22 Feb 2007

Unesco meeting considers possible Pacific heritage sites

5:14 pm on 22 February 2007

UNESCO delegates from around the region are at a workshop in New Zealand this week to prepare a session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch in June.

Most Pacific states have ratified the world heritage convention, but only one Pacific site outside Australia and New Zealand is currently on the world heritage list.

But UNESCO and its Pacific delegates want to change this.

The Tongan delegate, MP Albert Vaea, says the kingdom is looking at three sites that might be submitted next year.

"The kingdom of Tonga is considering two sites. They are the Ha'amoanga'amaui, which is a seasonal calendar, second site is the Lapaha tombs, which is the ancient king of Tonga's tombs."

Mr Vaea says Tonga also wants a whale sanctuary to be listed.