The United States is pleased to announce the nomination of Poverty Point State Historic Site and National Monument in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana for inclusion on the World Heritage List. This unique site features a vast, integrated complex of earthen monuments constructed more than 3,000 years ago by a vanished people who lived in the Lower Mississippi Valley. The nomination of Poverty Point will be considered for inscription by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in the summer of 2014. If approved by the Committee, this will be the first designated World Heritage Site in the United States since 2010, and would join the 21 sites in the U.S. already inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The UNESCO World Heritage List recognizes the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet, and designation brings with it significant international attention and increased tourism. The United States was the prime architect of the World Heritage Convention, an international treaty created to promote conservation and preservation of important natural and cultural sites. There are currently 962 designated sites around the world, including such iconic places as the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, and the Grand Canyon. The World Heritage Convention, and U.S. leadership on matters related to natural and cultural preservation, is an invaluable multilateral tool to promote appreciation of important sites, protect endangered treasures, and support local economies through tourism.