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Places to visit: Canada now has 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites

How gorgeous is Mistaken Point, Newfoundland? It's the one new Canadian addition to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.
How gorgeous is Mistaken Point, Newfoundland? It's the one new Canadian addition to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites. EPA/BARRETT AND MACKAY

One more Canadian tourism spot has been added to UNESCO‘s World Heritage List.

Mistaken Point in eastern Canada is one of 21 new additions to be deemed of “outstanding universal value” this year.

The 17-kilometre narrow stretch of rugged coastal cliffs, found at the southeastern tip of Newfoundland, is a fossil site. And not just any fossil site. According to UNESCO, it is “the oldest known assemblages of large fossils anywhere.

“These fossils illustrate a watershed in the history of life on earth: the appearance of large, biologically complex organisms, after almost three billion years of micro-dominated evolution.”

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A handout image provided by the Canadian Governmental Department of Environment and Conservation on 19 July 2016 shows ash and fossils at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, near Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
A handout image provided by the Canadian Governmental Department of Environment and Conservation on 19 July 2016 shows ash and fossils at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, near Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. EPA/BARRETT AND MACKAY
How gorgeous is Mistaken Point, Newfoundland? It's the one new Canadian addition to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.
How gorgeous is Mistaken Point, Newfoundland? It's the one new Canadian addition to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites. EPA/BARRETT AND MACKAY / HANDOUT
A handout image provided by the Canadian Governmental Department of Environment and Conservation on 19 July 2016 shows ash and fossils at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, near Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
A handout image provided by the Canadian Governmental Department of Environment and Conservation on 19 July 2016 shows ash and fossils at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, near Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. EPA/BARRETT AND MACKAY
A handout image provided by the Canadian Governmental Department of Environment and Conservation on 19 July 2016 shows ash and fossils at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, near Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
A handout image provided by the Canadian Governmental Department of Environment and Conservation on 19 July 2016 shows ash and fossils at the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, near Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. EPA/BARRETT AND MACKAY

It’s the 18th site in Canada to be added to the list since 1978, and the third to be located in Newfoundland.

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Canada’s east coast is home to the majority of the country’s World Heritage sites. But B.C., Alberta and the Northwest Territories are also brimming with them.

You can see the full list in the infographic below. The sites are numbered based on the order in which they were recognized.

To make the list, a site has to meet at least one of 10 selection criteria, which includes “containing superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty.”

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You can learn more about each site and what makes it so special on UNESCO’s site.

Old Town Lunenburg on Nova Scotia’s southern coast is one the dozens of World Heritage Sites at risk of being destroyed due to climate change, according to a United Nations report released in May.

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The waterfront in Lunenburg on Sunday, October 18, 2015. The historic town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.
The waterfront in Lunenburg on Sunday, October 18, 2015. The historic town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Lunenberg is considered by UNESCO to be the best example of a planned British colonial settlement townscape in North America. More than 1.8 million tourists visit the province annually and tourism revenue on the south coast exceeds $ 160 million a year, with Lunenburg being one of the top destinations, according to UNESCO. Rising seas threaten reportedly threaten the area.

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Last year, there were concerns raised that the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra was at risk from ISIS attacks.

The world heritage site is rife with ancient ruins and, according to the UNESCO website, “contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.”

Other UNESCO sites to be recognized this year were in Iraq, Iran, Chad, China, Sudan and Mexico.

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