Silk Road, Chinese tea forest and Khmer empire sites vie for Unesco World Heritage status

Unesco is meeting to update its World Heritage list, with 53 sites, from Khmer empire ruins to a Yunnan tea forest and stretch of Silk Road, vying for inclusion.

More than 50 world sites are hoping for inclusion on the United Nations’ coveted heritage list at a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week, while some incumbents, including Venice and Kyiv, face the risk of a downgrade.

Unesco, the United Nations’ educational, scientific and cultural organisation, keeps the World Heritage list, which it says is a reflection of the planet’s cultural and natural diversity.

The agency meets once a year to update the list, inclusion on which is seen by many countries as crucial for tourism and the ability to source funding for the preservation of sites.

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