrow valleys,” UNESCO said in documents prepared ahead of the inscription.

“In some places, you can see up to 3,000 suspended terraces on the slopes” of Ailao mountains, it added.

Qatar and Fiji both received their first World Heritage sites inscriptions on Saturday, for Al Zubarah Archaeological Site and the Levuka Historical Port Town respectively.

On Friday, Italy’s Mount Etna, the Hill Forts of Rajasthan in India and the Namib Sand Sea were among the natural wonders and cultural jewels to be granted World Heritage status. Fujisan, the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 metres (12