Frequently Asked Questions
Why elect the New7Wonders of Nature?
The New7Wonders of Nature campaign has significantly raised awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature around us. As our slogan says, “If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it!” This is something that is very important because more awareness and more tourism income means that these natural treasures can be better preserved for future generations.
What were the criteria necessary for the participation and for the 28 finalists?
Candidates in the Official New7Wonders of Nature campaign are clearly defined natural sites that have neither been created by nor significantly altered by humans for aesthetic reasons. The 28 Official Finalists have been chosen by the New7Wonders Panel of Experts under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Federico Mayor, former Director-General of UNESCO and announced on 21 July 2009, bearing in mind the following general criteria:
- Unique beauty of the nominated site;
- Diversity and distribution (accounted for in 7 groups);
- Ecological significance (in terms of either stand-alone eco-systems and/or their significance for human beings);
- Historical legacy (relation that human beings and/or indigenous populations have or have had with the site);
- Geo-location (even distribution of the 28 Official Finalists between all continents).
What are the stages of the election?
There are various stages in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign: the nominee national qualification, the nominee Top 77 stage, and the Finalist stage:
- Over 440 participants from over 220 countries entered the New7Wonders of Nature as nominees.
- On 1 January 2009, only one national nominee per country was allowed to proceed (the highest ranked in the voting by 31 December 2008), as well as “multinational” nominees (those shared by more than one country).
- In the nomination stage, voting for nominees continued through July 7, 2009. Then the New7Wonders of Nature Panel of Experts, under the leadership of Prof. Federico Mayor, former Director-General of Unesco, reviewed the top 77 nominees and chose the 28 Finalists, which were announced on 21 July 2009.
- For the Finalist stage, across 2009-2011, the 28 Finalists will campaign and present themselves to the voters across the globe.
- Voting ended on 11 November 2011 – 11/11/11 – when the provisional New7Wonders of Nature were announced.
Can there be more than one Finalist and more than one of the New7Wonders of Nature from the same country?
No, there is only one Finalist per country, except for Finalists that share countries, those that cross national borders.
What are Official Supporting Committees, or OSCs?
OSCs are the administrative partners of N7W, whose main mission is to coordinate the campaign to support the respective Finalist in its own country. Given the multinational Finalists, there are 41 OSCs around the world. N7W collaborates with the OSCs to provide guidance on the participation rules, and gives advice to OSCs to ensure they can properly fulfill their role. At certain moments in time, either due to unavailability of a suitable OSC, or due to N7W having to resign the status of an OSC, Finalists will not have active OSCs supporting them. The Finalists themselves continue in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, as the participation status of a Finalist does not depend on the OSC, it depends on the direct authority of N7W.
What role do governments play in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign?
N7W welcomes positive and proactive support provided by governments, local and national, for their own Finalists and for the New7Wonders of Nature in general. However, it is important to note that the New7Wonders of Nature is not a competition between countries, governments, ministries or public departments. It is not even a competition between OSCs. It is the worldwide campaign organized under the direct authority of N7W, where people directly vote, via new7wonders.com and via the N7W telephone voting options. The New7Wonders of Nature campaign is simply about natural sites being chosen by popular vote.
How is the result calculated?
Valid votes are those received via new7wonders.com, via the international telephone voting lines, and via the licensed telephone and SMS voting systems that are available in many countries. Each voting session online produces seven votes (one each for a different chosen Finalist), and each vote via telephone or SMS produces one vote for that chosen Finalist. Each of these votes has equal status, and the total votes are added up to determine the chosen New7Wonders of Nature. Over 500 million votes were cast during this campaign.
What is the voting verification process?
As with the announcement of the man-made New 7 Wonders of the World on 07/07/07, the announcement of the provisional New7Wonders of Nature on 11/11/11 is based on the instantaneous provisional and preliminary calculation of votes up to the close of voting. As in a few countries there is a much lengthier process for the telephone votes to be fully verified (for example Lebanon, Jordan and Tanzania), the actual finally verified and confirmed calculation of the votes and the results is still pending. However the as yet incomplete country data does not affect the selected New7Wonders of Nature (though it may still affect the Top 14 position of some other Finalists). BDO AG of Zurich, Switzerland, an independent international auditor, has been appointed to verify and confirm the final calculation. Updates will be published on new7wonders.com.
What are the rankings of the Finalists and the New7Wonders of Nature?
New7Wonders does not ever disclose the individual ranking position during the Finalist phases, nor now that the New7Wonders of Nature are announced, nor will it disclose any data that can be analysed to determine the individual position of a Finalist. This is the same policy as with the previous campaign to elect the man-made New 7 Wonders of the World. The reason for this policy is very important: the seven chosen wonders are equal in status – they are the “canon of 7”.
How are the New7Wonders of Nature officially recognized?
Instead of organising one worldwide show event to announce the results, as was the case in Lisbon in 2007 for the man-made New 7 Wonders of the World, in the case of the New7Wonders of Nature each confirmed winner is hosted their own series of Official Inauguration events. Typically one Official Inauguration event took place at each location, and one in the related capital city/cities, to celebrate and honour being chosen by the people of the world as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. At each location a large sized, Official New7Wonders of Nature bronze plaque was unveiled. Details on the Official Inaugurations that took place across 2012 and 2013 are in the News Room.