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Thursday August 11, 2011

Hope for naming of Niah Caves as World Heritage Site

KUCHING: Sarawak is waiting for the Niah Caves to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

Tourism and Heritage Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state, through the Federal Government, had nominated the caves for certification as a World He-ritage Site in the middle of last year.

The nomination had to be assessed by two panels — one at the national level and the other by the World Heritage Committee based at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) headquarters in Paris.

“We are looking forward to have Niah Caves as our next Unesco World Heritage Site. We haven’t got the result yet, but hope it will get the status,” he said yesterday.

The Niah Caves at Niah National Park is an important archaeological and historical site as some of the oldest human remains in South-East Asia had been found there.

Evidence shows that the caves had sheltered early humans more than 40,000 years ago.

It is important to have the caves listed as a World Heritage Site to embody the diversity of the planet and the achievements of the people.

World Heritage Sites are places of beauty, wonder, mystery, grandeur, memory and meaning and represent the best the Earth has to offer.

The Gunung Mulu National Park, which boasts the world’s largest natural cave chamber, is the only certified Unesco World Heritage Site in the state.

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