FOR BROADCAST: Nova Scotia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated its success today (July 21st). Grand Pré was recognized on June 29th by UNESCO for its agricultural and cultural importance. Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra, joined federal representatives, members of Nomination Grand Pré and the local community to commemorate, with a plaque, the designation of the landscape at Grand Pré. Grand Pré is Nova Scotia’s third World Heritage Site and the designation recognizes the agricultural value of the dykelands along with its sympbolic importance to Acadian culture. The designation followed more than five years of work by all levels of government and the local community . -30- Nova Scotia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated its success today, July 21. Grand Pré was recognized on June 29 by UNESCO for its agricultural and cultural importance. Education Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra, joined federal representatives, members of Nomination Grand Pré and the local community to commemorate with a plaque the designation of the landscape at Grand Pré. “This is a very special place for the Acadians, the people of the Annapolis Valley and all Nova Scotians,” said Ms. Jennex. “The UNESCO designation encourages people from all over the world to experience Grand Pré’s history and culture first hand and learn more about the people who developed the potential of this land.” The designation followed more than five years of work by all levels of government and the local community through Nomination Grand Pré to advance its nomination to UNESCO. It recognizes the agricultural value of the dykelands and the symbolic importance of the landscape to Acadians. “Acadians want to share their culture and heritage with the whole world,” said Acadian Affairs Minister David Wilson. “This recognition is not only important for Grand Pré but for Acadians in every part of the globe.” “Canada’s 43 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas are a cornerstone of the federal government’s conservation strategy,” said Environment Minister Peter Kent. “They preserve and protect Canada’s natural history, drive our economy through tourism, and bring Canadians together from coast-to-coast-to-coast. “Celebrating this great achievement is particularly fitting on Parks Day 2012, and I encourage all Canadians to take today to celebrate our country’s beautiful natural spaces, and important historical sites, especially this, Canada’s newest World Heritage Site.” Grand Pré is the third World Heritage Site to be designated in Nova Scotia. Lunenburg was added to the list in 1995 and the Joggins fossil cliffs in 2008. UNESCO approved two biosphere reserves for Nova Scotia in the past decade. Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve was recognized in 2001 and Bras d’Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve in 2011. “The history of three distinct peoples, the Mi’kmaq, the Acadians and the New England Planters, echo through this land by the sea,” said Nomination Grand Pré co-chair Gérald Boudreau. “The stories imbedded in this remarkable landscape will now become part of the common heritage of humanity,” said Nomination Grand Pré co-chair Peter Herbin. With the UNESCO designation now in place, the province will act on its commitment to provide a $2.5-million investment to a trust to support the work of a stewardship board that will be responsible to protect the site. Trustees will be announced soon. More information about the Grand Pre World Heritage site is available at http://landscapeofgrandpre.ca.