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Iceland to Suggest Torfajökull Area as UNESCO Site

Iceland to Suggest Torfajökull Area as UNESCO Site

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The area around the glacier-covered stratovolcano Torfajökull in Iceland’s south-central highlands is considered geologically unique. It is among natural relics Iceland would like to see on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Þingvellir National Park, one of Iceland's UNESCO World Heritage Sites

“Academics and scientists have worked on argumentation as to why the area belongs on the list. That work has now been completed and the next step is to formally send a request to Paris where UNESCO will consider it,” Ragneiður Þórarinsdóttir at the Icelandic Ministry for Education and Culture told Morgunblaðið.

“To have a place registered as a World Heritage Site, states must send an inventory [of its important natural and cultural heritage sites]. Natural relics must have been on that list for at least one year before UNESCO can register them,” Ragnheiður explained.

Iceland’s inventory currently includes Breiðafjörður in the category of natural and cultural relics, the Þingvellir area, Lake Mývatn, Laxá river, Vatnajökull National Park and the Torfajökull caldera in the natural relics category, and Iceland turf houses and Viking remains in the cultural relics category.

Iceland already has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Þingvellir National Park and Surtsey Island.