Expanded and updated to include the 45 sites added to the World Heritage List in 2012 and 2013.Praise for previous editions:No school, public, or academic library could go wrong including the very affordable World Heritage Sites in both reference and circulating collections."-- Booklist"The beauty of this book is in both the lavish photographs and the accessibility of information... An excellent (and affordable) addition to any library."-- Library JournalThis new, fifth edition presents the complete and most up-to-date list of 981 World Heritage sites, including the 26 sites inscribed in 2012 and the 19 sites inscribed in 2013. Some of these newly inscripted sites are Red Basque Bay Whaling Station, Canada; Historic Centre of Agadez, Niger; Medici Villas and Gardens, Tuscany, Italy; Mount Etna, also in Italy; and the Nabib Sand Sea in Namibia.The strict listing criteria mean only the most extraordinary, important and best-managed sites make the cut. Other inscripted sites include the Statue of Liberty, the Great Barrier Reef, the Historic Center of Vienna, Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site, Australian Convict Sites, Prehistoric Caves of Yagul (Mexico), Robben Island, Ancient Damascus, Kremlin and Red Square and the Tower of London.Failure to maintain the criteria can result in delisting, the fate of Arab Oryx Sanctuary in 2007 and Dresden Elbe Valley in 2009.Clear text gives a brief history of the site, explaining its significance and the criteria that put it on the list. A location map gives readers an instant understanding of where it is in the world and color photographs illustrate the site. This is an ideal reference for trip planning, as a travel guide or for the armchair traveler.The World Heritage List is a roll call of the world's most important cultural, natural and mixed sites. The purpose of the list is to safeguard cultural and natural heritage considered to be of outstanding, universal value to humanity. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has overseen the list since its inception in 1959.