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UNESCO lists Australia, Kenya beauty spots

27 june 2011, 10:45
Ningaloo Marine Park, the coast of Western Australia. ©Reuters
Ningaloo Marine Park, the coast of Western Australia. ©Reuters
Natural beauty and wildlife spots in Australia, Japan and Kenya have won UNESCO world heritage status, AFP reports, citing the UN cultural body on Friday.

The Paris-based body added the Ningaloo Coast in Western Australia, Japan's remote Ogasawara Islands and the Kenya Lake System in the Rift Valley province, to its heritage list, a valuable tourism-boosting asset.

The 32,000-hectare Kenyan lake district is home to rhinos, giraffes and lions.

It is also "the single most important foraging site for the lesser flamingo anywhere, and a major nesting and breeding ground for great white pelicans," UNESCO said.

The remote Ningaloo Coast boasts a big reef and sea turtles and is the scene of an annual gathering of white whales, it added, in a statement.

The Ogasawara Islands, known in English as the Bonin Islands, are a cluster in the Pacific a thousand kilometres (620 miles) southeast of the Japanese mainland, and home to numerous animal species and hundreds of native plants.

These include "the Bonin Flying Fox, a critically endangered bat, and 195 endangered bird species," UNESCO said.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is meeting until June 29, considering, among others, bids by the tiny Pacific archipelagoes of Micronesia and Palau, Barbados, Jamaica, Congo and the United Arab Emirates for their first listings.

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