Rio Officially Gets Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Known as the first city in the world to be awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Status in the urban cultural landscape category, Rio de Janeiro officially enters UN's list of world heritage sites after four years.
In 2012, UNESCO commended the city's 200-year-old botanical gardens, Guanabara Bay, the Tijuca National Park, Corcovado, and the Christ statue which helped shape the city. These natural forests and key features helped earn its spot as a world heritage site during a ceremony held at the Christ the Redeemer statue.
According to UNESCO, sites are selected on the basis of having cultural, historical, scientific or some other form of significance, and they are legally protected by international treaties.
In a report from Phys.org, the UN stated that the "extraordinary fusion" of urban structures and natural resources "created an urban landscape perceived to be of great beauty by many writers and travelers and one that has shaped the culture of the city," the UN said.
Rio increased its popularity during this year's Olympic Games and during the 2014 Football World Cup. The status was announced in 2012 but took four years to present developmental plans in protecting Flamengo Park, Sugarloaf Mountain, the Corcovado, Copacabana beach, the Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest.
In a 2012 report from Telegraph UK, UNESCO explained that "Rio de Janeiro is also recognized for the artistic inspiration it has provided to musicians, landscapers, and urbanists."
President of the Brazilian Tourist Board Flávio Dino said, "this is a great time for Rio de Janeiro and Brazilian tourism as a whole."
Dino added in the 2012 Telegraph report that "this decision by UNESCO recognizes Rio de Janeiro as a city of unique beauty in the world, both because of its nature and its people. We now expect even more people to be charmed by the city."