UNESCO-The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations system established in 1946. The Organization’s main objective is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms (Article 1 of UNESCO’s Constitution).

One of UNESCO’s missions is to maintain a list of world heritage sites. These sites are important natural or historical sites whose preservation and safe keeping are deemed important for the world community.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

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Photo courtesy of eutrophication&hypoxia via www.flickr.com/photos/48722974@N07/5093723696

The reef is losing coral at an alarming rate and may soon lose its prestigious status as one of the world’s great natural treasures as well.  The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has warned that without the urgent implementation of sustainable management improvements, the reef could land on its list of World Heritage in danger as early as 2014.

Grand Canyon National Park

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Photo courtesy of Paul Fundenburg via www.flickr.com/photos/fundenburg/2614575323

 Carved out by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon (nearly 1,500 m deep) is the most spectacular gorge in the world. Located in the state of Arizona, it cuts across the Grand Canyon National Park. Its horizontal strata retrace the geological history of the past 2 billion years.

Great Wall of China

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Photo courtesy of Marianna via www.flickr.com/photos/smokingpermitted/1952627233

This newly elected world wonder was built along China’s northern border over many centuries to keep out invading Mongol tribes. Constructed between the fifth century B.C. and the 16th century, the Great Wall is the world’s longest human-made structure, stretching some 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers).

The Galapagos Islands

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Photo courtesy of Dallas Krentzel via www.flickr.com/photos/31867959@N04/6012349104

The Galapagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast. This archipelago and its immense marine reserve is known as the unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Its geographical location at the confluence of three ocean currents makes it one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world.

Currently there are 1,007 “wonders of the world” on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.   For more information o UNESCO visit en.unesco.org


These are just a few of the great wonders of the world we should all put on our bucket list!