Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Nova Scotia Joggins Fossil Cliffs Added to World Heritage List

The Joggins fossil cliffs in Nova Scotia have been named by UNESCO to its select list of world heritage sites. Located on the Bay of Fundy, the cliffs were studied by geologists Charles Lyell and Sir Walter Dawson and cited by Charles Darwin in his Origin of Species. The World Heritage Committee has been interested in adding more sites to the World Heritage List that are important as parts of the world's scientific heritage, and this appears to fit that bill!

Members of the World Heritage selection committee voted unanimously in favor of the designation at a meeting in Quebec City on Monday evening. The fossil cliffs are regarded as the best record of life in the Coal Age - 300 million years ago - and are home to enormous fossilized trees and what's believed to be the remains of the world's oldest reptile.

UNESCO site designation encompasses a 15-kilometer strip of sea cliffs more than 30 meters high, and a multi-million dollar interpretative center that was opened this year to showcase the area's natural and cultural history.

"There really isn't anywhere in the world that's as good as Joggins as far as we know," said Martin Gibling, a professor of earth sciences at Dalhousie University in Halifax."It's truly a marvelous place - you can see the entire ancient landscapes of the Earth laid out before you, so to speak."

According to the Windsor Star:

Local authorities hope that being added to the World Heritage sites list will give the region an economic boost by making it a tourist destination.

"This decision will have a very significant economic and social impact," said Rhonda Kelly of the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association.

No comments: