Officials apply to have Marquesas Islands a World Heritage Site

French Polynesia has filed an application to make the Marquesas Islands a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Speaking in Paris, the culture minister Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu said the bid is the most complicated ever submitted as it involves both the natural and cultural heritage of the archipelago.

The application is formally being filed by France as the administrative power and also reflects the wish of President Emmanuel Macron to project the country’s diversity.

The listing was first suggested in 1993 by officials in the Marquesas, with Maamaatuaiahutapu working on the bid for the past eight years.

The World Heritage Committee has 18 months to examine the dossier.

In 2017, Taputapuatea marae on Raiatea became French Polynesia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.

French Polynesia also wants the ‘ori tahiti’ traditional dance to be made part of UNESCO’s world heritage, but Paris is yet to endorse the project.

The Marquesas are located 1500km north-east of Tahiti and spread out over 12 islands, of which only six are inhabited. There are about 9,000 people living on the islands.