GRAND PRE, NOVA SCOTIA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/30/12 -- Editors Note: There are 2 photos associated with this press release.
The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today welcomed the news that the Landscape of Grand Pre, in Nova Scotia, has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage List for its outstanding universal value. UNESCO's World Heritage Committee made this decision at its annual meeting, held this year in Russia.
"The Government of Canada is delighted with the Landscape of Grand Pre becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site," said Minister Kent. "This worldwide recognition states that the Landscape of Grand Pre is a cultural place of outstanding universal value. This designation will attract not only Nova Scotians, Acadians and other Canadians, but also international visitors who are looking for unique experiences at iconic places."
UNESCO determined that the Landscape of Grand Pre encompasses cultural characteristics that are so exceptional they are of importance to present and future generations of all humanity.
"The recognition of the Landscape of Grand Pre as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a significant community achievement and follows many years of hard work by area residents, the farming community, the Acadian community, municipal and provincial partners, the Mi'kmaq and the Government of Canada," said the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and la Francophonie. "The Government of Canada will be actively engaged as this collaborative approach continues, and all partners work to ensure the sustainability of this area's heritage resources and visitor experiences."
The World Heritage Site centres around Parks Canada's Grand-Pre National Historic Site and includes the communities of Grand Pre and Hortonville, and more than 1300 hectares of lands and properties managed by individuals, municipalities and other levels of government.
"This recognition from UNESCO is a major community achievement, and is a well-deserved accomplishment for the many partners who worked on this project over the years," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia. "The Government of Canada will be fully engaged as the work continues. I am very proud of all of those who have contributed to reaching this milestone, and am encouraged by their dedication to preserving Grand Pre's unique cultural heritage."
His Excellency, Mr. Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO, attended the World Heritage Committee meeting in Russia and heard the decision first-hand. "Since 1976, when Canada ratified the World Heritage Convention, this country has had the privilege of being the steward for humanity as a whole for 15 other sites, including Canada's first World Heritage Sites, L'Anse aux Meadows and Nahanni, as well as the Historic District of Old-Quebec, and Sgang Gwaay in British Columbia," said Ambassador Blackburn. "It is with great pride and pleasure that I note today the addition of the Landscape of Grand Pre to the World Heritage List."
The Government of Canada supported the nomination through funding and Parks Canada's in-kind expertise in protected heritage places. The nomination process was spearheaded by Nomination Grand Pre, which included area residents, the farming community, the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Societe Nationale de l'Acadie, representing Acadians, and all levels of government. The Landscape of Grand Pre is the third World Heritage Site in Nova Scotia, after the Old Town Lunenburg and the Joggins Fossil Cliffs.
"Grand Pre has long held a special place in the hearts of Acadian and farming communities in this province," said Education Minister Ramona Jennex on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra. "Now, thanks to this prestigious recognition and the enhanced protection it provides, all Nova Scotians and people from around the world will be able to appreciate and enjoy the area's rich culture and heritage for years to come."
Parks Canada has a mandate to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage to Canadians, today and in the future. Parks Canada is the Government of Canada's representative for the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Eleven of Canada's 16 World Heritage Sites include areas managed by Parks Canada.
Backgrounder associated with this News Release.
(Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media room.)
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Office of the Minister of the Environment
Communities, Culture and Heritage
902-424-1593 or Cell: 902-478-8596