| 13 July 2024, Saturday |

UNESCO lists a volcano in French Martinique as a World Heritage Site

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced on Saturday that Mount Pelée and the northern peaks of Martinique, one of the overseas regions of France, have been added to the World Heritage List.

This decision was made during the forty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee, which took place in Riyadh.

Mount Pelée and the northern peaks, a volcanic mountain range, cover an area of 13,980 hectares, which is approximately 12 percent of the total land area of the island of Martinique, situated in the Caribbean archipelago of the Antilles.

This marks the third UNESCO designation for Martinique in just two years, following its classification as a marine biosphere reserve and inclusion in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for its preservation of the traditional Martinican pirogue.

Serge Letchimy, the President of Martinique’s Executive Council, described this moment as “historic” not only for the island but for the entire Caribbean region and the world.

He viewed this inclusion in the World Heritage List as a “powerful and valuable tool” for preserving these mountains and as an expression of their environmental identity.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs hailed the decision as a “recognition of the global value of Martinique’s natural heritage, with its exceptional geology and biodiversity,” emphasizing its significance in promoting preservation.

The management of Martinique Natural Park believes that being included in the World Heritage List could lead to an increase in the island’s visitors by 30 to 40 percent.

Mount Pelée’s eruption on May 8, 1902, claimed the lives of approximately 28,000 people. Despite 121 years passing since that eruption, the volcano remains active and continuously monitored.

  • AFP