After five years of hard work by all levels of government and community members, the historic and cultural landscape of Grand Pré became Nova Scotia's newest UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 29. The announcement was made at a meeting of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The designation focuses the world's attention on the agricultural value of the dykelands and on the symbolic importance of the landscape to Acadians worldwide.
Carla Allen photo
"This worldwide recognition states that the landscape of Grand Pré is a cultural place of outstanding universal value,” said the Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.
Grand Pré becomes the third World Heritage Site in Nova Scotia. Lunenburg was added to the list in 1995 and the Joggins fossil cliffs in 2008. Nomination Grand Pré, which brought together the provincial, federal and municipal governments and other partners, worked to prepare the nomination for submission to UNESCO in February 2011.
"This is a tremendous symbolic achievement for the Acadian people whose ancestors persevered through upheaval and peaceful reconciliation leading up to this historic day," said Gerald Boudreau, co-chair of the Nomination Grand Pré Advisory Board. Grand Pré joins a list with some of the world's most outstanding sites, including the Serengeti, Egyptian pyramids and the Great Barrier Reef.
The Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse (FANE) is congratulating the group Nomination Grand-Pré for its success in getting Grand-Pré recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as celebrating the unique character of the reclaimed land, FANE says the Grand-Pré recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site marks the symbolic importance of Grand-Pré for all Acadians, wherever they may live, and offers huge possibilities for development as well as important tourism and economic benefits, not only for the region, but for the whole of Acadie and Nova Scotia.
“We are extremely happy to see your dream become reality and we offer our sincere gratitude and congratulations to the Nomination Committee for its work on this project since 2007,” said FANE President, Ronald Robichaud. “This is a big day for the whole of Acadie and you have every reason to be very proud.”
With the UNESCO designation now in place, the province will act on its commitment to provide a $2.5-million investment to a new stewardship board that will be responsibile to protect the site. Board members will be announced soon.