Sun, Jul 12, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Yushan makes cut for next stage of online competition

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A three-month campaign to drum up public support for Yushan ended on Thursday with the country’s highest peak being named one of 77 nominees for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

The Yushan National Park Administration said a promotional campaign had helped it reach the goal of getting the mountain onto the nomination list for the next round of what has to date been an online competition.

To encourage people to vote online for Yushan, volunteers embarked on a 15-day cycling tour around the country.

“Volunteers set off early in the morning each day, often cycling in the scorching sun, but none of them ever complained,” a park official said.

The Zurich, Switzerland-based New7Wonders Foundation launched a competition in 2007 to name new natural wonders as part of its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of nature conservation.

At 3,952m, Yushan is the highest peak in northeast Asia and a symbol of Taiwan.

It held the top position in the “mountain, volcano” category for most of the voting period, which ended at midnight on Tuesday.

The foundation posted the final 77 nominees on its Web site late on Thursday, with Yushan at the bottom of the alphabetically ordered list.

Located on the boundaries of Chiayi, Nantou and Kaohsiung counties, Yushan is known for its diverse wildlife and ecology. It was the only natural attraction in Taiwan to make the initial list of contenders in any category of the competition.

The 77 nominees will now be reviewed by a panel of experts, who will narrow the field to a group of 28 official finalists, which will be announced on July 21.

The 28 finalists will then be put to a final round of worldwide online voting next year and in 2011 to determine the world’s new seven natural wonders.

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