Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 02, 2008 08:30 ET

Canada Proudly Welcomes Members of the Unesco World Heritage Committee to Quebec City

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 2, 2008) - The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment and the Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, officially welcomed 800 heritage professionals and diplomats from all over the world to Quebec City for the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee. During this meeting, that will last from July 2 to 10th, members will be called on to designate new world heritage sites.

"On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am very pleased and proud that we are receiving participants for this 32nd session," declared Canada's Environment Minister John Baird. "Canada is home to 14 world heritage sites, including the future Nahanni National Park and the Rideau Canal in my home town of Ottawa. I am proud to welcome the World Heritage Committee so they can continue to recognize and protect sites of outstanding universal value around the world."

At this annual meeting, the Committee will examine the condition of existing world heritage sites, endangered heritage sites and applications for 45 new sites that could be designated. The Joggins natural site in Nova Scotia is being nominated for this prestigious title. Joggins is the world's richest, most representative and most significant Coal Age fossil site.

"It's with great pleasure that I welcome this prestigious international body to Quebec City," said Minister Verner. "Our Government is a leader in protecting and preserving our natural heritage and it is particularly fitting that this meeting will be held a few steps away from the Old Quebec World Heritage Site, right at the heart of festivities marking the 400th anniversary of Quebec City."

World heritage sites are natural or cultural sites of outstanding universal importance that are recognized by the entire international community. The World Heritage Committee is an agency of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It governs the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Canada sits on this Committee made up of representatives from 21 countries; the representatives are elected by the 185 countries that signed the Convention.

During the last annual meeting in New Zealand, last year, Canada was selected to host the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee. On behalf of the Government of Canada, Parks Canada is responsible for the application of the World Heritage Convention in our country, and therefore has a mandate to organize this meeting.

Parks Canada is responsible for a network of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas recognized as one of the most attractive and extensive networks of protected areas in the world.

(Also available on the Internet at under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Eric Richer
    Press Secretary
    Parks Canada
    National Corporate Communications Branch
    Joanne Huppe
    Media Relations Advisor