Malaysia now has four World Heritage Sites recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) World Heritage List, the latest being the Archaelogical Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (AHLV) in Perak.
The others are the historic cities of Melaka and George Town along the Straits of Melaka, Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak and Kinabalu Park in Sabah.
The listing of AHLV by Unesco is also 953rd on the World Heritage List in the current session of the World Heritage Committee here, and it also “testifies another dimension of the global recognition of Malaysia as a nation endowed with and committed to the conservation and protection of its world renowned heritage”, the National Heritage Department said in a statement from St Petersburg, Russia today.
Malaysia is a member of the 21-nation World Heritage Committee that decides on the inscription, referral or deferral of properties proposed for nomination, a position it was elected to, for a four-year term (2011-2015).
The department said the lush Lenggong Valley contained artefactual evidence in the open air and cave sites spanning all the periods of hominid history outside Africa.
It said the series of caves and open air sites along the Perak River in the Lenggong Valley were an exceptional testimony to occupation of the area, particularly during the Palaeolithic era, but during the Neolithic and Bronze age periods from 1.83 million years ago to 1,700 years ago.
These sites represent one of the longest records of early man in a single locality in the world.
The department said Malaysians should be proud that this inscription by Unesco meant that the Lenggong Valley was an important site for humankind to be shared by all in the world.
With this comes a serious responsibility to protect and preserve its outstanding universal value for future generations, it added.
Datuk Zuraina Majid, the Commissioner of Heritage Malaysia, led the Malaysian delegation to the meeting here.
Others in the team include Professor Dr A. Ghafar Ahmad, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Wilfred Landong and Syahrin Abdullah.
Malaysia’s Permanent Delegate to Unesco, Mohd Zulkifli Mohammed, also attended the meeting.