Joggins UNESCO designation closer to becoming reality

Sam McNeish
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AMHERST The rest of the world is one step closer to finding out how important Joggins is to the scientific world.

AMHERST The rest of the world is one step closer to finding out how important Joggins is to the scientific world.

The community continues to move forward in an effort to show the world the value of its fossil cliffs.

A pair of experts from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is visiting the site this week to determine if the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are worthy of UNESCO designation.

We have to thoroughly investigate the proposal to ensure it meets all the criteria and has an outstanding universal appeal, Tim Badman, one of two evaluators from IUCN said.

There has to be legal protection and site management, values towards world heritage, both sustainable and long term, he added.

IUCN field missions see experts visit nominated properties to discuss UNESCO nominations with a variety of people from within the designated communities. The groups include national and local authourities, local communities, NGOs and stakeholders.

The investigation allows the evaluators to become familiar with all aspects of the nominated property and to double check that the dossier is complete.

A review is conducted of property boundaries and buffer zones in addition to evaluating the management system and effectiveness.

This project has seen an increase in the informed scientific community and a sense of international collectiveness. There has been a rise in scientific publications, John Calder, interim science and education officer for Joggins Fossil Institute said.

If this is inscribed as site, upcoming students, school kids in River Hebert to PhD candidates will all be part of this. Its an important legacy, he added.

The process evaluates the potential threats to property and the local support shown for the nomination.

The nomination dossier for the inscription of Joggins on the list of World Natural Heritage Sites was formally submitted to the World Heritage Centre in Paris in January.

The IUCN decision will be presented to the national council during a session in Quebec in July.

smcneish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: UNESCO, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Joggins Fossil Institute World Heritage Centre

Geographic location: Joggins, River Hebert, Paris Quebec

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