UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the NW Hawaiian Islands

In 1972 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted an international treaty, the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, to identify, protect, and preserve sites around the world considered to be of great value to humanity. These have come to be known as World Heritage sites.

In the United States, there are 20 World Heritage sites, including two jointly administered with Canada. Of the 20, one is in Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park . Each signatory nation to the Convention is also asked to submit a tentative list of properties for nomination to the World Heritage List. The tentative list of the United States includes two for Hawaii: Haleakala National Park and Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park.

Congressman Ed Case (D-HI) has introduced the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Marine Refuge Act of 2005, HR 2376 (PDF , 84K, 35p., from the GPO). The Pacific Fisheries Coalition, a Hawaii coalition of conservationists and fishermen, in its position paper, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Proposed As A National Marine Refuge, stated, "the NWHI National Marine Refuge Act could also help advance the designation of the area as an internationally-recognized World Heritage Site."


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