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Mount Pelée and The Pitons of Northern Martinique named UNESCO World Heritage Sites

For the third time in two years, Martinique has been honored with the prestigious UNESCO label. This time, The Pitons in the northern part of the island and Mount Pelée were recognized for their exceptional universal value.

During the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added Mount Pelée and The Pitons of Northern Martinique to the World Heritage List for their important global significance. The meeting took place on September 23, 2023 in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, putting the spotlight on this unique forest continuum in the Caribbean, which covers almost 14,000 hectares, or 12% of the island’s overall surface.

From 0 to 1,400 meters in altitude, Mount Pelée and The Pitons of Northern Martinique are home to all the forest types and 90% of the trees that are endemic to the Lesser Antilles, as well as extraordinary fauna:

Many globally threatened species are found at this serial site, including the Martinique Volcano Frog (Allobates Chalocopis), the Lacépède’s Ground Snake (Erythrolamprus cursor), and the endemic Martinique Oriole (Icterus bonana).

Inclusion on the World Heritage List represents a powerful and valuable tool for conservation, but it is also the expression of an ecological identity.

Serge Letchimy, president of the Martinique’s Territorial Collectivity

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs welcomes this « recognition of the universal value of Martinique’s natural heritage, distinguished by its exceptional geology and biodiversity. »

Mount Pelée, already world-famous for its devastating eruption on May 8, 1902, now joins Hawaii, the Aeolian Islands, and Vesuvius in the ranks of volcanoes listed as World Heritage Sites. This is the third distinction awarded to Martinique by UNESCO in two years, following the title of World Biosphere Reserve and inclusion in the Register of Best Practices for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity for the Martinique yole, a traditional sailboat.